I intentionally sought to find this gem one night (you wouldn't believe how many places I stumble across by accident, hence my 14 meals a day when I'm in Thailand) on a cycle ride through the city that I had intended to be relaxing. I arrived in the approximate area, exhausted and lungs full of goodness knows what, only to find myself outside the largest book store I have seen in Chiang Mai. After a quick (read: as long as I could stay before they kicked me out to close) browse, I made my way to Tianzi.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is delicious and, while it may seem a little pricey, the serene garden setting and generous portions make up for it. The interior is really well thought out, with large pillows and low floor tables on a raised wooden platform amongst lantern adorned trees.
I ordered two dishes, but really I could have done with only one (as I said, portions are large).The steamed tofu with sesame cream features a tahini based sauce with tiny chunks of carrot. The tofu triangles were lightly fried, with the firm and meaty texture Thais know how to accomplish so well, but a little bit of salt and/or tamari would have gone a long way.
My second dish was the wasabi broccoli, which was outstanding. Very lightly steamed broccoli with spicy wasabi kick about sums it up. The sauce was also sesame based and it too could have done with more salt; regardless, the preparation left its mark. It was fantastic.
I would really recommend Tianzi to anyone who is looking for a retreat from the hustle and bustle of Chiang Mai. It's right near a major road, yet feels incredibly isolated, and the whole package almost demands you to just chill the hell out.
I should mention I spent half of my time here trying to find the cat who was meowing endlessly somewhere near the pond, only to find out eventually it was a frog. This is my life.