Now, if you have been following my blog you’ll know I love Northern Thai food, especially khao soi. You will also know from my Best Khao Soi in Bangkok post that good Northern Thai food is not that easy to come by in Bangkok, so when I get a tip for an authentic Lanna style restaurant in Bangkok, I have check it out!
My friend Kevin, who spent three years living in Chiang Mai, was taken to Huen Lumphun by one of his students and messaged me straight away saying we had to go there. I didn’t need asking twice. I headed up to the north-west suburb of Taling Chan with Kev and his wife and daughter to find some Authentic northern Thai food.
We got to the restaurant on a Saturday around one in the afternoon, and the place was already packed (with Thais) which is always a good sign. The first thing I noticed was how much it looks and feels like you’re in Chiang Mai; with the dark teak wood tables and green plants everywhere. There are individual huts to eat in that seat around six people as well as bigger tables in a more open setting. We got comfy in a hut. Glancing around, everyone’s food looked amazing. It was time to order.
Kevin’s wife Bell is Thai so we had no trouble ordering, but there was no English on the menu so you’ll have to either point at the pictures and hope for the best or come prepared with what you want to order in Thai.
Here is what we ordered:
- Khao soi with chicken
- khao soi with mushrooms
- Sai ua (northern Thai sausage)
- Lanna Laap/Laap Mueang (northern Thai style minced meat salad)
- Gaeng hang lay (northern Thai pork belly curry)
- Nam prik num (spicy green chilli dip)
- Nam prik om (spicy pork and tomato dip)
- Khao kan jeen (rice steamed in pork blood)
- Gai tod (fried chicken)
First off let’s talk about the khao soi. This is the sort of khao soi I like; thick, creamy and not too oily. There was a strong black cardamom flavour coming through, and both the fried and boiled noodles are cooked just right. My only criticism would be that it’s a little sweet. Not so sweet that I didn’t enjoy it, but definitely noticeable. Saying that it was the second best khao soi I’ve had in Bangkok after Daradalay, so we were off to a good start.
The sai ua was probably my favourite dish of the day and easily the best I’ve had in Bangkok. It’s packed with lemongrass, lime leaves and chilli, had the perfect amount of fat and was cooked to perfection. I always eat my sai ua with nam prik num, and the spicy green chilli dip here didn’t disappoint. So often it lacks any real depth of flavour, but this version was really smokey from the well-charred peppers with a pleasant hint of garlic. Perfect for dipping! Nam prik om (the pork dip) isn’t my favourite thing in the world, so I won’t judge it here. It tasted like any other I’ve had in Chiang Mai.
Another dish that is hard to find anywhere other that Northern Thailand is Laap Mueang or Lanna Laap. It is entirely different to its Isaan, cousin in that there is no lime or toasted rice powder in it. The main spice comes from the Dee Plee pepper or long pepper. It has a really unique flavour, and this one was definitely head and shoulders above any other I’ve had in Bangkok. It even had some kap moo (crispy pork rind) tossed through it. This had to be my second favourite of the day!
The other dish that was very good was the hang lay. The pork was so tender it just fell apart and the sauce wasn’t too sweet. There was a nice crunch from some roasted peanuts and plenty of whole garlic cloves and sliced ginger. The only real let down was the khao kan jin. It was soggy and overcooked. It was one of the worst I’ve had. The fried chicken was ok but maybe a little on the dry side. I’d eaten so much by the time I tried it, though, that I wasn’t really tasting anything at this point!
All in it cost the four of us 1000 baht and we ate a lot of food. If you love northern Thai food as much as me I would highly recommend the trip out to Huen Lumphun.
The only downside is the out of the way location and lack of public transport to get there. The easiest way would be to take the Silom line on the BTS to the end of the line and get off at Bang Wa. It’s no more than 10 minutes in a taxi from there.
Directions are here:
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