I Want My Khao Soi–Northern Thai, the Best in Chiang Mai

khao soiI want my Khao Soi. I’m tired of Thai food; I eat it all the time. My wife is Thai, and she cooks, Thai food of course. No offense to her native cuisine, but if you eat it every day it losses something, it’s appeal, it no longer is exotic, it’s common place, dull…whatever. It’s a Saturday and I’m in the mood for something. We’re looking at shops all day, because the thought of teaching for the rest of my life makes me want to hang myself.

Joy asks me what I want to eat. I don’t know, I’ve eaten Thai food for 347 days straight, and I feel like a ham sandwich. I feel like eating Spaghetti-O’s or Spam, or Khao Soi. I’m hot; I almost run over some hippie dressed in a sarong, a Tuk-Tuk gets in my way. I want Khao Soi. Some white chick in a halter-top is walking down the street. It gets on my nerves, and my wife whispers in my ear, “look at her,” she says. She hates inappropriately dressed foreigners invading her country eating banana pancakes and discussing their “CHE.” Whatever that means.

I want Khao Soi I scream. I’m a raving maniac, a mad foreigner. I’d slog a 100 miles in the northern heat for this tasty dish of egg noodles in curry sauce covered in deep fried noodles. My mouth waters, I’m hallucinating. I’m no longer that mild mannered, unassuming, yet mercurial man who is appropriately dressed in long trousers and a plain shirt even though it’s nearly 100 degrees. Its raining crispy noodles, and I’m driving through puddles of golden brown curry. Egg noodles hang from the trees.

We stop at Huen Phen—it’s a great place for Khao Soi. What is this you ask? Why is this making you stark raving, foaming at the mouth mad? Well, you never get it in the States, it’s a Northern Thai dish that is food nirvana. Yes, that good—and no one has heard of it? Hardly, it’s on every menu here, but Huen Phen does a particularly good job of serving up one of the best chicken Khao Soi in Chiang Mai.

I regain my composer and eat, not even caring about the guy in the tank top, looking like he just came from the beach, or the girl in the SAME, SAME tee shirt he’s eating with.  I have tunnel vision. The world can fly of if its axis and crash into the sun for all I care. I want my Khao Soi.


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