Monday, 20 February 2017

Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) - Best Thai Biryani in Chiang Mai

If you've ever heard anything about the food in Chiang Mai, I'm sure you've of a dish known as khao soi (ข้าวซอย). You might have already seen my video about what I think is the best version of the dish in Chiang Mai (, but there are many restaurants to get the dish. Known for serving one of the most authentic versions, or more shall I say, original versions, I had to pay a visit to Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม). The longstanding Thai Halal restaurant is located just east of Talat Warorot, and just north of the famous Chiang Mai night bazaar. One day for lunch, Ying and I went over to Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม), and though I was mostly expecting to eat their version of khao soi (ข้าวซอย), I was quite happy to discover that they actually serve one of the best versions of Thai biryani that I've ever had in my life.

I decided to first order a bowl of khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ), or beef khao soi. My bowl of noodles came quickly, and the soup curry looked quite white, and creamy, not so dark colored like my other favorite bowls of the dish. The noodles were almost spaghetti like, instead of being the wide flat egg noodles, and the whole dish was sprinkled with a big handful of dried crispy fritters on top. Overall, the khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ) was a little on the plain side - it just didn't have much flavor going on - it was more like noodles in a cream gravy - not bad, but just not overly flavorful. However, I did notice a cup full of fresh roasted chili sauce, known as nam prik pao, on the side of the table, and it smelled amazing. I added a few heaping spoons of the sauce to my khao soi, which dramatically increased the flavor and really enhanced the dish, but it still lacked the spices that I like in a normal bowl of khao soi.

Next up I ordered a plate of khao mok neua (ข้าวหมกเนื้อ), Thai beef biryani. I wanted to get the goat version, but unfortunately they had completely sold out of the goat before I arrived, so I had settle for the beef. I'm happy to announce the khao mok neua (ข้าวหมกเนื้อ) was one of the best versions I've ever had in Thailand. The rice was nicely spiced, and the chunk of beef was stewed and fall apart tender. What I really loved about the biryani at Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) was the handful of crispy fried shallots and cilantro tossed on top - that was a beautiful ending tough to give the entire plate some beautiful flavor.

Overall, I would say, go to Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) for the biryani, and if you're in the mood for a plain dish, you might also sample their khao soi, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat the khao soi.