Alas, even though Chiang Mai is the home of khao soi, that doesn’t mean that every bowl is going to be great.
Case in point: Khao Soi Islam Restaurant. It’s a well known place, but the khao soi they’re serving is fairly middling.
Now, don’t get me wrong — it’s actually still quite tasty. But khao soi is an amazing dish, and this isn’t a great version of it.
The broth is spicy and tasty, but it lacks the richness and the complexity that makes a top-shelf bowl so amazing.
The chunks of chicken breast are overcooked and dry, and the crispy noodles on top get soggy almost instantly. They also have a very instant noodle quality to them; I’m assuming they buy them pre-fried rather than frying them themselves. And the noodles in the soup are slightly softer than they should be.
Still, I think khao soi is like pizza — even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. I had a bunch of problems with this particular bowl, and I still enjoyed eating it.
How to find it: This is generally referred to online as “Khao Soi Muslim Noodles,” but the sign actually says “Khao Soi Islam Restaurant.”