Bangkok Michelin Street Food – Chicken Rice at Go-Ang Pratunam

A Taste of Bangkok’s Best Chicken Rice: Michelin Street Food Adventure

Hey everyone, it’s Daniel here, and today I’m joined by Cartoon. We find ourselves in the heart of Bangkok, just north of Central World, in an area called Pratunam. Our mission today? To try out Michelin-starred chicken rice from a street food vendor. This is my take on what might just be the best chicken rice in all of Bangkok.

The Thai version of chicken rice has its roots in Hainanese cuisine, much like what you’d find in Singapore or Malaysia. It features tender, steamed chicken atop rice cooked in chicken bone broth. However, what sets the Thai version apart and makes it my favorite is its punchy sauce. It’s spicier and packs a real flavor punch compared to its Singaporean counterpart.

The street food vendor we’re headed to is tucked away in a bustling corner of Patunam. You can tell it’s a popular spot by the queue of eager customers waiting in line. This particular chicken rice joint has garnered thousands of rave reviews, and I can tell you firsthand, it lives up to the hype.

They offer a range of options, but I usually opt for the larger portion because, believe me, the small portion is tiny. If you’re not from Asia or you’re simply feeling hungry, go for the large. I usually request a mix of chicken breast and thigh – my personal favorites.

After a short wait, we placed our order. Today, they didn’t have the large portion available, so we went with a half-chicken and two servings of rice. The food arrived surprisingly quickly, and we set up our little dining area on the street.

The meal begins with a delicious soup that accompanies the chicken and rice. It’s the perfect way to kickstart our dinner. The chicken, tender and flavorful, is served with skin. If you’re not used to this, you can ask for it without the skin. Personally, I enjoy the gelatinous mouthfeel and flavor that the skin adds.

The sauce is where the magic happens. It’s soy-based and carries a delightful kick of spice. There are also whole green chilies to elevate the heat and flavor. It’s a balance of salty, spicy, and a hint of herbs that makes this sauce truly magical.

The rice, cooked in chicken bone broth, is subtly flavorful. Unlike some versions in Asia, it’s not overly sweet. It’s a nice change, and I suspect it’s because of the chrysanthemum tea we’re sipping alongside our meal. This tea is said to lower body temperature and is a common accompaniment to chicken rice in this region.

As we savor the meal, we can’t help but notice the lack of air conditioning. But trust me, it’s all part of the authentic street food experience. There’s something about enjoying this meal in the bustling, humid streets of Bangkok that adds to its charm.

We finish our meal, satisfied and with our bellies full. In retrospect, the half-chicken was a bit much, unless you’re ravenously hungry. They also offer a quarter-chicken, which might be a more manageable option for most.

This place is mainly frequented by locals, giving you an authentic taste of Michelin-rated street food. The chicken here might be boneless, but it’s authentically Asian, and the flavor is unbeatable.

So, when you find yourself in Bangkok, make sure to visit this gem. Chances are, you’re already staying nearby, and you won’t want to miss out on this Michelin-starred street food adventure. It may just be the best chicken rice you’ve ever had.

Stay tuned for more food adventures, and until next time, happy eating!

Where does chicken rice come from?

Chicken rice, also known as “Hainanese chicken rice” or “khao man gai” in Thai, is a beloved and iconic dish in Southeast Asia, particularly in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and even beyond. Its history is fascinating and rich, reflecting the cultural diversity of the region.

Origins in Hainan, China: Chicken rice is believed to have originated in Hainan, China, hence the name “Hainanese chicken rice.” It was traditionally prepared by Hainanese immigrants who brought their culinary traditions with them when they settled in Southeast Asia. The dish has its roots in the Wenchang chicken and Dongshan goat dishes of Hainan, which date back centuries.

Migration to Southeast Asia: Hainanese immigrants began to arrive in Southeast Asia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They brought with them their culinary skills and adapted their traditional dishes to local ingredients and tastes. Over time, Hainanese chicken rice evolved into a unique and beloved dish in each of the countries where it settled.

Singapore and Malaysia: In Singapore and Malaysia, Hainanese chicken rice became a staple dish. It consists of fragrant rice cooked in chicken broth, accompanied by tender, poached chicken. It’s typically served with chili sauce and ginger paste. In these countries, chicken rice is widely considered a national dish and is available in hawker stalls, food courts, and even upscale restaurants.

Thailand: In Thailand, Hainanese chicken rice, known as “khao man gai,” has a distinct Thai twist. The rice is often cooked with garlic and pandan leaves, giving it a unique aroma. The chicken is poached to perfection, and it’s served with a flavorful sauce made from fermented soybeans, ginger, and Thai chilies. Thai chicken rice is known for its bold and spicy flavors.

Evolution and Variations: As Hainanese chicken rice spread throughout Southeast Asia, it continued to evolve, adapting to local tastes and preferences. Each country put its spin on the dish, resulting in various regional variations. Some versions are known for their spice, while others emphasize the fragrance of the rice or the quality of the chicken.

Popularity and Cultural Significance: Chicken rice has become more than just a dish; it’s a symbol of cultural exchange and adaptation. It’s often considered comfort food, and people from all walks of life enjoy it. In Singapore and Malaysia, it’s common to see long queues at hawker stalls, indicating its immense popularity.

In conclusion, the history of chicken rice is a testament to the migration of people and their culinary traditions. What started as a simple dish in Hainan, China, has transformed into a beloved and diverse culinary phenomenon in Southeast Asia, reflecting the region’s rich cultural tapestry. Today, it’s not just a meal; it’s a cultural experience that brings people together across borders and generations.