Finally a Thai restaurant I like: Som Saa near Spitalfields

Som Saa’s been open only a few weeks and I’ve eaten there twice already and planning another trip this week. Simple cooking, fiery flavors, wonderful service.



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Ah-ha, thanks, I hadn’t previously bothered putting this on my to-try list due to its pop-up-ness, so it’s good to see they now have a permanent site. And although they’re partially no-booking, they do at least let you book if there are 4, 5, or 6 of you (do they not have any tables for more than 6 people?)

How are the queues?

Wanted to try this place after never making it to the pop-up. Was hoping to get there during their soft launch as I thought the queues might be reasonable, but now assuming I’ve missed the boat unless I want to stand in line for hours.

They’re meant to start opening for lunch soon which might be more accessible

Food service starts at 6pm. We turned up as a couple at 5:40pm were told we could get a table at 7:45. We left. (somehow ended up at Sartoria instead, which was excellent - write-up soon!).

I genuinely do want to try it so I will try and rope in another couple of friends and book but already have a sinking feeling that I will be told the first availability is October, at which point it could serve Unicorn steaks cooked by Antonin Careme himself and I still wouldn’t be arsed!

Yes, they don’t have reservations for two. So, we’ve been getting there earlier, 5:45ish to secure a table and have a drink (they have a bar area in the front) before their dining room opens. They have 2-tops and 4-tops and a couple longer tables that would accommodate a bigger crowd. They also have several booths under the beer vaults that could accommodate four people. Both times we were there, it was mostly couples or a few tables of three or four diners. I don’t recall seeing any big groups. I did notice that it was much busier last week than the previous week we went. Knowing that it might be easier to make a reservation for a bigger party, if anyone is interesting in meeting up there on a Friday night, let me know. Maybe we can arrange a group meet up? Then we can try everything on the menu!

Our waitresses mentioned that they’re planning to open for lunch in the future…If that would be easier for some of you…

I’d be up for this as long as it’s earlyish, i.e. table booked for 7pm at the very latest (preferably 6pm).

I prefer the early times as well. Can’t stay up so late anymore…

How about Friday, 24 June? It’s the earliest Friday I could reserve a table at 6:30. I’ve booked it for 6 people. Counting the hubby, that leave four more spots. I would love to meet some of you in person. So, if you are available and can commit to join on 24 June, please email me and we can work out the rest. I went back this week…Here’s a few more photos.







the pork belly curry disappeared before I could snap a photo, but as you can see from the empty bowls, I had a really tough time finishing all the dishes…

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I’d be up for this if there are still some spaces!

Sounds good. Message or email me at happymichele@gmail.com and we can arrange it offline. Looking forward to meeting you.

Thanks again for organising this — it was great to finally meet various of you in person, though a shame I didn’t really get to talk to Justin. And apologies for leaving without saying goodbye properly! I thought we were all leaving at once and didn’t realise I was on my own until I’d made my way through the bar and was on the pavement outside.

Here’s the list of dishes we had, if people want to comment on them:

Mu yaang (pork neck in a tangy dressing)
Lon khrua (coconut and smoked fish relish served with pickled morning glory, fruit, and vegetables)
Nahm dtok pla thort (deep-fried seabass with herbs and roasted rice)
Isaan-style som tam (green papaya salad)
Yum naem khao thort (fermented pork salad with rice cakes)
Yum makeua yao (grilled aubergine salad with egg and prawn floss)
Yum hua plee (grilled chicken and banana flower salad)
Gaeng hung lay (Burmese-style pork belly and shoulder curry)
Gaeng panang neua kem (braised beef cheeks)
and finally the special of stirfried beef with Thai basil

A few people also had desserts:
Kluey thort nahm dan beep (palm sugar icecream with grilled banana)
Tub tim krob (jackfruit with tapioca cubes in iced coconut milk)

The mu yaang was easily my favourite — nicely pink pork with a chewy texture and flavour that stood up to the dressing. I liked the smokiness in the aubergine salad too, though didn’t think the prawn floss added anything. I initially thought the seabass was over-fried for my taste, but I tried a different part of it later which was perfectly balanced between crisp skin and soft interior.

There was a lot on the table, and I know I missed trying at least two of the dishes.

Yes, it was really nice to meet all of you! I hope we can arrange more eat ups in the future.

Maybe we could try cuisines from different parts of the EU next, for those who are open to such partnerships. :slight_smile: Or from lands even farther like Vietnam, West African nations or elsewhere as discussed? Any suggestions?

Yes! I’m up for pretty much anything. I do like Vietnamese. I also seem to remember that Dean expressed a desire to explore the Indian food in Wembley.

The Ghanaian restaurant I mentioned is Timber Gardens in Croydon. Their website seems to be down at the moment, but I have links to menu and food photos here.

Croydon CH soudns good - also Kake we mentioned doing another East Ham one when you were in town. Drop me a line on shekha.vyas@gmail.com :slight_smile:

It would be great to do a Deptford Vietnamese one that Justin mentioned too - it’s good fun.

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