Speaking of northern Thailand cuisine, one cannot leave Chiang Rai without having a bowl of khao soi. Although Khao Soi is believed to be inspired by the Burmese cuisine, it can be commonly found in Chiang Rai. However, among the Khao Soi that I have tried, I like the ones served in Pho Chai Restaurant (ร้านพอใจ ข้าวซอยไก่).
Located just 4 minutes walk away from my accomodation, Spinomad, this was one of my first stop during my trip in Chiang Rai before going for my cooking class with Akha Kitchen. There are no english signage but this is the only restaurant that was opened when I arrived at about 7.30am. Do keep a lookout for a Thai eatery with 2 shop spaces, a tiny red sign board in red and painted mainly blue.
Although the number of items on the menu are very limited, nothing is more than $40 baht. One thing for sure, this is one of the places that serves more renditions (Fish and Shrimp Khao Soi) of Khao Soi other than the chicken ones which is commonly found everywhere. For those who are ordering the cha yen aka Thai Milk Tea (ชาเย็น), do remember to tell the service crew “wan nid noi” which means less sweet.
Besides serving 3 different types of Khao Soi, I like that chunks of chicken drumstick meat is used at Pho Chai Restaurant instead of just shredded chicken as I always feels that there are also more bite to the tender chunks of chicken meat.
Topped with a light yet creamy coconut curry broth with a nice spicy kick, Khao soi is served with 2 kinds of noodles – the soft yellow egg noodles that is cooked till al dente as well as some deep fried noodles.
The hot bowl of khao soi is also accompanied with a side of chopped red onions, pickled vegetables and a wedge of lime. If you prefer more textural bite, you can also purchase a serving of crispy pork scratchings for $5 baht. Oh yes, do remember to try the broth on its own before adding that squeeze of lime juice for a more complex layer of taste.
Pho Chai Restaurant is not a fancy place by any mean, but if you are looking for a simple unpretentious meal, this is one of your option.
Pho Chai Restaurant ร้านพอใจ ข้าวซอยไก่
1023/3 Jetyod Rd, Mueang Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Tel: +66 53 712 935
Operating Hours: 7am to 4pm