My wife and I are both creatures of habit, when we find something we like we tend to stick with it and that has definitely been the case with food in Thailand. One thing that I really miss about Chiang Rai is our favorite spot for Khao Soi. Since we’ve arrived back in Chiang Mai we have been making it a point to try new spots. Unfortunately, we’ve tried 3 different spots for Khao Soi since we’ve been back (plus an old favorite) and none of them come close to satisfying our taste buds for this Northern Thai specialty.
We ventured out this evening to try and find some Khao Soi at one of the small, local shops in the area. Since we can’t read the signs we look for pictures as we drive down the street. We pulled off to stop at one restaurant this evening and I said “kao soi” with an inquisitive look on my face, to the woman who greeted us at the curb. She gave me an affirmative nod and we plotted our butts down on the small wooden stools in the ‘dining area’.
When the woman arrived to take our order, we said “kao soi” but the she kept asking if we wanted fried rice or something else. We finally agreed on Som Tom (mostly due to her persistence) which is a spicy papaya salad and left it at that since we were planning on a late dinner. They bring out 2 small cups of white rice followed up by our Som Tom shortly thereafter. We thought it odd that they brought out 2 cups of rice but we figured it was just something they did. We finished up the Som Tom, (mouths on fire) and another 10 minutes goes by and still no Khao Soi. I figure either they don’t like farangs or perhaps there was something funny about our order. Sure enough, in Thai, the difference between rice and our favorite coconut curry dish is the duration in the pronunciation of “soi”. After a collective effort and quite a laugh in the restaurant, we realized that they didn’t offer Khao Soi at this particular restaurant.
We stopped at another restaurant a few doors down and struck out again, but they did have a yummy Khra Pao and the owner got a kick out of our Khao Soi story, so our adventure was not a total loss.
Just another day in Thailand.