Koyi Chicken Rice Chiang Mai is an unpretentious little café located on Sirimangkalajarn Road near Chiang Mai University. Recommended by Michelin, it serves mouth-watering boiled chicken at a ridiculously low price. While the surroundings are simple, the service is quick and efficient. As for the chicken, it is succulent, tender, and delicious. Best of all? There are no bones!
The Back Story
As I strolled down Sirimangkalajarn Road in an off-the-beaten-track part of Chiang Mai, Thailand, a sign advertising chicken and rice caught my eye. It said simply, Michelin Guide 2020 2021 2022.
It was early morning. And I thought I might return for dinner.
Unfortunately, when I returned several hours later, the place was closed. So I assumed it might have fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, many businesses – especially restaurants – had gone out of business because of the three-year crisis.
So I was delighted when I walked past the following day at high noon to discover a gaggle of Grab drivers clustered outside the café waiting to pick up deliveries. Apparently, the unpretentious little eatery only opened for lunch.
When I went inside, I was asked to place my order first and then wait to be seated. So I sat down.
But the hostess didn’t hand me a menu. Instead, she held up a tablet. And she asked me what I wanted: boiled chicken or fried chicken.
There might have been one or two more choices on the menu. But I didn’t catch what they were. I knew what I wanted: the boiled chicken, assuming it would be similar to the Hainan chicken I’ve enjoyed in Hong Kong, Singapore. and Hainan Island.
My only concern was: would there be bones? Many chefs hack through the chicken with a cleaver, leaving bone fragments and gristle behind, which I detest. I don’t enjoy having to “play” with my food. I don’t care how good it tastes!
My Mouth-watering Lunch
When my plate of mouth-watering chicken arrived, I was delighted to discover that the bones had been carefully removed. It was pure meat!
Not only were there were no bones. More importantly, there were no bone fragments. And there was no gristle. To clarify, there was just tender, succulent, and absolutely delicious meat.
And it was paired with absolutely perfectly cooked jasmine rice, a couple of slices of cucumber, and a piece of brown tofu, which I assume was made with chicken stock.
A bowl of delicious clear broth accompanied the chicken. And I assume it was made from those carefully removed bones.
Finally, there were three plastic bottles of dipping sauce, with three distinct flavours: sweet, salty, and spicey.
There were simple wooden tables with simple wooden benches. Other than a couple of large photographs hanging on the walls, there was little decoration.
I guess, the best adjective to describe the place would have to be “unpretentious:”. This eatery was all about food.
The wait was short, the service was efficient, and the food was absolutely delicious. When I was presented with the bill, my mouth dropped open. A large order of boiled chicken with broth came to paltry 45 baht, or US$l.35.
No wonder there were so many takeouts and and deliveries! This place obviously has a loyal following.
Considering the price and the quality, I would have to give Koyi Chicken Rice Chiang Mai two enthusiastic thumbs up!
Koyi Chicken Rice Chiang Mai – Sirimangkalajarn Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
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