food + drink Spitalfields

Som Saa, Commerical Street

It’s not often that you can say a meal was utterly unforgettable (and I mean that it the best possible way), but as we departed Som Saa, at this former fabric warehouse on Commercial Street in East London, I knew that what I had just consumed would live on in my memory, well if not forever, for a very long time. Mind blowing with the capacity to blow your head off into the bargain, the Thai food served here is beyond authentic, making no apologies whatsoever to the wimpy Western palate. An easily navigable menu with the suggestion you choose across the different sections, we settled on grilled pork neck with shrimp paste dipping sauce, Bangkok style green papaya salad, whole deep fried seabass and a green curry of salted beef cheek. All the dishes were sublime, taking me back two decades to a stilted wooden shack on the seafront in Khao Lak. It made me realise how terribly bland so much of this nation’s honourable cuisine has become here, but at Som Saa, the fire and flavours really do have the power to transport. Of particular note was the fish, which had impressively curled up on itself in the fryer. Accompanied by roasted rice powder and Asian herbs, whatever they are, it’s become my new desert island dish for which I will most definitely be returning. There’s a rather fetching bar area too, with a mighty fine line in cocktails, should you choose to have one before dinner, or perhaps afterwards to help calm those throbbing tastebuds.

43A Commercial Street, E1 6BD



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