Much to the disappointment of anyone who's visited Chiang Mai, it's rare to find Northern Thai food in Bangkok, let alone good Northern Thai food. But there are exceptions to the rule. And that exception is Hann Khao Soi, one of the best places in Bangkok to find the beloved khao soi curry noodles.
Not being the coconut growing region of Thailand, little of Northern Thai cuisine includes the ingredient. Khao soi does though along with a spicy paste of Thai chillies, shallots, ginger, coriander, turmeric, coriander and curry powder creating a wonderfully fragrant and creamy broth. Chicken legs are the traditional meat of choice, though there's a beef version here too.
Its origins lie not in the mountainous lands of the North, but in Myanmar and the Burmese who ruled over the region, then known as the Lanna Kingdom, for over two centuries.
The curried chicken noodles are finished with pickled mustard greens and raw slices of shallots which help to cut through the creaminess, roasted chilli paste add depth and heat, and bean sprouts and deep-fried crispy egg noodles for some welcome crunch.
The hole-in-the-wall joint is easy to spot by the traditional clay pots that line up along the entrance, a place that is a tad clinical and uninspiring, but comfortable enough. The service, efficient and polite.
It's not often visited by farang, but there is a useful translation on the menu. A bowl of the good stuff here is just 50 THB (around US $1.50).