There has been talk about Som Saa, the one time pop-up in Climpson Arch, being the best Thai and most authentic Thai in town. That’s a really tall order, record-breaking crowdfunding scheme or not so despite some major diarising difficulties, it’s high up on my wish list and Binny, Mittal and I finally make it through the doors.
With a popcorn iced tea in hand, we start the tricky process of trying to decide what to have and between us, we manage to order up pretty much everything, with some assistance from the staff, steering us towards some better ordering!
We started off with some sharing plates – a thick coconuty soup, an isaan-style salad and some fairly simply constructed chicken. The soup/ broth was a thing of beauty, I’ve never had a bowl of soup served up to me with crunchy dunking vegetables, where you scoop up as if you’re slurping it all up with a huge spoon!
The salad is just ok but the chicken sings, it’s so simple but there’s something simple but effective about it and just begging to be gnawed at like some sort of savage. Happily for the other two, I restrain but my attentions may have wavered to the chicken in my hands at that point in the conversation…
Along with some Jasmine rice, we’ve gone for a whole deep-fried seasbass and some rich red pork neck curry. I’m not a huge curry fan, so I did sample this but the deep fried seabass stole my heart. Luckily I’m into messy food that stares me in the face, because I can not stop myself from picking at bits of seabass the entire time we’re sitting down for dinner. To be honest, I’m not sure the other guys even got a look-in (Oops, sorry!)
After all this picking at the spread in front of us, there’s some reluctance to get into dessert but I’ve got my eyes on the salted palm sugar ice cream with a side order of grilled banana and it’s just lovely. Had I not essentially demolished all that fish, I could have quite happily kept it all for myself but shared between us, it’s the perfect tantalising teaser of flavours to sing on our tastebuds and makes for a great way to say goodbye to 3 happy bloggers.
Palm sugar ice cream with grilled banana
Would I say it’s the best Thai in town? Well now, I don’t know that I would award it with such intense accolades, but it’s very good food and satisfies 3 fussy blogger type people which is pretty good going in itself, no?
Som Saa is located at 43a Commercial St, Spitalfields E1 6BD. They take bookings for groups in excess of 4, but for everyone else it’s one of those pesky walk-in places.