Bangkok is a decent place to dip your toe in the ocean of regional Thai food, but as soon you attempt to go any deeper than that it's nigh impossible to find anything profoundly good (it's even getting harder to find really good Bangkok food these days, but that's a whole other blog post...).
Take khao soi, for example. If you're a regular reader of the blog you're probably already aware of my love for this northern-style curry noodle dish. I'm constantly seeking the stuff out when up north and am always on the lookout for a decent bowl here in Bangkok, but have mostly come up empty-handed. Other than the excellent khao soi at the Bangkok branch of the famous Chiang Mai institution Lam Duan, which unfortunately is located way outside of town, most khao soi in Bangkok is mediocre, or worse. And disappointingly, such was the case with today's effort, Kuan Phochana (pictured above). The broth of our khao soi kai, chicken khao soi, looked and tasted like little more than sweet-ish coconut milk combined with stale curry powder. Even the sides of pickled mustard greens and the fried chili topping were unpleasant (admittedly, the noodles were decent and authentic though). And to top it off, at 50B for a phiset or 'special' bowl, it was relatively expensive.
Luckily their nam ngiaw:
a northern-style noodle dish usually also served at the same places that serve khao soi, was decent: satisfyingly rich, meaty and fragrant.
So if you're in the neighbourhood, you could do worse than stopping by the for decent nam ngiaw, but I'd recommend saving the khao soi for your next trip up north. (And if you can't make it up north, other, slightly tastier khao soi joints in Bangkok include Khao Soi Sophaphan, Yuy Lee and Maan Mueng.)
Kuan Phochana Soi 22, Thanon Sukhumvit
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