It's "green season" in Costa Rica, which means hot weather and lots of rain - sometimes at the same time. For those of us who enjoy eating meals that complement the weather, Tin Jo has us in mind with a special seasonal menu.
On hot days, for a refreshing sweet tooth there's a tantalizing array of ice-cold sorbets. Zacate de Limón ("lemongrass and mint"), Hierba Buena Maracuyá ("passion fruit") and Mora con Anís ("blackberry with anise") are colorful flavors that reflect Costa Rica's seasonal bounty of herbs and fruit.
Rasberry sorbet with fresh lychees and mandarins — Photo courtesy of Tin Jo Restaurant
For those rainy days, Tin Jo offers steaming hot bowls of soups such as Sopa Argipicante ("sour soup"), Sopa de Wantan ("wonton soup") and the especially eye-catching, mussel-filled Tom Yam Tale (a seafood soup).
In May, Tin Jo's special plate of the month is Pad Thai, made with rice noodles sauteed with chicken, shrimp and scallions, tossed with a slightly spicy sauce and garnished with fresh cilantro.
Gluten free? Tin Jo has you covered, too. The menu includes a generous list of mouthwatering Asian dishes that are rice-based and naturally gluten free; even the soy sauce is made without wheat.
Desserts, also gluten free, are unique twists on Asian classics, like Khao Neao - sticky rice in coconut milk with mango. Original Tin Jo creations include figs in a ginger syrup with strawberries and créme freiche.
Since its inception in 1972, Tin Jo has been a destination for delicious Asian cuisine in the heart of Costa Rica's capital city. In the restored colonial mansion it calls home, Tin Jo's kitchen is a place where plates are created to enhance one's eating experience on a spiritual level. With wellness in mind that extends beyond just cuisine, Tin Jo offers yoga and meditation classes throughout the week.
On Wednesdays after sunset, candles are lit in the electricity-free sanctuary Bamboo Room. Couples are invited to experience Miercoles Candelas, an evening of relaxation, reflection and repast. What started as an ode to Earth Hour has evolved into a weekly ritual that encourages people to connect more deeply with their inner selves, focus on the delicious flavors of the food and enjoy a holistic eating experience. Diners are expected to respect the cellphone-free zone, and there are no televisions to distract from the experience.
Find Tin Jo in the center of San Jose on Calle 11, between Avenidas 6 and 8. Reservations are suggested and may be made by calling (506) 2221-7605.