The establishment became well-known for its khao man gai, a Hainanese chicken rice which featured silky poached chicken atop a bed of fragrant oiled rice, served with a salty, tangy chilli sauce. Earlier this year, it made the Bib Gourmand selection in the inaugural MICHELIN Guide Bangkok 2018 which recognises eateries that offer quality cuisine at a maximum price of THB 1000 ($40).
We chat with him at the opening of Go-Ang Pratunam Chicken Rice at NEX Shopping Mall in October to find out more.
Oh, chicken rice in Singapore is very good. But I think chicken rice is a very international dish. It may have originated in Hainan, but now there’s Malaysian chicken rice, Singaporean chicken rice, Thai chicken rice. The core concept is the same though.
It’s a simple recipe really, I think there are less steps than Singapore’s version. In Bangkok, we use big Thai chickens, but here we source a similar chicken from Malaysia, of the right age and texture, and we use the same Thai rice as the Bangkok shop. The chilli sauce is a family recipe made of typically Thai ingredients like dark soya sauce, vinegar, fish sauce, fermented bean paste, sugar, green chilli and chopped ginger.
What was it like to win the Bib Gourmand recognition this year?
We were quite surprised, but very happy. We used to get more locals in the Pratunam area, but now we have a lot of new customers. We sell about 150 chickens a day on weekends and use about 150kg of rice. We just continue to make sure our food is good and consistent.
My dad has been like my mentor but now he’s retiring and letting me run the business. After the initial settling in, I will still be making monthly visits to Singapore to do quality checks and training.
How do you feel about taking over your father’s business?
I am the only child, so the pressure is on me. We talked about this many times when I was young and my dad would discourage me from joining the business because it is very hard work. But I want to make sure his legacy continues.