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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Coconoodle Round: A Well-balanced Khao Soi At Amphawa Thai Noodle House


I'm trying (despite the high 60s temps in San Francisco this week) to convince myself that Winter is here, so I can set out on a tasting round of a triumvirate of warming coconut curry wheat noodle soups. namely Burmese Ohn No Khao Swe, its offpring Thai Khao Soi and Malaysian Curry Laksa.  Today's dropping temperatures and lowering clouds provided me with enough entitlement to head for Amphawa Thai Noodle House (which I'd been dying to get back to since enjoying the Kwaytiau Sukhothai) to vet the Khao Soi, rumored to be among the best around.

With my dilatory nature, relocated bus stops and holiday shopping traffic conspiring against me, it was passt 3:00 in the afternoon when I arrived at Amphawa, too close to dinner to order an appetizer. (I so wanted to try the house Sai Oou.). I contented myself with an order of chicken khao soi (there's a choice of chicken or pork) and hot tea.

My khao soi came as a thick tangle of wide, crimped-edge wheat noodles in a mildly spicy, slightly sweet and tart yellow coconut curry broth. Slivers of fresh-tasting chicken, red onions and fried shallots shared the bath, and it was topped with a mountain of crunchy fried noodles, coriander and a decorative slice of red bell pepper.

Overall, my khao soi had a nice mix of crunchy, chewy and silken textures, and rich and rounded broth. If I had any complaint, it would be that the broth was a bit on the sweet side of optimal.  The extra sweetness didn't intrude while I was busy slurping my noodles, but after spooning the last of the broth into my mouth the sweetness was there as a lingering aftertaste. I'd probably have been happier with a little more heat and a little less sweet, but that may just be my personal taste.

Where slurped: Amphawa Thai Noodle House, 5020 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco. ,

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