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.
‘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.
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).
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.
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.
‘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.)