Raan Po Jai: Delicious Northern Thai-Style Egg Noodles in Aromatic Curry Soup, in Chiang Rai, Thailand

If you are in Thailand’s scenic northernmost province of Chiang Rai and would like to sample some local noodles at a very convenient location downtown, then ‘Raan Po Jai’ (ร้านพอใจ) would be a perfect place for you.

A front view of 'Raan Po Jai', in downtown district of Chiang Rai town, Chiang Rai province, Thailand.

Raan Po Jai‘ (ร้านพอใจ) is a local restaurant in the town of Chiang Rai which offers delicious northern Thai-style noodles and sausages. This popular dining venue is usually crowded and busy especially during lunchtime.

Shopkeepers in Raan Po Jai busy preparing the restaurant's food during lunchtime. In Chiang Rai province, Thailand.

The restaurant specializes in tasty northern-style egg noodles in an aromatic curry soup known as ‘Khao Soi(ข้าวซอย), in which there are two versions for diners to choose: (1) egg noodles in a mild aromatic coconut curry soup, or ‘Khao Soi Nam Khati‘ (ข้าวซอยน้ำกะทิ), and (2) egg or rice noodles in an aromatic chili-based curry soup without coconut cream called ‘Khao Soi Nam Ngeow‘ (ข้าวซอยน้ำเงี้ยว). Diners have the option of choosing chicken, pork, shrimp, or fish as their choice of meat in these dishes. The restaurant’s menu also features other northern Thai specialties such as the spicy pork sausage or ‘Sai Ua‘ (ไส้อั่ว), grilled pork fillets or ‘Moo Yang‘ (หมูย่าง), and grilled northern Thai-style fermented pork sausages or ‘naem mo‘ (แหนมหม้อ).

A part of the menu list at 'Raan Po Jai' restaurant in Chiang Rai province, Thailand.

By far my favorite dish at the restaurant is the ‘Khao Soi Nam Khati’ (ข้าวซอยน้ำกะทิ), or northern Thai-style egg noodles in an aromatic coconut curry soup with choices of chicken, pork, shrimp, or fish. Garnished with lemons, chopped shallots, and slices of fermented cabbages, this is indeed among my favorite noodle dishes, whether in northern Thailand or in Bangkok.

'Khao Soi Nam Khati', or egg noodles in an aromatic coconut curry soup, at 'Raan Po Jai' restaurant, in Chiang Rai province, Thailand.

Another of my northern favorites is the ‘Naem Mo’ (แหนมหม้อ), or a thick, northern Thai-style fermented pork sausage wrapped in banana leaves. Although this delicacy is sometimes eaten raw in certain northern Thai localities, I always have them grilled or steamed (fully cooked) prior to enjoying them and would recommend this to any diner who wishes to enjoy the delicious ‘Naem Mo’. These fermented pork sausages combine perfectly with steamed sticky rice (a main staple in northern Thailand) and are often garnished with the following herbs and vegetables: thinly sliced fresh ginger, roasted peanuts, diced fresh shallots, sliced fresh chili, fresh lettuce and other vegetables of the season.

'Naem Mo', or thick fermented pork sausage, at 'Raan Po Jai' restaurant, in Chiang Rai province, Thailand.

‘Raan Po Jai’ (ร้านพอใจ) is very conveniently located in downtown Chiang Rai right behind the Wang Come Hotel (โรงแรมวังคำ), near the popular Night Bazaar evening shopping district. The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (7.00 น. – 17.00 น.), and can be reached at the following location:

‘Raan Po Jai’ Restaurant, ร้านพอใจ
Thanon Jed Yod (Behind the Wang Come Hotel), ถนนเจ็ดยอด (หลังโรงแรมวังคำ)
Muang District (Amphur Muang), อ. เมือง
Chiang Rai Province, Thailand, จังหวัด เชียงราย

Happy dining, wherever you are in Thailand and around the world!

Lat (Ratasit C.)

About latztravelandfoods

I love travelling and exploring the world around us, and to experience new cultures, adventures and cuisines. A self-declared food connoisseur who loves blogging about food and travel in Thailand and around the world! Find me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/RatasitC or also visit my Gardening Blog at http://latzgardening.wordpress.com as I bring you my latest encounters! Happy dining and travelling, wherever you are around the world!
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10 Responses to Raan Po Jai: Delicious Northern Thai-Style Egg Noodles in Aromatic Curry Soup, in Chiang Rai, Thailand

  1. You definitely has found the best Khao Soi shop in Chiang Rai. The lady who prepare the noodle is famous artist Chalermchai’s step mother and you might have noticed many reproductions of his works lining the walls on both side. The shop used to have only one unit and expanded about a year to two units. I’m a regular customer and I helped them to write the menu on the wall in English.
    Jaffee Yee, Chiang Rai

    • It’s amazing to know that you’re also a regular customer at ‘Raan Po Jai’ and also assisted them with the English menu! Although Chiang Rai has quite a few ‘khao soi’ shops both in town and in the suburbs, ‘Raan Po Jai’ has always been my favorite. And yes, I’ve noticed a lot of Ajarn Chalermchai’s work on the walls of the restaurant. Six years ago I visited the restaurant when it was still only one unit. The last time I visited early this year, it’s a lot bigger and cleaner, while the food’s still as good as ever.

  2. Dear Khun Lat:
    The best of all is that they are still selling 25 baht a bowl! Most other places are more now I believe but again I have not eaten Khao Sao in any other shops here in CR. I can also disclose to you that I supply them each week organic lemon grass grown in our own farm. Do you know that they also have khao soi kung and pla and not many other shops do?

    • Dear Khun Jaffee, it’s great to know that your farm supplies them with organic lemon grass, as I’m a fervent proponent of organic food. I try to buy organic produce and diary products whenever possible and am delighted to know this. I too hope to run an organic farm in the north someday, but know it takes a lot of time and commitment. Yes, it’s interesting that Raan Po Jai offers khao soi kung and pla. Most other places offer just chicken, beef, pork or meatballs. Raan Po Jai is definitely one of my favorite places for khao soi in Thailand, save for another place in Lampang and possibly a few more in Chiang Mai.

      • Do you know the history of this popular northern noodle? Most people believe it was brought to north Thailand by the Chinese muslims or Chin Haw from Yunnan. But I doubt it. I believe it was originally from Burma during the time north Thailand was part of their empire. When I was in Yangon March last year, I was at a local restaurant and I saw the noodle selling and it was shown on the menu exactly Khao Soi. I asked the waiter and he said Khao Soi is noodle in Burmese language. I’m still trying to verify this statement as I’m keen to do some research.

      • Yes, I am inclined to concur with you that Thailand’s ‘khao soi’ northern noodles may have its roots in Burma, especially from Shan State. This is because in Thailand ‘khao soi’ noodles are closely associated with the ethnic Tai Yais (Shans) who have a significant presence in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, and Mae Hong Son provinces. Nowadays other ethnic groups like the Muslims and Huis (Chinese Muslims) in Thailand’s north also make the dish, making this noodle’s association with the Shans (and Burma) less apparent. I have to admit that this dish remains great whoever makes them!

  3. Actually, I forgot to add that we in George Town, Penang where I was born, has a slightly similar version of Khao Soi we call Curry Mee and another one Hokkien Mee. I also suspect it has Burmese influence as Penang had a very close link with Burma during the British times. In fact I was born on Burma Road. Not sure if you read today’s LIFE section of Bangkok Post. There is a very good articles on Penang’s hawker’s food on page 5. You may also wish to read CK Lam’s food blog.

    • I’ve visited Penang 2 times, and would love to visit the place again. I found Penang to be incredibly vibrant, diverse, and colorful. You can find Chinese, Indians, and Malays with their colorful foods and culture – a lively microcosm of Asia on a single island. I found the architecture, temples, churches, and mosques on Penang to be among the most unique and colorful. During my last trip to Penang, I also visited the Thai and Burmese Buddhist temples. And this impressive feeling extends to Penang’s plethora of food – I would would love to try the Curry Mee, Laksa, and Malacca-style Hainanese chicken with rice. I hope to visit Penang again soon.

      • Do let me know if you plan to go. I may be there next month for SKAL Asia Congress. I’m the PR & Communication Director of Skal Chiang Mai & North Thailand (http://skalchiangmai.com/members_committee.html). Our Asia congress will be participated by members all over Asia and that is a good time to visit too if you are interested to meet hotel and travel trade people. Let me know if you need help. You can email me directly to the email address given on the Skal website. Cheers.

      • Thank you very much! I will keep in touch with you should I travel to Penang. But any planned trip to Malaysia looks to be after June, as I’ll have a few trips to other parts of Thailand coming up within the next 2 months. Thanks again!

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