Here’s Where I Share One of My Favorite Neighborhoods in Bangkok for Delicious Food!
One of my favorite neighborhoods in Bangkok is an area called Huai Khwang. It’s not far at all from main tourists areas such as Sukhumvit. Just hop on the MRT subway at Sukhumvit station and in 4 short stops you’ll hit Huai Khwang MRT station.
And I know a lot of people like to stay in this area because it’s close to Sukhumvit via MRT subway plus there are many budget hotels in the area like Hip Hotel, Park Residence and CMYK that are about 5 minutes walk to the station. Even though Bangkok has plenty of restaurants where you can get a noodle or rice dish for a little over $1USD, Huay Khwang is the place I highly recommend you go for cheap and tasty rice dishes and bowls of noodles with generous portions.
Huai Kwang is Mainly A Residential Area in Bangkok
So what else is so great about Huai Khwang? It’s a food mecca especially for the late night owls looking for good food or for those that have a bit of extra cash to spend for shopping. There are a lot of very good budget and pricey restaurants in Huai Khwang.
But I’ll tell you where you can find some really good Khao Man Gai (chicken and rice) and other popular Thai dishes that are tasty and cheap too!
The Restaurant Name Sounds Weird But Trust Me the Food is Good and Cheap!
Okay, so the name of this restaurant I recommend is called สี่จ่า or loosely translated as “Officer Color”. It’s an open air restaurant just 30 meters down Soi Pracha Songhkhao 36. It’s very easy to find and locals know this place well. So even if you’re bad with directions you can show them this post and they’ll point you to the right direction.
I’m quite confident that this is the first time this restaurant has been mentioned anywhere else on the blogosphere. It’s not exactly on the tourists path. But as I mentioned the locals know this place very well. And when you find Officer Color you will be glad you did. And you might as well pat yourself on the back for being foodie adventurous!
Whenever I feel like I want a quick, cheap and tasty plate of Khao Man Gai (ข้าวมันไก่) or chicken and rice that’s where I go. Doesn’t matter what time of night it is. Not only are they well known for their succulent chicken and awesome rice, สี่จ่า is also very popular because of their noodles with sliced duck which my wife loves.
But I like their Yong Tau Fu which is an assortment of fish balls, fish cake, a fish dumpling and cuttle fish bits. I typically choose either the flat rice noodles or egg noodles depending on my mood. With the noodle dishes you can choose 4 types: egg noodle, broad flat rice noodle, thin rice noodles and glass rice noodle.
Not Exactly Char Siu but it’s Still All Good
I also enjoy their Khao Moo Daeng (ข้าวหมูแดง), rice with red pork. It’s not the Char Siu or red roasted pork I love so much and can find in typical Chinese restaurants. Even the restaurants in Bangkok’s Chinatown don’t make the Char Siu which is a total bummer.
Thai style red pork is different than the traditional Char Siu done Hong Kong style. It’s gently grilled so you can barely see any grill marks. Thai red pork is also not marinated either or covered in honey and other spices while on the grill. To me Thai red pork is a bit dry because they use leaner cuts of pork. However, when ever you order up a plate of Khao Moo Daeng the plate is liberally doused with brown gravy.
As a guy who grew up on typical Hong Kong style roast pork it was a bit odd for me. But, the sauce grew on on me. And Officer Color makes one damn good gravy.
The Best Khao Man Gai You’ll Find in Bangkok in My Book
Khao Man Gai hawker stands are all over Thailand. In Bangkok, chicken and rice shops are as ubiquitous as pizza shops in NYC. And if you poll a group of Bangkokians on which shop has the best chicken and rice you’ll get pulled in all different directions with no clear winner.
To me, Officer Color has the best Khao Man Gai. Their slices of chicken are tender and moist. The rice is of good quality and not heavily soaked in artery clogging chicken fat. Too many places put an emphasis on greasy oily rice. Officer Color makes their rice just right, a perfect combination with their succulent chicken.
All rice dishes come with a small bowl of chicken soup. There’s some MSG in it but not so much that your lips will be smacking for some water.
What’s it All Cost?
Everything you find at Officer Color cost about 40THB or around $1.20USD. A small bottle of water cost 10THB and they do sell bottled soda and beers. There is a 7 Eleven right next to the restaurant and staff don’t care if you buy drinks from there and have them on their tables.
Their food is not expensive at all. I often order a rice dish followed by a bowl of noodles. One time after a late night of drinking I remember putting down 4 plates of Khao Man Gai.
Officer Color closes late, around 4am. But they open around 6pm daily. So they get quite packed as the night gets later because local Thais living in the area often finish with work late.
There’s a food court atmosphere at Officer Color restaurant. Just pick a seat at an empty table. They do have menus but not a lot. Just say “Kor Doo Menoo Noy” ขอดูเมนู that’s how you ask for a menu in Thai. The menu has photos so you can just point and pick.
This is one of the few restaurants I frequent often. They don’t have a lot of choices. But they have just the right amount. The atmosphere is great if you want to feel like you’re one with the locals. And the food is consistently good.
Officer Color has been around in the same location for at least a decade. And they’ve got a strong following of locals. Though today, Huai Kwang is rapidly changing. Every time I’m there, I’ll often hear Cantonese or Mandarin spoken at a nearby table. And that’s why the menu has Chinese written on it.
There are many cheap Thai restaurants in the Huai Kwang area, even the ones seafood restaurants where you can find sea snails, giant grilled prawns, fresh grilled fish and crabs all for a reasonable price.
However, the cheapest meals are of course the single rice dishes and bowls of noodles, such as the ones found in Officer Color.
How to Get There
Officer Color isn’t widely shared on inter web. But it’s practically an institution in Bangkok. Officer Color has been in the same location for nearly a decade.
It’s not difficult to walk there at all. If you’re coming from the Huai Kwang MRT subway station use Exit #3.
Make your way to Huai Kwang Market and when you reach the first intersection which is Soi Pracha Songkhao 36 make a left. It’ll be about a 10 minute walk.
Hope you find this place. The food is good and I’m sure the experience of finding this restaurant will be fun. And be sure to check out the Huai Khwang night market while you’re there, open from 8pm to 2am!
So I have here a google map that can help you out a bit. I placed a star on the restaurants location: