We had booked several tours during our stay in Chiang Mai, particularly early on in our stay because we had so much we wanted to explore. These tours started early in the day and lasted sometimes 12 hours and to avoid being stuck on the road late at night and keep our driver out for too long, we agreed to get started as early as possible in the mornings (between 7:30am – 8am, which is not common vacation behavior) As a result, we need a quick, cheap, filling, delicious and nearby breakfast location. The shops directly close to our hotel weren’t open that early and we wanted to avoid eating at the hotel itself since it appeared to be more Chinese/American influenced to cater to the tourists. We were in search of a more local taste.
Early on our first morning, I quickly looked up options on my phone and noted some shops down the road from us. I wasn’t entirely sure which would be open and what would be best to eat but the few pictures on the phone seemed promising. I had also vaguely remembered seeing it on a video with Mark Weins (he’s a common theme to our Thailand adventures and our unofficial tour guide – particularly with food). Two roads down from us made it a perfect option for a close by meal, especially since as the days went on we became lazier in the mornings, worn out from our day adventures. As I look it up on the map, the name shows up as ‘Kiet Ocha Khao Man Kai’ and specialized in Satay and Chicken Rice ‘khao man gai’ (both boiled and fried). We visited during the week days and in the very first hours of the morning so we didn’t face any crowds or delays in food. Even by the time we finished our meal, there were still plenty of seats available. You didn’t feel rushed or pressured to buy more or harassed in any way. It was a great environment for eating. And because we were some of the first patrons of the day, everything appeared to be fresh for the start of the day.
There is an English menu and pictures to point at to get your order across though we had no trouble relaying our choices. We ate here twice (maybe even a third, unphotographed time) because David fell in love with the simplicity of the meal. It was filling without being overwhelming. We often got a plate of rice each, and shared plates of satay, fried and boiled chicken and opted to keep the skin on (although you can ask to have it removed). The meals came along with peanut sauce for the satay, chilies, cucumbers, raw onions (my fav) and bowls of chicken soup each. We tried the coffee and thai iced tea as well (both were quite sweet but delicious). I didn’t enjoy the fried chicken as much because I was so used to the classic of boiled chicken instead. It’s the kind of meal that you enjoy so much, even though you’re completely full, you wish you could eat just a bit more.
Kiet Ocha Khao Man Kai
Address: 41-43 Intrawarorot Rd, ตำบล ศรีภูมิ Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Open hours: 6am – 3pm
Phone: +66 53 327 263
Prices: About 100 THB per plate