Soi Polo Chicken is a northeastern style Thai food restaurant located on “Wireless” Road in Bangkok, Thailand. They serve a variety of regional Thai dishes with an obvious focus on… Chicken. And not just any chicken.
Normally you’ll find great Gai Yang (Grilled Chicken) on the streets of Bangkok. Soi Polo offers a “Gai Todht” (Fried Chicken) but with a twist. The whole chicken is fried with and coated with fried garlic. The garlic is almost better than the chicken itself and can I enjoy snatching handfuls of it while others at the table are distracted. Complimented with the house sticky rice, dual sweet and spicy sauces, and fresh Som Tam (spicy papaya salad) this is a treat that can’t be missed in Bangkok.
The story I’ve been told is that Soi Polo started its life as an unassuming street stall on Soi Polo (it’s not actually Soi Polo in Thai but that’s what it says in English under the real name). At the end of this narrow street is the exclusive Royal Bangkok Sports Club and Polo Club. Soi Polo began servicing the patrons of the sports club and workers in the nearby embassies and offices. Prices were low, food was great, and soon Soi Polo was expanding. They added an indoor shop location and soon after another and another. Now the shop takes up most of the left side of the street (with Lumphini Park at your back).
Thankfully prices have remained low, with a whole chicken coming in around 90 THB or so (3 USD). I’ve had meals for 8 and not spent over 20 USD for the whole thing. Be careful coming at peak times such as the weekday lunch rush and after-work dinner hours or you might not find a seat in the one air-conditioned location.
Don’t expect a faux traditional Thai house here or really anything with style. The plates are oddly mismatched in style and size, silverware will bend if you strain it too hard, and don’t even visit the bathroom if you’re not comfortable with the squatty potty style bathroom. You’re coming here for the food and nothing else. It’s probably why the prices remain low. If the atmosphere bothers you too much and you speak a little Thai you can also order it for delivery.
Soi Polo Chicken is a perfect example of sometimes not having to spend more to get more. It rivals the most expensive meals I’ve enjoyed in Bangkok or anywhere else really at a fraction of the cost. It should be a featured stop for anyone who values fresh, authentic flavor when in Bangkok.
A few Soi Polo Tips:
- Come hungry and with a large group. The food offered here tastes better family style – with salty, spicy, and sour dishes complimenting and enhancing the tastes in other dishes.
- Be sure to try the Chicken (obviously)
- Try the northeastern sausage
- The Som Tam is excellent and they even do a version with blue crab legs!
- Eat the chicken with sticky rice and don’t be afraid to use your hands – that’s how they eat it in Issarn.
- If really adventurous and you can eat spicy, definitely order up the Yam Pla Duk Foo (pulverized catfish with mango chutney) my personal favorite Thai dish.
137/1-2 Soi Polo (near Lumphini Park and the Suan Lum Night Bazaar)
Contact and Ordering:
02 655 8489