Most restaurants nowadays come with backstories but Kolae comes with a certain amount of history. The slick, three-floor spot in Borough Market is the sibling to Som Saa. Kolae is its own thing though. The focus is on southern Thai flavours and marinated things cooked over a very hot coconut. Some of these things are fantastic, particularly if you’re sitting at the kitchen counter downstairs. This is where all the action is and where Kolae feels most alive. A gently steamed mussel skewer is a revelation and instantly one of London’s great molluscs—even if that category isn’t exactly overcrowded. Similar exclamations can be said about the deep-fried prawn heads and an immediately fiery dry venison curry. Go upstairs, away from the action, and the thrills of the grill dissipate a little. It’s a smart space, with booths and beige brickwork, and room for big groups. But Kolae’s soul is in the food, and you want to be as close to it as possible.