Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Som Saa

Eastern Volcano


Som Saa
Som Saa was perhaps the most anticipated London openings this year, there aren't a great number of top notch Thai restaurants in London so it is always good to see a high profile opening to increase the standard of Thai food in the Capital. After gaining rave reviews by food critics and diners at its Hackney pop up last year, Som Saa managed to secure enough funding to open a permanent restaurant on Commercial Street in East London. I am a big fan of its decor, with an open bar and bar seating area at the front for a more casual dining experience while a more traditional table setting at the back. The menu is pretty short for an Asian restaurant, ranging from salad, grill, curry, soup and wok dishes.


Grilled aubergine with egg and prawn floss
Grilled chicken leg with tamarind sauce 
We have ordered pretty much everything across the menu, sharing between four people. The grilled aubergine salad packed with serious punches, the richness of the prawn floss worked rather well with the settle sweetness and earthiness of the aubergine but it was a real challenge for me as it was loaded with plenty of spices. The duck soup was on another level, the sourness and spiciness was to the extreme, seriously bold and completely dominated the duck meat, it was easily the most spiciest dishes I have ever encountered in a Thai restaurant and one that almost send me packing.
Crispy pork with wild garlic
Clams, chilles, basil
Coconut and pandanus smoked trout

What I really enjoyed was the beef red curry, it had a semi creamy texture and just the right balance of flavours, the salted beef cheeked was really moist and the nuttiness worked like a treat with the mild spicy profile. The pork belly was one of the weaker dishes, the seasoning was fine, but the crispiness was lacking as was the portion size, at £8.50 for a tiny plate, it was hardly worth it. The deep fried seabass was also questionable, the wonderfully fresh and sour dressing failed to blend it with the meat and the texture was not as moist as it could be.

Hot and sour duck soup
Braised salted beef cheek curry
deep fried sea bass with Isaan herbs
Som Saa was an interesting one for me, it was far from perfect and perhaps slightly over priced, but then again, there are enough quality and uniqueness to it for it to take off. There aren't enough modern Thai restaurants challenging for that trendy, but upmarket spot, with the "media hip" element factoring in, there is no reason why Som Saa cannot become a real success. The service was also outstanding, I visited in its soft launch period, but their knowledge of the menu and the warm hospitality skill was impressed. To sum it, this place is well worth a try if you are a fan of modern Thai food and can handle the spices, but be ready to spend a small fortune, especially you will need plenty of beer to cool off the heat.

Food 3/5


What I paid: 

£28 per head with wine

Average cost without drinks and services:

£35

43A Commercial street, London E1 6BD


http://www.somsaa.com/


Som Saa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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