Khao Soi is not a dish you find everywhere in Bangkok, but there are a handfull of good vendors out there, among them Hom Duan in the Ekkamai area. The dish has it’s «roots» in the North of Thailand with Chiang Mai as the center, but is also a dish that represent the Burmese influence on the Norhern Thai cuisine. The most common protein is chicken (gai/kai).
Khao Soi is definitively a curry, but still rather different from what you’re used to. It’s not as «creamy» as the usual green or red curries. It’s somewhat a lighter version, but in a good way, excellent as a breakfast or lunch dish as it’s not as filling. It’s also served with noodles and not rice, and the noodles is a mixture of both cooked and fried noodles. The fresh once is in the soup while the fried once are on top, or as garnish if you like. The combination doesn’t only bring a refinement taste wise, but it changes the texture completely compared to a standard noodle dish. If you like both noodles and curries, you’re set up for a rather good experience.
What makes khao soi a truly great dish is the combination of crunchy and boiled egg noodles that is coupled with the bitter flavors of shallots and the mustard greens. It just goes perfectly with the chili and creamy curry-laced coconut milk. I should probably mention that the juicy chicken leg at Hom Duan is boiled to the point where the meat falls of the bone without any effort. You soon understand why a knife is not needed. Another good thing with khao soi is that you rarely run into an overly sweet bowl, as you often experience with for example the masaman curry.
Hom Duan in Ekkamai serves an excellent bowl of khao soi gai, definitively one of the best in Bangkok. The price is 65 Bath. The broth is really tasty, the thick egg noodles are perfectly cooked and the crispy noodles on top are just as crunchy as they should be. Not to forget that the chicken meat is fall of the bone. The custard green is good, but I have actually tasted better mustard greens at another vendor in the Samsen area. That said, the totality is really good at Hom Duan.
Let me also mention that Hom Duan has an excellent nam ngiew in aditon to the khao gaeng options. The nam ngiew comes with khanom jeen (fermented rice noodles), a a kind of northern style curry without coconut milk.
Hom Duan is as close as you get to excellent northern Thai food in Bangkok. The environment is quite homy in a clean and pleasant environment.
Will I come back to Hom Duan? Definitively – and not only once, but regularly. I’m a rather happy guy when sitting here with a bowl of khao soi gai or nam ngiew (my two most common orders here).
Name: Hom Duan Eatery (Good Day Café)
Food: Khao Soi gai plus 3 or 4 other Northern Thai style dishes.
Open: 9am – 3 pm
Phone: 085037 8916
Address: 70/2 Soi Ekkamai
How to get there: Take the BTS to Ekkamai. You find it between Ekkamai Soi and 4 on the right side coming from the BTS. Look for the name written in Thai on a black background – as on the back of the t-shirt to the staff seen above.