Khao San Road

Last month, I finally braved the line at Khao San Road for dinner. I was catching up with a vegetarian friend and I loved that their vegan menu closely resembled their regular one. The restaurant opens at 5pm for dinner, we arrived at 5:30pm and there was already a line outside.

Atmosphere: While not loud, the noise level inside Khao San Road was boisterous. My friend and I were lucky to get a table for two as many of the tables were being shared between groups of diners. Lighting inside was dim but I liked the open store front that streamed in fresh air and sunlight. The feel was casual and relaxed.

Service: Our server was efficient and professional. She didn’t smile but as she took our order she advised us to forgo the egg noodle topping on the Khao Soi to make the dish vegan. When the Fresh Rolls arrived, I was super impressed with the tasty chicken substitute. Turns out, that was the non-vegetarian version of the dish (oops). Our server noticed right away, exchanged the dish and took it off of our bill.

Food: We started our meal with two Thai Iced Teas. The drinks were rich, creamy, made with condensed milk and served in a tall glass. Really a must order. For starters, we ordered the fresh rolls and squash fritters . To be honest, the non vegetarian version of the fresh rolls (pictured) were a lot tastier. Both used thin rice wrapper and fresh vegetables, but I liked the savoury richness of the chicken sausage. The vegetarian version replaces the sausage with more lettuce, no meat substitute. Either way, the chlli tamarind sauce was a great dipping sauce, tangy, sweet and a hint of spice.

The squash fritters were amazing. To start, I was awed by the portion size and then each crispy bite was like heaven. The squash was wonderfully sweet, the batter crispy and another great dipping sauce. I would’ve been happy with this dish alone as dinner and was pretty full before our entrees even arrived. Basically, this is another must order dish.

We ordered two mains to split between the two of us and ended up taking 80% of them home. I chose the Three Flavours Pad Thai and my friend picked the Vegan Khao Soi. The pad thai had heat, but it was so good that I kept eating and eventually my tongue and lips adjusted to being on fire. The texture of the noodle was great, sticky but not stuck together and fully incorporated with the other ingredients. Flavours were strong and rich. I could really taste the tamarind. Compared to the pad thai I had at Sukho Thai, I preferred this plate more. Similarly, the Khao Soi curry had powerful flavours. The tofu pieces were plentiful and I loved the thick, even consistency of the curry. Without the crispy egg noodles, we didn’t have any carbs to soak up the curry. I would’ve loved a bowl of rice alongside to soak up the golden goodness.

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