Som Saa, Commercial Street, E1


Certain restaurants in town create ripples within a small area and it gets people talking. However there are, now and again, very special restaurants that make waves – Som Saa is the latter. 

After a successful pop-up at one of the Climpsons Arches in Hackney which had the food bloggers in town going crazy for their food, it was time for Som Saa to have a permanent address.

Commercial Street is the next road to be ‘gentrified’ with good food. After the successful launches of Hotbox and Gunpowder, Som Saa was next and it can stand toe-to-toe with any restaurant if it continues to produce food this good. We arrived as a walk in on a Friday night, shock horror we know! However we were met by the friendly front of house who let us know it would be about a 30 minute wait. Now having had a look at the bar area, that’s not a long time to wait! This is because the bar space is large and there are a lot of drinks on offer. We opted for the oddly sized Camden Tank Beer and were pleasantly surprised. We were seated in about 25 minutes and proceeded to order most of the menu. Given the nature of it, it’s best to just list what we ate and provide some highlights after.

From the Grill:

  • Gai Yaang – thai style grilled chicken leg with tamarind dipping sauce
  • Mu Yaang – grilled pork neck with a ‘nahm jim’ dressing

Wok:

  • Pad Dtok Guichai – stir fried chicken with chrysanthemum leaves, flowering garlic chives and yellow beans
  • Pad Pak (v) – stir fried english and asian vegetables
  • Pad Prik King – dry red curry of crispy pork with kaffir lime leaf and snake beans
  • Nahm Dtok Pla Thort – whole deep fried seabass with roasted rice and isaan herbs

Curry:

  • Gaeng Hung Lay – burmese style curry of pork belly and shoulder with pickled garlic and fresh ginger
  • Gaeng Baa Pla – jungle curry with daily fish, thai aubergines, holy basil and wild ginger
  • Gaeng Panang Neua Kem – ‘panang’ curry of braised salted beef cheeks and thai basil

And a lot of sticky/jasmine rice (yes we had both).

Everything we ate here was top notch especially given that we’ve just come back from Thailand. The food is street food style, just like you get over there and things come out as and when so don’t expect posh Thai green curry in fancy crockery. This is the kind of food to get your hands dirty and we loved the pork neck (Grill), all three curries (each fantastic in their own way) and the whole deep fried seabass. This may have been the most instagrammed dish of 2015 and we’re including that Kinako French Toast from Shackfuyu. The fish is fantastic, the dish fragrant and everything melt in the mouth. Come just for this dish alone!

Great restaurant space, very good staff, reasonably priced and some of the best food in town. Why haven’t you gone there already?

Som Saa

43a Commercial Street, E1 6BD

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