If you were to walk into a restaurant and found all the tables and chairs empty, and the staff sitting around looking bored, you might reconsider dining there, right? I pushed through the Trip Advisor award sticker covered doors of Soi Polo Chicken and this is the scene I walked in upon. I soon discovered that it was all just an illusion–and I was very lucky to have walked in when I did.
You see, what I didn’t realize was that all those tables had little sheets of paper on them. These sheets of paper signified that those tables were booked in advance by hungry lunch goers. The staff weren’t bored; they were resting in the calm before the storm of patrons that descended upon the restaurant! I was seated at the only available table that wasn’t pre-booked. I was early and it was 11:30 when I sat down to await for my friends to arrive–by 12:00 the quiet solitude of the empty dining area turned into a den of noisy chatter and enthusiastic plate scraping.
If you guessed that Soi Polo Chicken is famous for its chicken then you would be correct but you’d miss an important part of it. It’s not JUST the chicken that they are famous for–it’s also the deep fried garlic bits (I call them garlic crunchies) that accompany the chicken. Management knows this…that’s why on the menu you can order extra garlic crunchies with your chicken.
Now don’t get me wrong, they have a rather extensive menu selection. They have plenty of salads, soups, fried fish, and larbs to choose from. But not getting the fried chicken with the garlic crunchies is like going to an amazing steak house and ordering the grilled cheese sandwich. You can get those other things. Just make sure you also get the chicken!
We were a table of three hungry men. We ordered a whole chicken, a som tum salad (papaya salad that was not too spicy), larb moo (spicy minced pork salad), fried morning glory, and 3 portions of sticky rice. It was plenty for all of us without leaving us feeling overstuffed. The side dishes are pretty good, but nothing extraordinary. The som tum was fresh (I am not a fan of soggy papaya salad that’s been sitting around all day in it’s own juices). The larb moo was made with quality meat–no bits of bone to be discovered by your teeth through the meal, and the morning glory was crisp and seasoned well. The chicken was the star of the show–tender meat with a nice crunchy skin–with bits of nomnomnom garlic crunchies blanketing the bird. Each table has homemade sauces (sweet and spicy). Both are red–don’t get them confused or you could really hurt yourself.
We had our food in under 10 minutes of ordering–the staff there are a well oiled machine. We got everything we ordered, no surprises on the bill, and they were quick with the service. A couple of bottles of water and a soda brought our total bill to a staggering 555 baht (approximately $16). I would absolutely recommend this place to others–and recommend you either go early or call ahead to reserve a table during lunch hours.