Mango season is on the wane, but thankfully, the sweet, rich goodness of khao niew moon (steamed sticky rice with coconut milk) works with more than one topping. Here are our fave spots to try.
Sor Boonprakob is a near-legendary shophouse in Bangrak that has been serving khao niew moon since Rama V’s reign. Story goes people used to queue up here long before the craze for sticky rice and mango. Their beautifully shiny sticky rice (B150 for a kg) manages to be fatty and creamy without being soggy or overly sweet.
In front of Charoenkrung Soi 44, Charoenkrung Rd., 02-235-3442. Open daily 5am-7pm
The vast piles of mango at Maewaree take up half the sidewalk, but it’s their sticky rice from Chiang Rai that really quickens our pulse. The perfectly cooked khao niew moon (B190 a kg) is soft and flavorful, thanks to the excellent coconut milk used here. This is probably our absolute favorite in town, for its texture (not too mushy) and perfect balance of flavors. Don’t forget to try their assorted toppings such as the smooth, fragrant sangkaya (B35) or the mixed option (pla hang and dried shrimp, B50).
1 Sukhumvit Soi 55 Thonglor, 02-392-4804. Open 24/7, khao niew moon only available 5am-11pm. www.maevaree.com
The 80-year-old institution is a household name for its sweet sticky rice. The people at Kor Panich claim that the recipe has been taken from the royal kitchen where the owner’s wife’s mother used to work. And the standard they’ve been holding on to is that the sticky rice must be the popular khao niew kiew ngoo type, the coconuts must hail from Chumphon and the sugar from Kanchanaburi. Plain khao niew B160 per kilo, single portions with toppings B30.
431-433, Tanao Rd., 02-221-3554. Open Mon-Sat 7am-7pm
Luksao Kor Panich
Another member of the Kor Panich family, as the name suggests, this shophouse is owned by the daughter of the recipe’s owner at Kor Panich. After her mom passed away, she decided to open her own place and took the recipe with her. Both places are similar although the sticky rice (B160 a kg) is a bit more tender, and sweeter, here. It’s really a question of taste which one you prefer.
250/5 Samsen Rd., Tewet, 02-281-7838. Open daily 7:30am-8pm
Maliwan Kanom Thai
For over 30 years, Maliwan Kanom Thai has been making fresh Thai desserts. Popular for its ta go (Thai pudding topped with coconut) and kanom mun (tapioca mixed with flour and topped with young coconut), it also sells giant buckets of khao niew moon (B180 a kg).Their sticky rice is quite soggy, due to copious amounts of rich coconut. That’s not to our taste but it’s clearly popular as they often run out before lunch.
2/9, beginning of Ari Soi 1, 02-278-1179. Open daily 9am-3pm
Once you’ve tried every sticky rice champ in town, you might want to give this colorful variety a shot (B160 a kg). Chor Sornkeaw stands out from the crowd thanks to its nine-color rice, depending on whether it has been sweetened with turmeric, rose, butterfly pea or pandanus. It’s not just about looks, though. This rice tends to be lighter, its flavors balancing themselves nicely with the coconut milk toppings. Chor Sornkeaw also serves its khao niew moon with a wider selection of fruits, such as longan, durian and lychee (B25-160).
23/500, Chok Chai 4 Soi 54, Lad Prao, 02-931-0000, 02-931-0005. Open daily 6am-9pm
Journalist, blogger and author of Bangkok’s Top 50 Street Food Stalls.
“I think the best khao niew moon is at Mae Nong Nut in Hua Hin. The rice is perfectly creamy yet still sticky, and the coconut milk is of such high quality. But if we’re talking Bangkok, I’ll go with everyone else and say you can’t go wrong with Maewaree.”
Food blogger, host of food show Food & Health Gang and author of a soon to be published cook book.
“My favorites are the ones from Kor Panich and Mae Nong Nut opposite to Hua Hin market. For Kor Panich, I love its taste and its texture, because although it’s soft it’s not mushy and it’s not overly sweet. And since it’s been open for many decades, it has a real vintage charm to it.”
Nhoi chortip ouypornchaisakul
Chef at Parata Diamond.
“I just love the balance of the pandanus, coconut and sugar at A Mad Ros Dee (1217 Rama 9 Rd. Soi 39, 081-811-4601). The best part is that I can sense each individual rice grain in every bite and it stays that way no matter how long it sits there. I even snack on it when it’s a day old. I’m working on a sticky rice and mango dessert myself, but I’m happy to leave the ‘mooning’ technique to the masters.”