Khao Tom Phatom, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

I spotted Khao Tom Phatom, a 30 year old Chinese-Thai restaurant on Thanon Changpuak to the north of Chiang Mai old town, on Instagram and as both Andy Ricker (longtime Chiang Mai resident, restaurateur and Thai recipe book writer) and Austin Bush (a photographer/writer currently working on a book on Northern Thai cuisine) say it is one of their favourite restaurants in Thailand, if not the world, I knew it had to be worth checking out.

After the 3 mile walk from my hotel to find it, I was more than ready for brunch and after grabbing a table and a much needed bottle of water, I made my way to the food counters at the front of the restaurant to see what they had and to place my order.

Khao Tom Phatom is not one of those restaurants that try to offer a huge menu, rather they have chosen 7 dishes which they specialise in to sell, it’s as simple as that!

I chose Khao Tom, a simple rice soup, Phat Makheua Yao, flash fried aubergine, Moo Khem pork that has been fried in a sweetened soy sauce, and Tahu Pha Lo, braised tofu.


The Phat Makheua Yao, room temperature aubergine that had been fried with fermented soy beans to add umami was perfect alongside the very simple, clean favours of the rice soup. I also loved the Taohu Pha Lo, firm tofu which had been braised in 5 spice. The Moo Khem initially worried me a little bit as I am not a fan of fatty meat (yes I know thats where the flavour is, I just don’t like it!) but the pork had been marinated overnight in the soy which helped break down some of the fat and it was the perfect combination of tender and a little chewy with the salty sweet soy again being really nicely tempered by the rice soup.

After all the rich Lanna food I had been eating I really enjoyed the simple, clean flavours of the food at Khao Tom and I can certainly see why it wins so many fans over with it’s comforting, homely cooking. I seem to have got progressively worse at checking how much this cost but I am pretty sure it was less than 200 THB so around $5-$6 with bottled water.

Khao Tom Phatom

On Thanon Changpauk, between Chediplong and Prachautid roads

Open Daily 6am-1pm




2 Comments Add yours

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