Northern Thai food in Ari
Travelling around Thailand is a good way to try all sorts of traditional dishes from different regions. Personally, northern Thailand is one of my favourite places to visit because of its cooling winter weather from November to February. Aside from that, I always make time to feast on northern dishes like khao soi gai (chicken curry noodles), which is a top pick amongst both locals and foreigners.
But if you find yourself craving this dish while in Bangkok, don’t worry. Ongtong Khaosoi in Ari offers Michelin recommended northern recipes with ingredients delivered directly from Chiang Mai province.
The ambience at Ongtong Khaosoi
Ongtong is a northern Thai word that means liveliness, or something that refers to a light yellow colour. You can see this inspiration all over the store, which has a nice pastel yellow theme that adds a soothing ambience to the place.
Owner Dulyawit “Top” Khuaiphai also made the space have a cosier feel by adding wooden furniture and warm light bulbs to adorn the walls.
We recommend avoiding lunch hours around noon as the queue is longer. However, the shop has 2 storeys so there is more space – though it was packed with office workers in the mid-afternoon. There are also delivery drivers constantly collecting orders, which showed us just how popular this spot was!
Signature dishes to try
They’ve gotten a Michelin award for a reason, so make sure to try their signature curry noodles, Khaosoi (฿89 – ฿109, ~USD2.90 – 3.56) – it’s made with a recipe passed down from Top’s grandmother.
This dish features flat egg noodles in a curry soup, topped with fried noodle bits to add more texture to the dish. For meat, customers can choose from these options: chicken (฿89, ~USD2.90), pork (฿89, ~USD2.90), beef (฿99, ~USD3.23), or beef shank (฿109, ~USD3.56) for something more premium.
In the past, people would thresh wheat flour, then flatten and slice the dough into boiling water. The word “Khaosoi” is actually made up of 2 words – “Khao”, which refers to noodles made from wheat, and “Soi”, meaning slice into pieces.
Made from coconut milk and yellow curry paste, the soup was creamy and slightly spicy. You’ll also get a side of pickles, diced red onion, chilli paste, and lime, which you can add to your noodles according to taste.
Khaosoi Kua Hang with Beef Shank
Ther store gives the traditional soup-based Khaosoi a modern twist with it’s dry Khaosoi Kua Hang. These stir-fried egg noodles come with a selection of chicken (฿99, ~USD3.23), pork (฿99, ~USD3.23), beef (฿109, ~USD3.56), and beef shank (฿119, ~USD3.88). We went with beef shank, which was nice and tender. The dish is has a nice “roasted” smell to it too.
Khaosoi Pad Sai Ua
For something more traditional, go for the Khaosoi Pad Sai Ua (฿109, ~USD3.56) – stir-fried noodles with northern Thai-style sausage, called Sai Ua. This is made from pork and curry paste, which is then grilled on low heat. The sausage is really flavourful and goes very well with the khaosoi noodles. Plus, it brings 2 iconic northern dishes together.
If you want to try Sai Ua on its own, you can get it as a side for ฿89 (~USD2.90).
Another side we ordered was Fried Pork with Green Chilli Dip (฿99, ~USD3.23). The chilli dip is also known as Nam Prik Noom and is popular in northern Thai cuisine. Made from grilled green chilli, red shallot, and garlic, this has just the right amount of spice and doesn’t burn your tongue off.
Fried Pork with Green Chilli Dip
We recommend getting this with some sticky rice to finish the dish off.
To wash it all down, order their signature drink, Ongtong (฿45, ~USD1.47) – a unique combination of chrysanthemum tea and fresh milk! It was refreshing and helped with the spicier dishes. There are other herbal drinks like roselle tea, lemongrass, and butterfly pea juice which go for ฿45 (~USD1.47) too.
Ongtong Khaosoi – affordable and delicious food
Each region in Thailand has traditional and unique recipes, with many of them being passed down through generations. But whether traditional or with a modern touch, Ongtong Khaosoi’s dishes are hearty and authentic.
If you’re looking to try northern cuisine for the first time, Ongtong Khaosoi is a good place to visit. The store has 2 branches at Ari and Circle Ratchapruk, and some dishes are seasonal – so keep up with their Facebook for updates!
Ongtong Khaosoi at Ari
Address: 21 Soi Pahonyothin 7 (near Ari Soi 1), Pahonyothin Rd., Phrayathai, Samsen Nai, Bangkok 10400.
Nearest train station: Ari BTS Station (Exit 3)
Opening hours: 10:30AM-9PM
Telephone: +66 02 003 5254
Ongtong Khaosoi at The Circle Ratchapruk
Address: 39 Ratchapruk Rd., Bangramad, Talingchan, Bangkok 10170.
Nearest train station: 8 minutes by car from Bangwa BTS Station (Exit)
Opening hours: 10AM-10PM
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