Som Saa – Review of the Thai Pop-Up:
Anyone who has travelled to Thailand or been to a Thai restaurant will have tried Singha beer. It’s the perfect choice to accompany the hot, sweet, salty, bitter and sour flavours that define Thai food.
To mark its summer residency at Climpson’s Arch in trendy London Fields, Som Saa, London’s hottest Thai food restaurant, has launched a Singha Beer pop up bamboo bar to keep diners refreshed over the summer months. Singha has been working with Som Saa’s head chef, ex-Masterchef runner up Andy Oliver, to create exciting authentic Thai recipes with a modern twist and I had been invited to a banquet specially created by Andy to celebrate the bar’s launch. First up were three snacks: Fermented Pork had a tasty pickled flavour.Raw fish laap was coated with coriander and spicy peanuts kind of Thai ceviche!
and toasted cashew nuts were blended with lemongrass and lime leaf-very moreish and perfect with a cold Singha!
Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef was really tender, flavoured with coriander and offset by the crunch of the pickled veg.
Grilled chicken leg with ‘jaew’ dipping sauce was marinated in lemongrass and chilli.
Green Papaya salad was the perfect dish to cool and cleanse the palate.
Smokey aubergine salad came with egg, prawn floss, coriander and mint- this was a really wonderful dish with a minty smokey flavour infusing the squidge of the roast aubergine.Scallops were seared on the outside but still tender on the inside and flavoured with a red nan Jim tomato chilli topping.
Pork scratchings were like a pork ‘quaver’, a veritable piggy crunch.
I loved the steamed clams which were fragrant-infused with the flavours of wild ginger and lemongrass.
Northern Pork belly curry with pickled garlic and ginger melted in the mouth managing to be simultaneously light and spicy. Chilli and lemongrass flavours really came to the fore in the vegetarian squash version.
Lemongrass and pandanus sorbet with candied watermelon pith was the perfect way to end this spicy feast. The fragrant Thai Pandanus leaf adding a mild sweetness to the cool elegance of the lemongrass.Som Saa feels like a cross between hipster heaven and one of those great roadside Thai shack restaurants. The chaps behind it are looking for a more permanent space but in the meantime if you are a fan of authentic and brilliantly realised Thai food and Singha beer it’s the perfect place to go.
Som Saa at Climpson & Sons,
Arch 374, Helmsley Place,
020 7254 7199