David and I have heard about them on social media quite often (Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) and bookmarked this place to try when we headed to Portland since we’re both fans of Hainan chicken. They started out as a food stall (many that saturates the streets of Portland) before they were able to open up brick and mortar. All the success to them!
We went to the 417 SW 13th Ave location (I believe they have another location). It was raining bricks when we went to dinner that night around 6:45PM, but luckily they had a parking lot next door ($4 an hour) for parking. Portland, like LA, doesn’t have much free parking so it’ll cost a few bucks to park in the parking lot next door or you can try and go cheaper by finding street parking (few dollars less). We entered and found that they’re quite small, about 2 booths and the rest were bar communal bar sitting spaces. I’d say it fits 12-15 people comfortably before it starts getting crowded, especially on a rainy day, the restaurant gets a little humid. The place was only half full when we went so finding seats wasn’t too bad, although it started to fill up right after we ordered.
We ordered a #1 ($11.00) and #2 ($16.00), definitely on the steeper side since LA Hainan chicken runs about $9. I think why I didn’t really like the dish was due to mostly preferences that didn’t jive together. I grew up with Chinese Hainan chicken style of cooking where everything was lighter in flavor, mix of tender and juicy white and dark meat served together. Nong’s Khao Man Gai was of Thai version that differed slightly. I thought the chicken was a little on the dry side and the chicken broth was oilier than what I’m used to (chicken broth being light and refreshing in our Hainan chicken). I did enjoy their ginger garlic sauce very much though. It had its own kick that gave the chicken dish a unique flavor to it. Although overall, the flavors were definitely heavier, but still a tasty dinner option worth trying. The aromaticness of the rice alone will make you hungry! 🙂
I’d give it another try before completely deciding the final verdict of Nong’s. 🤔 But as a first impression, 3 stars for me!
417 SW 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97205