Punchy Thai cuisine and intriguing
drinks are hallmarks of Som Saa
Words Hannah Hopkins
Having parlayed itself into a full-blown restaurant from a humble pop-up, Som Saa is one seriously popular eating spot. Those who haven’t been lucky enough to bag themselves a table will be pleased to hear that their new lunch menu – pegged as ‘more relaxed and less bustling’ than its dinner time offering – provides ample opportunity to sample its mouthwatering cuisine without the queue time.
Co-Head Chefs Andy Oliver and Mark Dobbie have taken inspiration from travelling in southern Thailand, ticking off dishes and local delicacies that come from the coasts and markets of provinces in Krabi, Trang and Songkla. The result is a carefully balanced range of dishes combining British meat and fish with new ingredients sourced directly from Asia.
For optimum eating, go for a range of plates that can be swapped and shared with your fellow diners. The Thai style grilled chicken leg with tamarind dipping sauce is a classic, as are the grilled prawns in coconut marinade. Larger dishes that cannot be missed include the whole deep fried seabass with roasted rice and isaan herbs, stir fried rump steak with ‘prik kee nu’ chillies and the burmese-style curry of pork belly and shoulder with pickled garlic and fresh ginger. Offset the kick off the spices with a soothing Som Tam Thai – bangkok style green papaya salad with snake beans, dried shrimp, peanuts and cherry tomatoes. For dessert, the salted palm sugar ice cream with turmeric grilled banana – a TimeOut Best Dish Winner 2016 – is as heavenly as it sounds.
Cocktails are just as creative as the food. We recommend Day By The Pool –
a refreshing mix of prosecco, jasmine tea, gin, crème de violette and lemongrass cordial and the hilariously-named Monk’s Cobbler – apple-celery sherbet, tawny port, red thai tea and fruit.
Designed in conjunction with Coriander Buildings, the restaurant’s design is a partial nod to London and a partial nod to Bangkok. Inside the surprisingly vast space there are vintage decorations brought back from the founders’ trips to Thailand, and a warm, buzzy atmosphere. From sweet to sour, salty to bitter, Som Saa’s menu is sure to tickle your taste buds and one thing’s for sure, we’ll be back…