Now some of you may have had the pleasure of sampling Som Saa’s offerings at their Hackney popup which was meant to only be for three months but it proved so popular it lasted a year. After spreading the word they then managed to crowdfund a massive £700,000 to open up their very own restaurant in Shoreditch.
The brain behind the venture is Andy Oliver who was a finalist on Masterchef about seven years ago. He’s since flown his wings and found his love for Asian food when he worked at the michelin starred Nahm in Knightsbridge.
You may have spotted him on Saturday Kitchen recently where he did one of his famous dishes which we would be lucky enough to sample on our meal out.
So four of us headed on down to Som Saa to see what all the fuss is about, many of you East Londoners may have seen the long lines out the door queueing for a table, surely it must be good!? The decor is lovely wooden style furnishings giving it a relaxed and homely atmosphere to your evening.
The waiters are ever so friendly, giving you suggestions on their favourite dishes and explaining that the menu is suited to sharing all the dishes based on allowing a couple per person. There’s a fast turnaround on food so if still peckish can always order more anyway.
We tried to pick from each section to get a good sampling, now to remember what we had, bear with me. From the grill we had thai style grilled chicken leg with tamarind dipping sauce then a real highlight was the relish of dorset crab and fresh coconut cream served with vegetables and herbs to dip, heavenly.
Now the famous dish which is a real must is the whole deep fried seabass with roasted rice and isaan herbs which is just gorgeous. So simple in presentation but the flavours are extraordinary and the fish falls off the centre bone while keeping a lovely crispy skin.
Our salad, keeping it healthy was the prawn, pork, peanut and asian pennywort, pennywort being a new word we learnt for the evening. Our curry was a gorgeous ‘panang’ curry of braised salted beef cheeks and thai basil, so yummy, another real must from the menu.
Now I think that was everything on our dishes but what I can tell you is they were all lovely, not a single one was something I would say to avoid.
Desserts were perhaps a little unnecessary and a little bit bizarre in texture and concepts, never sure with Asian desserts what you’re going to get. One was the salted palm sugar ice cream with grilled banana which was the favoured of the two. The second was very much a love / hate feeling for most, thai ‘rubies’ with jackfruit, young coconut and shaved ice in fresh coconut cream.
It was all an absolute delight and really worth heading down to experience the place, I’m sensing Andy is going to find himself opening up a few more restaurants in the future.