What's your style? Do you seek 5 star service at super clean tables in air conditioning while sampling the "exotic flavors" of Thailand? If so, you'll struggle with Khao Soi Lam Duan. It's not very clean and it's not "exotic" -it's just a local place serving delicious spicy curry soup.
If, on the other hand, you desire to experience Thailand the way Thai people do then Khao Soi Lam Duan is an awesome place to eat. Although to be honest I have mixed feelings about saying that because this restaurant has been largely unknown to the tourist crowd and it's already packed every day as it is. During lunch hour from 12-1pm it can be hard to get a table. Come before or after the rush if you can.
Khao Soi Lam Duan is where locals from all over Chiang Mai, and even Thailand, come to enjoy one of the signature dishes of Chiang Mai- Khao Soi noodles. Most patrons are Thai families or groups of friends. It's a famous place to eat Khao Soi. Even the princess herself, HRM Sirindhorn, ate here years ago. The owners have preserved the chair in which the princess sat, covering it in plastic and elevating it above all the other chairs in the establishment.
What to expect:
NO MENU- just a list on the wall announcing an assortment of cold drinks and two sizes for your noodles- regular and large. You can choose chicken or pork. Each bowl comes with a side dish of picked greens, red onions and lime. These days one bowl is going for 35-40 baht. If you come with a group order satay with peanut sauce and a plate of fried squash. Although to be honest, sometimes the fried squash has been sitting a while and it's not so tasty. That's all part of the experience, ok?
GOOD FRUIT SHAKES. They make a killer mango shake for 50 baht.
LITTLE ENGLISH SPOKEN. Again, this is a LOCAL restaurant catering to THAI speakers. The owners and their staff are hard working people who have run an honest business for decades. If you do eat here be gracious. They're not expecting an influx of foreign speakers to their restaurant.
Will you see cockroaches here? Likely.
Will the tablecloths be less than spotless? Guaranteed.
Could the floor use a good scrubbing and the rafters a serious sweeping? Most certainly.
Are the bowls dishes washed in hot water in a sanitary kitchen? I highly doubt it.
If any of this bothers you do not come here. Instead go to "Just Khao Soi" in town where you'll get the same curry noodles with their accompaniments served artfully on a plate in a clean environment. If however you want to patronize a truly Thai restaurant and can come prepared to enjoy the local experience AS IS without being critical you will enjoy some very good food.
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