Another day, another Bangkok food legend. Today's gem is Likhit Kai Yaang, an ancient isaan restaurant next door to Ratchadamnoen Thai boxing stadium in Banglamphu. Likhit doesn't appear to have changed much since its apparent grand opening in 1960-something, and is not unlike, I imagine, a Soviet-era mess hall. And as was probably the case with Soviet-era mess halls, I wouldn't particularly advise looking into the cave-like kitchen.
Kai yaang means grilled chicken, and this is what people come here to eat. The birds (in this case kai baan, the Thai version of free range chicken) are first marinaded in a secret mixture, which I'm thinking must include at the least garlic, coriander seeds and/or roots and perhaps a bit of turmeric, before being grilled over coals outside the restaurant by an expert:
The result is a crispy skin redolent of the delicious marinade, and flesh that is tender and slightly smoky. Lovely indeed. Other than the restaurant's namesake, Likhit also does the issan staples, including a delicious som tam:
tap waan, liver:
and tom saep, a spicy/sour issan-type tom yam:
All wonderful, in particular the som tam, but the chicken is the reason I'll come back.
Likhit Kai Yaang (Google Maps link)
74/1 Thanon Ratchadamnoen Klang (next to the Thai boxing stadium)
02 281 1094