If you ask where to go for khao mun gai in the Pratunam area, people will automatically point you in the direction of one of two places; either they will tell you that you have to go to the ‘pink shirts’ – Pratunam Chicken Rice or they will send you to the ‘green shirts’ – Kueng Heng.
This is because these two chicken rice shops have been churning out khao mun gai for years and packed with tourists every day. Does that make them the best? I’m not convinced. I’ve personally never really understood the hype around either. Sure, the chicken rice is decent enough in both, but it’s no better than any of the five khao mun gai shops I have within walking distance of my apartment. I do however make sure I grab some of Kueng Heng’s excellent satay from time to time when I’m in the area, but that’s for another post.
So why are they both so popular? Well, I read a comment on the ever popular Facebook group Bangkok Foodies that the reason these two particular restaurants are so famous is that they have always been open late, whereas khao mun gai is traditionally a breakfast/lunch dish. It all makes perfect sense to me now!
So what if I told you there was another place to get your khao mun gai fix, just around the corner and you don’t have to queue up with tour groups for an hour to get a seat?
Enter Pondtip – Pratunam, an ever popular shop-house restaurant that serves solid chicken rice and even better stewed duck.
To be honest, the khao mun gai at Pondtip isn’t the star of the show, the stewed duck is. That’s not to say it’s in any way terrible it’s just the duck is very good. You can choose from duck leg on rice, duck noodle soup, or only a big plate of stewed duck by itself among other dishes and as you can see from the menu below, the prices are incredibly reasonable.
Here are three dishes that won’t disappoint you:
Soya Duck Rice.
My go to dish is the khao na bped or soya duck rice as it’s shown on the menu. It’s the sauce that makes the duck rice stand out here; it’s salty and rich with an almost curry like cinnamon flavour to it. Just enough sauce is poured over moist slices of moist, pot stewed duck breast on rice. You also get another sauce on the side which they also serve with the chicken rice. It’s not your typical khao mun gai sauce, though. It’s a sharp, sweet vinegar based chilli sauce with ginger and really compliments the rich, salty flavour of the duck.
Khao mun gai.
As I said before the khao mun gai here is solid without being spectacular. I love khao mun gai, it’s one of my favourite Thai dishes but I think it’s hard to distinguish one from another unless you get an exceptional one or a terrible one, and this is neither of the two. Like I said the sauce it’s different from most that come with Thai chicken rice, which I love, by the way, so that makes an exciting change. The chicken is sweet and juicy, and the rice is well cooked; as I said, solid.
Bped Palo – Stewed Duck.
If you’re hungry, or you’re sharing you can just go for a big plate of the stewed duck and grab some rice on the side. You get a decent amount of the lovely stewed duck, plenty of sauce and some cucumber to freshen things up, all for 100 baht a plate.
Pondtip does get very busy around lunchtime but nowhere near anything you have to deal with at the pink and green shops. Next time you’re in the area, I’d definitely recommend taking a look.