Satay, khao man gai, khao man gai tod, khao and a variety of dips, sauces and soups filled our tables at a hole-in-the-wall hawker eatery in Chiang Mai. We’ve been eating nothing but fine Thai cuisine on posh restaurants and hotels the past few days that this was actually a refreshing treat for us.
Well, okay I don’t know about my companions but I love eating on these kinds of places. I love having meals where the locals do. Not only do you get to taste the real local flavor of the place but you also got to save a bit on your travel funds. Food in these places are unbelievably cheap.
After visiting the nearby Lanna Folk Museum, our host decided to finally treat us to Chiang Mai’s street food scene. Gosh, I was so waiting for this. We went to a slew of hawkers along Intrawarorot Road, which were just a few blocks away from the museum. They sat us on one of the empty tables and declared that this is the best street eat in the city.
I have no idea what the name of the restaurant is, but I asked one of our hosts to try and translate it for us; Khait Oa Cha, he said. They specialize in Hainanese chicken, pork satay and crispy fried chicken. And as their small sign says, they’ve been at it since 1957.
There’s a good crowd inside the open-aired eatery, I guess, it must indeed be a good place to have lunch.
While waiting for our meal to arrive, I watched as they cook their pork satay on a grill right by the sidewalk; a common practice among Asian food places.
It wasn’t long before I was being called back inside, our lunch was ready.
Our table overflowed with local Thai dishes we have to put two tables together just to fit them all.
The pork satay was like all satay, excellent with the accompanying peanut sauce. The khao man gai tod, or simply chopped fried chicken with rice was also superb. I like how crunchy it was and how flavorful it is when dipped on its sauce.
But the show stealer for me was the khao man gai or Hainanese chicken rice. I never did like this dish from the numerous times I’ve tried it in the past, but this one was just the bomb. Besides chicken, the dish is mixed with innards and blood pudding. It went perfectly well with its dip too.
For desserts we found a coconut ice cream stall just beside the eatery. I remember the first time I had this at one of the floating markets in Thailand and it was utterly delicious. It was just too bad that this one didn’t live up to my expectations.
We were all quite full and we made an absolute mess of our table. Cheap, street-cooked, weird Thai food. I absolutely loved every bite of it.
Khait Oa Cha Hainanese Chicken Rice & Satay
Address: Intrawarorot Road, Muang Chiang District,
Changmai, Thailand – Near the Three Kings
GPS Coordinates Map: 18°47'23.1"N 98°59'10.3"E