Back in the day Kamnan Boonsong was known for his somtam,gai yaang and beef and today his son is running both branches of his fathers restaurants. We visited the on on the ring road just west of the big new Tesco in Kalasin. Looking for a place to eat the day before the Lions Club Libray opening we were directed to the establishment and tried out the gai yanng,somtam,khao ngiaow and Beer Leo. For some of you that is BBQ chicken, Thai papaya salad, sticky rice and Beer Leo. Now I realize I am not the expert that many of the travel bloggers are on the subject of Isaan food as I am constantly reading their reviews, but after a few thousand chickens, and a few thousand somtam and certainly thousands of restaurants in Isaan I feel quite shy,but still willing to offer my humble opinion……
As far as somtam is concerned every restaurant has their own recipes with Bangkok style somtam on the bottom of the list. The Bangkok style is sweet and not very popular in the Northeast. Generally the most popular is Lao style and with a small Mealy Crab cut into it.
The, sorry,myth about burn your ears off somtam is just that a myth. Most Isaan people enjoy somtam that may seem quite hot to people who find oatmeal spicey, but many Mexican food are much spicier as Mexican peppers are hotter the the ones that came to Thailand.
Next the much loved gai yaang or as I prefer to call it yard bird. As with many females in Thailand it is difficult to find much in the way of breasts and the offering at most that Gai Yaang establishments show that. I generally will try the bird at most places that I stop, but with few exceptions plan to be underwhelmed. Gai Mun, a rotisseried full bird for just a bit more is becoming more and more popular in Isaan.
Not wanting to give up on the place where the beer was cold, although no Beer Chang, we went back the next day and I tried the Laap Nuea, beef laap, and that did not let me down. The sticky rice was fresh both times. I would recommend the place, with a small caveat. A number of Thai friends mentioned that the place is quite good and popular, but like so many in Northeast Thailand has a bit of a problem with cleanliness. Prices are okay,food is generally good, so if you are in Kalasin give it a shot.