Food Lifestyle

Kao Soy Nimman Restaurant Chiang Mai

Kao Soy Nimman is one of Chiang Mai’s busiest and most frequented restaurants, serving very good food, in particular, the historic yellow noodle soup, khao soi.

Photo: Chomchanok Boonpradit

Kao Soy Nimman is an exceptionally busy restaurant, in particular at lunchtime, whereby a gaggle of people can be observed waiting in front of this celebrated eatery, scrolling through their fashionable phones while waiting for a table to become finally available. The singular reputation of this household stems from serving consistently good food, as well as, and emphasis on the latter, for being frequented by sojourning celebrities from Bangkok; evident from the many proud photographs decorating one of the obvious walls. The seating options are mostly outdoors, though there is a small air-conditioned room for those who are lucky or made the good judgement of reserving ahead.

The signature dish of this institution is of course the namesake “khao soi”; though the menu here offers an impressive array of variations and fusions of this historic yellow-noodle soup. To compare the texture and tastes of that which is served here to those prepared in other, more traditional kitchens, it could be said, at least by the mouth of this humble author and food appreciator, that both the stock and yellow noodles at Kao Soy Nimman feel and tastes a bit “lighter” than those places that implement floury noodles and stock rich enough to be on the verge of calorific. In other words, it’s a “lite” version of khao soi, but one in which honors all the good flavors ascribed to this esteemed bowl of noodle soup. And thus yes, this makes it worth the queuing time.

By Boripat Lebel

Boripat Lebel is a research coordinator at the Unit for Social and Environmental Research at Chiang Mai University. He authored the eBook “A Vomit of Diamonds.” Boripat can also be found on LinkedIn .