Bangkok's Best Street-side Khao Mok Gai (Thai-style Biryani Rice with Chicken)
Our favorite street-side places for a spot of khao mok gai.
The owner-uncle might not be the most gentle and warm, but look past the grumpy service and you’ll realize the food here really is up there with the best. The khao mok (B50) is moist and aromatic—everything you need the dish to be. There’s a reason the place is more than 50 years old and now run by the second generation. Another dish not to be missed is the massaman (curry with beef, B60)—one of the best in town. The generous serving of beef is tender and the curry very rich and flavorful.
In front of Nakhon Kuenkan Soi 6, Phrapradaeng, 02-462-5983. Open daily 7am-4:30pm
This place is easy to miss amid the surrounding hustle and bustle. It’s situated down a side alley just past the 7-Eleven on Tani Road, on the other side of Rambutri. Look out for the sign in Thai only (non-readers can spot it by the red color and crescent and star logo). Seating is actually quite ample, but first you have to negotiate your way past their always-busy, street-side kitchen. The beef satay (B45), ox tail (B60) and khao mok gai (B40) are the highlights, and their beef noodle soup is super savory and chock-full of succulent chunks of beef.
178 Tanee Rd., 02-282-6378. Open daily 9am-10pm
Ahmad is the real deal for khao mok (B50): fragant, not too fatty, with great rice and tender meat. The beef or chicken over rice goes great with a hearty bowl of oxtail soup. (If you prefer goat meat, khao mok pae [B200] is available only on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.) Don’t forget to try the curries, too, while you’re there.
Rama 9 Rd., 081-811-4601, 089-076-7610. Open daily 9am-3pm
Hidden among the many trolleys, this nameless khao mok gai stall draws in crowds of hunger-struck office workers at lunchtime. Their khao mok gai (B30) comes with a chicken drumstick, slices of cucumber and a smattering of fried chopped onions. The rice, though sometimes a bit too dry, is aromatic and well-seasoned and the chicken tender. Despite its look, the accompanying sauce is sour, not sweet, and a good complement. They also serve a sour and spicy chicken soup (B30), which is a must-have and the perfect way to wash down the khao mok gai.
Soi Convent (in front of Bua Restaurant), Silom Rd., 086-042-4645. Open Mon-Sat 11am-5pm
A list of the best khao mok gai isn’t complete without Khao Mok Gai Siam. Even though their many branches are situated around the outskirts of Bangkok, we think it’s definitely worth the trek. The chicken in the dish is very moist, fall-off-the-bone tender, and covered with spices. Of course, you should have it with guay tiew gaeng (noodles in curry, B35) to stock up on energy for the long drive back.
181/115 Sanambinnam Rd., 02-968-7447. Open daily 8am-4pm