Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) in Chiang Mai – Don’t Miss Their Biryani

By Mark Wiens 11 Comments
Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม)
Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand

When I was in Chiang Mai my main mission was to eat (that goes for any destination I visit).

One of the many famous places to eat a dish known as khao soi  (ข้าวซอย) in Chiang Mai, is a restaurant, located right near the touristy night bazaar, known as Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม).

The reason I was excited to try the khao soi  (ข้าวซอย) at Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) is because they are known for serving quite an authentic, or shall I say, original version of the dish.

While many restaurants these days have altered the recipe and switched up the ingredients, sources say Khao Soi Islam has kept the same original recipe.

As I’m sure you already figured from name of the restaurant, the roots of Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) are Muslim, so the food served at the restaurant is Halal – if you’re looking for a Halal restaurant in Chiang Mai, this is a great spot.

Khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ)
I ordered the khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ), the beef version

Khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ)

My first order of business was a bowl of khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ), noodles in gravy with beef.

Compared to other bowls of khao soi I had eaten so far in Chiang Mai, their version was whiter in color, and topped with quite a big handful for crispies on top.

The coconut milk was almost curdled, but it looked like a really rich creamy broth.

Price – 50 THB (บาท)

best restaurants in Chiang Mai
Here’s my bowl of khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ)

Overall, the flavor of the khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ) was very mild.

It was almost just like spaghetti noodles in a cream sauce. For myself it was lacking the spice blend that I think pairs so well with the noodles and coconut milk based gravy to make a wonderful bowl of khao soi.

It wasn’t bad, but just not overly flavorful.

Roasted chili sauce
Now this is the good stuff!

And that’s when I noticed the glorious roasted chili sauce condiment on the side of our table.

The sauce was basically dry roasted chilies, pounded, and mixed with a bit of oil; Just lifting off the lid, I could immediately smell the beautiful aroma of roasted chilies, and I knew it would drastically improve my bowl of khao soi.

Food in Chiang Mai
That’s the deep red color of broth I like to see

A few scoops of roasted chili sauce, nam prik pao, into my bowl of khao soi definitely bumped things up a notch.

While the flavor of the broth was severely enhanced with the roasted chili sauce, to me it still could have used a few more spices in the preparation.

Again, it wasn’t bad, and they do serve an original version of the dish, but it was just a little plain for my taste buds.

Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม)
Khao mok neua (ข้าวหมกเนื้อ) at Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Khao mok neua (ข้าวหมกเนื้อ)

The dish that really blew my mind at Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) was their version of Thai biryani, known as khao mok (ข้าวหมก).

I wanted to get the goat version of the dish, but unfortunately they had already sold out of it by the time I ate there, so I had to settle for the beef.

Price – 70 THB (บาท)

Food in Chiang Mai
A beautiful plate of food

I am happy to report that the beef biryani, khao mok neua (ข้าวหมกเนื้อ), was out of control good – it was simple and marvelous.

The rice was spiced just perfectly, the meat was tender and flavorful, and I loved how they sprinkled a bunch of crispy shallots and cilantro on top.

Thai style biryani is always served with a side sauce, usually a sweet and sour sauce made with cilantro and mint. The sauce made a wonderful condiment to the spiced rice and tender meat.

Thai food
Tender meat

I was very impressed by the khao mok neua (ข้าวหมกเนื้อ) at Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม).

The flavors were nearly perfect, and along with the tender chunk of beef, what really gave it a touch of great flavor over other Thai biryani’s I’ve had before, were those freshly fried shallots and the handful of fresh herbs.

Salad kaek (สลัดแขก)
Salad kaek (สลัดแขก), salad with a sweet peanut dressing

Salad kaek (สลัดแขก)

Along with the khao soi and the khao mok neua, Ying my wife, also got a plate of a Thai dish known as salad kaek (สลัดแขก).

It was basically a mixture of lettuce, cucumbers, and some wedges of tomato, covered in a thick and creamy peanut sauce. The dressing was sweet and nutty, a little too sweet for me, but still good.

Price – 40 THB (บาท)

Thai beef soup
Beef soup in the top of the photo

I almost forgot to mention that we also tried a bowl of soup neua, or beef soup (I didn’t get a good photos of it, but can you see it in the top of the photo).

The soup was alright, a lot of fat, but it had a good beefy flavor and it was nice and spicy.

Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม)
Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) in Chiang Mai

Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) is a well known restaurant in Chiang Mai, one of the classics.

On the menu you’ll find a number other dishes as well, including beef noodles, roti mataba, curry noodles, and beef satay. The restaurant is similar to Yusup Pochana in Bangkok, but not as extensive.

Restaurants in Chiang Mai
Here’s the outside of Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม)

Here’s the video of the meal

(If you can’t see the video, watch it here: http://youtu.be/n6OSZPYo2ow)

Conclusion

Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) is a restaurant in Chiang Mai that’s known for serving an authentic original version of the northern Thai dish of khao soi (ข้าวซอย noodles in curry gravy).

Their version of khao soi (ข้าวซอย) was a little on the mild or plain side, and almost tasted like noodles in cream sauce.

They also serve khao mok (ข้าวหมก), or Thai style rice biryani with a choice of meat. I had a plate of khao mok neua (ข้าวหมกเนื้อ), biryani with beef, and I was impressed – it was outstanding.

So I would say, go to Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม) for the khao mok (ข้าวหมก), but if you order the khao soi (ข้าวซอย), just know that it’s quite a mild version. I prefer the khao soi here.

For myself, I think Khao Soi Islam is a restaurant in Chiang Mai you shouldn’t miss singlehandedly due to their biryani.

Khao Soi Islam (ร้านข้าวซอยอิสลาม)

Address: Thanon Charoenprathet Soi 1, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Phone: 053-271484, 08-2392-0142
Open hours: 10 am – 6 pm from Saturday – Thursday, closed on Friday
Prices: About 30 – 50 THB per dish

ที่อยู่ เจริญประเทศ ซอย 1 ถนนช้างคลาน ตรงข้ามเดอะพลาซ่า, เชียงใหม่
โทร. 053-271484, 08-2392-0142
เปิดบริการ 10:00-18:00 หยุดทุกวันศุกร์(วันเข้าสุเหร่า)

How to get there: Khao Soi Islam is located on Soi 1 of Charoenprathet road. You can either take a rot songthaew (public mini truck) to the restaurant, or from central Chiang Mai or the night bazaar area, you can walk there.

Check out the map below (scroll down until you see Khao Soi Islam and click on it).



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  • Matt

    8 months ago

    Hey Mark!
    Just leaving a few lines here to thank you for the tip – went to Khao Soi Islam two days in a row for lunch (they didn’t have Khao Mok the first time, so obviously I had to come back) and everything I had there was really good. But the Khao Mok Neua – incredible! Well worth the second visit and possibly the best plate of rice I’ve had in this lifetime!
    To all the farangs: they have an English menu, so it’s super easy – go there and eat all the food!
    Best, Matt

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Matt, awesome to hear that, haha that makes so happy to hear that it was possibly the best plate of rice you’ve ever had, absolutely awesome, glad you enjoyed it!

  • James Schipper

    2 years ago

    I had to have both since you said they were both good. I was a bit stuffed, but someone has to double-check your reviews :-D

  • Kul

    3 years ago

    Your taste is hotter than my understand.
    This restaurant, I love to put a lot of pickle Mustard Green and roasted chili sauce.
    Do you try “Pa Pa Sare” (ปา ปา แซ)?
    It’s more strong taste than Kao Soy.
    It’s come with red broth.
    Kul

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Kul, great to hear from you, thank you for reading. No I have never tried ปา ปา แซ. Do you know a good place to try it in Chiang Mai? Kop khun krap!

  • Maeping

    3 years ago

    great post Mark its make me hungry

  • Maria Falvey

    3 years ago

    All the dishes look wonderful Mark, but it’s a little chilly (40F) and cloudy (snowed last night) so your bowl of khao soi neua looks the best to me. Also love that they have kept with the original recipe. Just think how much history each bowl holds.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Maria, thank you very much for reading. Wow, snowed last night, yes a warming bowl of khao soi would be perfect.