For dinner we bicycled down a back-alley to Peppermint Cafe to enjoy a delicious feast focused principally on Khao Soi (ข้าวซอย: Northern Thai Noodles) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. One of the most important purchases since we’ve arrived in Chiang Mai, have been our bicycles which have afforded us the freedom to easily navigate around the city. Although Chiang Mai certainly could be explored on foot, during the hot and rainy season, it’s a far more pleasant experience on a bicycle. Purchasing the bicycles has allowed us to visit restaurants, attractions and markets we otherwise may not have seen had we attempted to visit on foot.
This Burmese influenced dish features crispy rice (or egg) noodles, soft noodles, coconut based curry along with assorted vegetables. The name of this popular northern Thai dish literally translates as ‘cut rice’. These special traditional noodles are typically prepared at the market where you can see vendors cutting them.
Our first time trying this dish together in Chiang Mai, was at our favorite Thai restaurant, Chang Chalaad, where we enjoyed a generous sized Khantoke (Nothern Thai) feast; however, we decided to check out a restaurant that was closer to our Thai apartment near the South Gate.
As firm believers in hole in the wall style restaurants, we found a place specializing in Northern Thai cuisine. The name of the restaurant is the Peppermint Cafe and it has some of the best Northern Thai dishes we’ve tried since arriving in Chiang Mai.
One of our favorite aspects of the dish is the rich coconut curry which is similar to Massaman curry although it’s of a lighter consistency.
This dish is a popular street food option with both locals and foreigners; however, it’s difficult to find in Thai restaurants abroad.
Therefore, I highly recommend one consider heading to Northern Thailand for some delicious regional delicacies. Thai food is far more diverse than many foreigners realize and traveling around the different regions will allow one to sample dishes that deviate from the more familiar Pad Thai and Green curry.