Sabai Jai Gai Yang – Famous Grilled Chicken Isan Restaurant at Ekkamai

By Mark Wiens 22 Comments
Sabai Jai Gai Yang - Ekkamai Isan Restaurant
Sabai Jai Gai Yang – Ekkamai Isan Restaurant

Central Sukhumvit Road (Nana to Ekkamai) has been taken over by condos, hotels, and shopping centers – everywhere you look there’s a new high rise sprouting up.

As development continues, family run Thai restaurants are becoming fewer, while international restaurants and air-conditioned food courts, like the Terminal 21 food court, are becoming more common.

There are gems that have survived, like Yong Lee, the shophouse Thai Chinese restaurant for instance. But there are less and less comfortable everyday restaurant options.

Sabai Jai Gai Yang (สบายใจ ไก่ย่าง), which is also known as Baan Tawan Gai Yang, is a long standing neighborhood Thai restaurant located just a 10 minute walk down Ekkamai road.

It’s not exactly a family run home style establishment (it’s grown quite large now), but it’s still open air (though they do have an air conditioned room), comfortable and easy going.

Though they serve Isan food in general, the menu really has a broad range of Thai cuisine, including some southern Thai dishes as well.

Sabai jai gai yang
Golden roasted, great flavor, and juicy!

If a restaurant includes a dish within their name, while it’s not mandatory, it’s a bit of an indicator that they may make that particular dish quite well (at least we can accurately hope that).

Grilled chicken (gai yang ไก่ย่าง) being the second part of their name, makes it a rather safe bet.

And you won’t be dissapointed with the grilled chicken at Sabai Jai Gai Yang.

The piece I was served was cooked just right, not dry, and flavored just right. It was served along with condiments that included fragrant fried onions, sweet and sour nam jim gai yang (Thai chicken sauce), and another dry crushed chili Isan sauce.

Price – 1/2 chicken 80 THB

Restaurants at Ekkamai
Som tam Thai (green papaya salad ส้มตำไทย)

The som tam Thai (green papaya salad ส้มตำไทย), although being quite on the mild side of chili, was fresh and nicely balanced.

Tom yum goong nam khon (tom yum soup with shrimp - clear soup version ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำใส)
Tom yum goong nam khon (tom yum soup with shrimp – clear soup version ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำใส)

I was impressed by their tom yum goong nam sai (tom yum soup with shrimp – clear soup version ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำใส).

Big shell-on prawns and a nice medley of vegetables filled the soup. But it was the broth that I really enjoyed, very strongly flavored with lots of galangal and lemongrass – more so than other tom yum’s. From the potent galangal, the soup gave a little sting going down the throat.

Price – 120 THB

Larb woon sen - a nice twist on the normal pure pork larb
Larb woon sen – a nice twist on the normal pure pork larb

To switch up the normally larb (Isan minced pork salad) we ordered larb woon sen, mungbean glass noodles mixed into a salad including minced pork, shrimp, red onions, garlic and a few garnishing herbs.

It was pretty good, I liked the addition of glass noodles so it wasn’t pure pork, like the common larb.

Price – 90 THB

Yam pla duk foo (fried catfish with sauce ยำปลาดุกฟู)
Yam pla duk foo (fried catfish with sauce ยำปลาดุกฟู)

The yam pla duk foo (fried catfish with sauce ยำปลาดุกฟู) could have been a little fluffier, but it was crispy and the sauce was nicely sour.

Price – 120 THB

Pad sataw (ผัดสะตอ) - One of the world's best ingredients
Pad sataw (ผัดสะตอ) – One of the world’s best ingredients

As one of my favorite ingredients in the entire world, it’s virtually impossible for me to see stink beans on any menu, and not order them. So I did.

It was good, but a little on the sweeter side for my taste – I would have preferred the pad sataw a little on the spicier side of the spectrum. That being said, you can’t possibly go wrong with a plate of stir fried pad sataw (ผัดสะตอ).

Price – 160 THB

The Bottom Line

Sabai Jai Gai Yang (สบายใจ ไก่ย่าง) is an attractive restaurant for a number of reasons. One is that it’s located in the Ekkamai neighborhood where there are less and less local dining options.

Another is that the menu includes just about all genres of Thai food and allows you to order a diverse meal. The giant menu is filled with photos and written in both Thai and English, making it easy for both Thais and foreigners to order a feast.

The ambiance is such that you can just show up in gym shorts or a tank top to enjoy a meal – laid back, nothing fancy, just comfortable.

Prices are a little on the high side in my opinion, but you pay for location, convenience and their good reputation.

Sabai Jai Gai Yang (สบายใจ ไก่ย่าง) – Ekkamai

Prices: They are not street food prices, it’s more sit down restaurant prices where you’re likely to spend 150 – 250 THB per person for a well rounded meal
Hours: 10 am – 12 midnight daily
Address: Ekamai Soi 1

65 ถ.สุขุมวิท63 ซ.เอกมัย1 แขวง คลองตันเหนือ เขต วัฒนา กทม. 10110
โทร. 02-7142622

Sabai Jai Gai Yang (สบายใจ ไก่ย่าง) - Ekkamai
Sabai Jai Gai Yang (สบายใจ ไก่ย่าง) – Ekkamai

How to Get There

The easiest way to get there is by taking the BTS Skytrain to Ekkamai Station.

Take the exit towards Ekkamai road (also known as Sukhumvit 63) and walk straight until you reach Soi 1. Though it’s the 1st Soi, it’s probably about 1.5 kilometers or so down the road – so a good 10 minute walk.

Sabai Jai Gai Yang is across the street from Health Land Spa, on the left hand side of the road.


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22 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Marlon

    9 months ago

    I read on another article that they don’t serve khao niow. Is this true? That would be a deal breaker. Isaan food without sticky rice, is like peanut butter and no jelly.

    • Mark Wiens

      9 months ago

      Hi Marlon, I’m pretty sure they serve khao neow at least the last time I was there. Thanks!

  • Joy

    3 years ago

    Hello Mark, I have been watching your videos in youtube before I came here in Bangkok. I must say, your videos did helped me a lot to know more about the city. We are just about to go to Sabai Jai Gai Yang restaurant today and I do not have any idea what type of restaurant this is, all I know is that it’ll probably be Thai food because of the name. However, as I surf the internet, I found your article, now I know what will be in there when we get there later. Thank you very much. Keep it up!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Joy, great to hear from you, thank you for your kind words. Hope you are enjoying Bangkok and all the food.

  • Johnny

    3 years ago

    Mark, firstly may I thank you for your amazing blogs and youtube videos, our trip to Bangkok would not have been the same without your guidance and advice. This was our first visit and we absolutely LOVE Thailand…mainly because of the amazing food, recommended by YOU! Our whole trip was planned around your food blogs and boy were we happy to have followed your guidance!! Me and my girlfriend (now Fiance) visited Sabai Jai Gai Yang last year on our trip, this grilled chicken has left a permanent picturesque visual/smelling/tasting memory imprint of the tastiest, juiciest, moistest, flavoursome, saliva drawing succulence and one of the most enjoyable meals of my life. We went all out hitting this place for lunch, ensuring we resisted any temptation from the stalls we passed prior to our arrival. From the amazing reviews read, we had no doubt that our only option was to order a WHOLE chicken between the two of us. We also went for extras – papaya salad, morning glory, tom yum gong, spare ribs and rice. When the chicken arrived it did look good, but it looked like a decent grilled chicken…what did we know! When that chicken hit our mouths, it was our natural reaction to pull the one and only awesome Mark Wien’s tasty food of approval face!! Now we know why you do it, its natural when you have access to such tasty food!! We ate it ALL and walked out laughing at such great value and bellies as full as can be. I can only dream of such awesome grilled chicken back in the UK. However, we will be returning to Bangkok for a short trip early next year so my dream will become reality once again! Sorry for the long story, but wanted to show my appreciation for your blogs, keep up the great work and don’t stop!! Thanks, Johnny

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Johnny, thank you so much for the kind comment, and I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the food in Thailand. Your descriptions were amazing, making me so hungry. Haha, yes the tasty food face of approval, awesome. Thanks again for your support, I really appreciate it.

  • Francis

    3 years ago

    Maybe a bit of a strange question..but whould you guess that this place would allow you to bring your own bottle of booze? I for instance like to drink Varinthip..but they don’t serve it at most places.
    And on the same subject…what are your thoughts about bringing your own drinks and corkage to Thai restaurants? I know that at the streetfood stands it’s no problem, but how about local Thai restaurants?
    Thanks, Francis.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Francis, I think you could probably get away with bringing your own booze at this place, as long as you buy plenty of food. But at other nicer sit down restaurants, it really all depends. I think at many Thai restaurants they are usually quite accommodating, as long as the restaurants is not too fancy.

  • Jack

    4 years ago

    Great review. I love on Ekkamai now and this is my favorite place. I used to live on 22, and Thong Lee was my fave there.

  • Yoel

    5 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    I love your website! Going to BKK in a couple of weeks, and I can’t make enough time to try all the places I want to go.
    One question: You list the hours for Sabai Jai Gai Yang as 10pm – midnight. Is that a typo? Should it be 10am? Are they open for lunch?
    Thanks,
    Yoel

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Yoel, good to hear you’ll be coming to Bangkok and ready to eat. Thanks for catching that, yes it’s a typo, I’ll change it now, and yes they are open from 10 am for lunch. Have a great time!

  • Hans

    5 years ago

    Hi Mark, I bought your guide and it is very useful to us while we’re here, it was an excellent investment. We found this place and ordered some of the items you feature. The dishes were excellent especially the larb woon sen. Just a word of warning to diners going here – the dishes are hot hot hot with chilis so order them ‘not spicy’ (mâi pèt, not bad, huh? learned that from your guide!) and they might come into a reasonable range. And I’m certainly no wilting flower when it comes to heat – I usually can’t even sense it when most people find a dish too spicy, and all these dishes had me on fire.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Hans, thanks a lot for getting a copy of the guide and glad you had a great meal at this place. Good tip on the not spicy phrase!

  • Paul

    5 years ago

    Thanks for this Mark, this restaurant was excellent. The chicken is juicy and tasty even without the sauce but you still have to try the sauce cuz it’s awesome. You’re right, it is hard to find a good neighborhood restaurant in that area. This post really helped me out on my last 2 days in Bangkok.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Great to hear that Paul, glad you enjoyed the food here! It a nice environment and good food!

  • Jed

    5 years ago

    Excellant Mark..it’s always good to have someone like you out there to make the time and effort to let others know where good food can be found!Thanks Jed.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      You’re welcome Jed, thank you for checking out this article!