My Favourite Northern Thai Restaurant in Chiang Mai – Review of Khao Soi Samer Jai.
I’ve just spent five days eating my way through Chiang Mai again. The last two times I visited my favourite restaurant for Northern Thai food – Khao Soi Samer Jai, it had been closed for the holidays. This made a trip there this time an absolute must!
Khao Soi Samer Jai is a largish restaurant, located about 10 minutes outside Chiang Mai old town, up the Ping River. It’s best known for its wonderful khao soi (it’s my favourite in town), but it also serves up pretty much every Northern Thai dish you can think of. I would have to pick wisely today, though, as I’d gone on my own, and even I can only fit in so much!
Ordering the khao soi was a no-brainer as it’s my favourite Thai dish of all time, and Samer Jai has my favourite version!
The khao soi here is heavily spiced, with a thin but rich broth, finished with a ladle of thick coconut cream. It comes with either chicken or beef. The only thing that I could possibly moan about is that the noodles on top could be crisper. The pickled cabbage is really good and the dry chilli paste/oil is a great addition if you like it hot.
No Northern Thai feast would be complete without Sai Ua – a Northern Thai spicy sausage. The sausage at Samer Jai is some of my favourite in the city. It’s packed with flavour from Lemongrass and lime leaves, spicy from plenty of chilli, and really moist from the added pork fat. I got there early, and the sausage had just been cooked so was piping hot.
Next up was the gaeng hang lay – Northern Thai pork belly curry. Another great dish. Sometimes I find it too sweet, but at Samer Jai, it’s spot on. There is sweetness there, but It’s not overpowering. There was a good heat coming through from the chilli as well, which was good as too often in Thai restaurants it’s dumbed down for tourists.
I was starting to struggle but decided to get some of my favourite Thai dip – Nam prik num for later. Roasted green chilli and garlic get pounded to a rough paste, with red birdseye chillis thrown into the mix for extra heat! The dip at Samer Jai has a great smokey flavour from the roasted chilli that you would expect from a decent nam prik num.
If you’re looking for an Authentic Northern Thai Meal, where you can sample more than just khao soi, then Khao Soi Samer Jai is a great place to head to next time you’re in Chiang Mai.
Open every day from 8 am to 5 pm.