Outstanding Chiang Mai sausage by Thai Niyom at Mahatun Plaza

Thai Niyom serves specialities from all of Thailand, but the real reason to go here is their absolutely outstanding Sai Oua or Chiang Mai sausage at 175 bath. The best I’ve had in Bangkok. That said, not everything shines from their wide variety of comfort food.

Thai Niyom is situated in the Mahatun Plaza, just down from the BTS Phloen Chit station and 30 meters into the street. It’s a tiny spot with woody interior. Walls are bright blue, service is decent and the food focuses on comfort food.

Their northern style sausage, also very common in Myanmar, is rich in taste, slightly juicy and with a good texture. It is a dry style sausage, so it is important that it dosen’t get too juicy. And they really master the process at Thai Niyom. By the way, Sai in Thai means intestines and Oua means to stuff. It has hints of spiciness, a mild and tasty heat that nobody will have trouble with. And if you like sausages in general, you shouldn’t have to much problems with intestines either. There are plenty of variations on how to make the Sai Oua, but typical ingredients are ground pork, fat from the pork belly and some intestines in addition to shallots, garlic, spring onion, galangal, fermented shrimp paste, lemon grass, kafir lime leaves, turmeric, dried chili, cilantro and sugar. The Sai Oua is served with fresh vegetables and herbs, including the long green beans, white turmeric and cucumber. It is a package hard to resist when made the way they do it at Thai Niyom. It’s my sole reason to return here. A stunning example of the famous Chiang Mai sausage.

But let’s move on. Their morning glory at 125 bath is decent, slightly more salty then what you usually gets out there, and also closer to what you get in Myanmar. In Myanmar dishes normally have more saltiness then in Thailand, while for example Cambodians prefer their food sweeter. In Thailand sweetness and/or spiciness have more focus in food preparations.

My Pad Kra Pao at 200 bath was close to a disaster and not really properly made. I ordered it with crispy pork and a fried egg (Kai Dao). The crispy pork was basically just fat, a millimeter thin slice of meat, and a far to hard rind. It is important to have a little bit of fat on the pork belly when frying it, but this was just fat and when chewing it you got the taste of frying oil. The egg yolk in the Kai Dao was like a hard boiled egg. It never stops surprising me how many chefs and cooks in Bangkok that doesn’t really think about the importance of how the egg yolk is prepared for this dish. It surprises me as they eat the dish themselves quite often and sometimes with a running egg yolk. When I have served the dish to Thai chefs and cooks, and I point it out, they always agree with me. Many just haven’t thought about it. It is a dish that Thai’s typically order if they haven’t really made up their mind of what to eat. It is purely fuel for the body. So they eat while their head works on something else. But a running egg yolk with stir-fried chilies is one of the magical food combination in this world. The dish changes completely without the running egg yolk and becomes a dish that is just a shadow of it’s potential.

At Thai Niyom they also fry the holy basil, which takes away some of the pepperiness in the herb. Normally this is done as it looks better in a restaurant. I am fine with that and it add a fine texture to the dish, but they should also add holy basil at the end of the stir-frying in order to enhance the peppery taste the dish is so known for. Anyway, the rest of the dish was properly made and if ordering it, you should probably go for chicken or regular pork meat and specify that you want your Kai Dao with a runny egg yolk.

I’ve heard good things about the green curry with beef — quite rare, as it is usually made with chicken — but haven’t tasted it. It will be tested next time I crave for a portion of their wonderful Chiang Mai Sausage. The chickens and pigs they use are raised without using antibiotics or hormones, something that is widely used in Thailand. Also some rumors that I should try their stir-fried raw papaya noodles with minced pork.

The menu Thai Niyom (Ni-Yom) is extensive and in English and cover dishes from all regions of Thailand, in addition to Chinese dishes. The restaurant is small, rustic and quite neutral when it comes to atmosphere. The service was good and they do speak English. I was the only guest there so the service level might change with a full restaurant.

Name: Thai Niyom (Ni-Yom or Thainiyom).The Thai language is not always easily translated into latin letters, so a lot of variations.

Food: Extensive menu with food from all over Thailand

Price: Moderate to expensive. Most dishes spans from 125 bath to 300 bath with the majority just north or south of 200 bath.

Open: Mon-Sat 11:30 am-10 pm

Phone: 02-044-1010

Address: Mahatun Plaza, 888/26 Phloen Chit Road

How to get there: Take the BTS to Phloen Chit station and walk the one minute from there. Exit # 1 or 3. It can be a little difficult to find as you don’t go into the building, but walk down the small alley on the side of the building.

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