ICYMI: Khao Soi at Ayara Thai

ayarathaiEvery country that I’m familiar with has cuisine that varies widely. This is usually based on the geographic location within the country because it is influenced on climate, types of vegetables, animals indigenous to the region.

Thai food is no exception; Central, North, Northeast and South are geographic regions that feature unique cuisines. In the US, the cuisine of Central Thailand is usually featured. The Chao Phraya river flows through the central regaion and with the rich soil, it is possible to grow many items; rice is one example.

Ayara Thai presented a number of different specials for Valentine’s Day weekend. While I didn’t go there for Valentine’s Day, I managed to make it there the day after. My sights were on a northern dish called Khao Soi – a curry-based soup whose main components are noodles, both crunchy and not crunchy, meat, cilantro and coconut milk. Ayara also claimed to have chicken that “falls off the bone”.

After ordering it, the server smiled and said “good choice”. While it took longer than most dishes to prepare, it was worth it.

Chicken Khao Soi soup

Chicken Khao Soi soup

The soup arrived in a large bowl accompanied by a small dish of pickled vegetables and slices of raw onion. The server explained that if I wanted the soup to have more of a sour consistency, I should add the pickled vegetables. I sampled one and found that it was similar to Japanese pickled cucumbers. I added both the cucumbers and the onion into the soup. The onion was sliced so thin that it cooked immediately in the soup.

The curry soup was outstanding. It was probably simmering for quite awhile because the soup wasn’t thin and it was full of flavor. Two chicken drumsticks were included in the soup and they were tender to the point where the meat fell off the bone as you reached for a bite sized portion. Fresh cilantro leaves topped the soup when combined with the curry soup, exploded for a wonderful taste sensation.

My server also provided samples of 4 different chile pastes. Without adding any extra chile, I was already reaching for my ice water.

I was really happy I made a special trip to Ayara Thai. I hope they bring back again Khao Soi soon.


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