I used to think khao soi, the northern Thai curry noodle dish, was nearly impossible to find in Bangkok, but in the last few weeks I've run across it more than a couple times. My latest discovery was ironically only a few kilos from my house, under the Ram Intra Expressway near the intersection with Lad Phrao.
Arriving just after lunch with my generally reliable food sidekick Aong, we were dismayed to find that they only khao sois remaining at that time were the pork and seafood varieties. This was immensely disturbing news, as khao soi is almost exclusively served with chicken or beef (a sign of the dish's Muslim roots). Pork is a lazy substitute and seafood khao soi is a heresy beyond words, and those responsible for the concept should be forced to eat...seafood khao soi for the rest of their days. Grudgingly, we chose the pork (shown above). The dish was a decent, if not mediocre take on the dish, but lacking the creamy, oily, spiciness of Faa Haam's nearly-perfect bowl. The sides (pickled mustard cabbage, sliced shallots and lime) also seemed of substandard quality. Sophaphan also serves the Shan noodle dish, naam ngiaow, as well as some northern Thai standards and som tam. Good in a pinch, I reckon, or if you're in the neighborhood (make sure you come early), but you'll be much happier if you make the trip over to Viphawadee to eat at Faa Haam.
I've also come across khao soi on Sukhumvit Sois 22 and 31; stay tuned for a detailed investigation.
Khao Soi Sophaphan
86 Soi Inthraphorn (under the Ram Intra Expressway not far from the intersection with Lad Phrao)
02 530 6292
Addendum: In flipping through my replies to this blog, I recently received a comment from a woman who's doing a blog exclusively about khao soi in New York City! Honestly, I was surprised enough to find out that one can actually get khao soi in in the US (it's hard enough to find in Bangkok), but even more shocking is the price: $16 for a bowl of khao soi??!!?? Maybe I'm spoiled living here, but the price I payed for the bowl above, 30 baht--slightly less than $1, feels about right to me. Guess I won't be going home anytime soon...