[Chiang Mai, Thailand] Khao Soi Samerjai (ข้าวซอยเสมอใจ )

There are good khao soi and there are really excellent khao soi, the famed curry noodles from Northern Thailand, with its distinctive Burmese-influenced curry scent and flavours, and the use of two types of noodles: yellow wheat noodles and a crispy version of the said noodles piled on top of the dish, to be stirred in before eating for an additional textural dimension.

The khao soi capital of the world has to be Chiang Mai, Thailand’s 2nd-largest city after Bangkok, a Northern metropolis with its own distinctive regional cuisine.

And Khao Soi Samerjai is far and away, the best place in Chiang Mai to savour this hearty, rustic dish. Its rendition was stupendous.

There are quite a few options available, but we stuck with the chicken (gai) khao soi.

Khao Soi Samerjai is actually a stall, located in front of a large foodcourt which also offers other Northern Thai street food, so one can also opt for “Sai Oua”, a tasty Northern sausage using fermented pork forcemeat which lends the dish its distinctive sourish flavours.

Freshly-barbecued pork “sa-te” is also available, though I much prefer the more flavoursome Malaysian/Singapore “satays” more. The pork “sa-te” here are also pretty good.

This one-stop shop for all good things about Northern Thai street food is a must-visit, if one has only one place to stop for eats in Chiang Mai.

Address
Khao Soi Samerjai
391 Thanon Charoenrat (near Lamduan Faham)
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tel: 081-1790999
Opening hours: 8am-5pm daily

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that looks amazingly good

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When my Thai friends told me it’s the best-known khao soi in Chiang Mai, I took it with a grain of salt. But one taste, and I realised it was the best-tasting khao soi I’d ever had! I went back for seconds the next day. :joy:

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I popped in for lunch today and my word was the
chicken (gai) khao soi good. Lovely deep spicy but sweet broth. Also loved the two textures of noodles; soft on the bottom, crispy on top.

Also had the northern Thai sausage. Packed full of lemongrass and chilli, delicious but not as sour as some I’ve had.

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Glad you made it there, Chris. This place is a definite keeper.

Any experiences with these other khao soi in Chiang Mai?

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Not at these places, although we seemed to encounter khao soi at every corner in Chiang Mai.

I think we foreigners actually enjoy the dish more than Bangkokians/Central Thais, as the taste suits the Northern Thais’ palate more than those from other regions.

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I just realized that the time I tried to go to Sammerjai, I may have ended up at Khao Soi Lam Duan. Those blue chairs on the Google page look familiar. I was meh on the Khao Soi Lam Duan, I thought that Khao Soi Khun Yai (near the North Wall) was much better. Now I realize I probably never got to the right Khao Soi place. I really liked my driver, but I would bet he is related to the family that owns Lam Duan…
Now I have another reason to go back to Chiang Mai! I have to try the Khao Soi Sammerjai style!

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Frankly, very little separates khao soi from the different establishments. There would be subtle differences in the noodle texture, or strength of the curry spice used, or even thickness of the gravy. But, by and large, all khao soi has that same earthy Indian curry-spice scent, an uncommon sweetness, and similar components, i.e. two types of noodles used: blanched soft noodles in the curry sauce, and a clump of crispy noodles as a garnish on top, plus side condiments of raw purple onions, salted vegies and a dry-ish chili paste for added heat.

Once you’ve tasted a good khai soi, you’ve pretty much got it covered. :grin:

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold