Som Saa review image

Som Saa


43A Commercial St, London
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

There are few things worse than a restaurant describing itself as having a party atmosphere. Invariably this means there will be some sort of live music performance, a neon light display that gives everyone a lime green hue, and kooky, fun dishes to share - cheeseburger spring rolls anyone? It’s the worst kind of attempt at organised fun, so please don’t call this kind of place a party restaurant. A real party restaurant is big, dark, and a bit loud. It’s one where 8pm turns into 9pm, and 9pm turns into 10pm and another round of drinks and some more of that chicken. This is what Som Saa is.

Som Saa review image

The food here is northern Thai influenced, meaning it’s influenced by street foods from the north of Thailand, which means, basically, it doesn’t mess about. Dishes like the tamarind grilled chicken or whole fried sea bass are full of flavour without being mega-spicy, but a lot of the dishes here thrive on spice. Papaya salad or jungle curry are certified headblowers. The former is refreshing. The latter is a little bit of an endurance test.

Ideally, you’re coming to Som Saa in a group. There are big tables and big booths, and the menu is made up of lots of things you want to try, including the cocktails which are serious business here. They’re spicy, sweet, sour, and strong - just like the food. In fact, get a couple of Muay Thai Kicks down you at the bar before being seated, and you may well find yourself slightly anaesthetised against some of the spicier elements of the menu.

That’s the kind of restaurant Som Saa is. One where you have a few drinks before even looking at the menu, get a bit loud, share a load of Thai food, then cool down with a round of grilled bananas and palm sugar ice cream. It’s not at all serious, and that’s a good thing.

Not everything here is completely individual and worth ordering though. The pork belly curry is your nightmare life partner: mild, indistinct, and lacking any oomph whatsoever, while pad pak is a pretty standard mixture of vegetables you’d find elsewhere. These milder dishes aren’t what Som Saa is all about. This is a restaurant where you come to have a party - at your table, and in your mouth.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation right in your inbox.

By signing up, I agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Food Rundown

Som Saa review image

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Grilled Chicken Leg With Tamarind Dipping Sauce

Not fiery, but very flavoursome. This is an easy sharer for the table, unless you’re meat averse.

Som Saa review image

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

A Papaya Salad

These are all fiery and refreshing. Like when you drink cold water after chewing some gum, with a tone of chilli in. Like that.

Som Saa review image

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Whole Deep Fried Seabass

It may look like a casualty of the zombie apocalypse, but it tastes as fresh as anything.

Pork Belly Curry

Fine. Imagine being described as fine by someone. It doesn’t sound fine, does it?

Som Saa review image

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Pad Pak

Some green vegetables. They’re fine. They’re nice. They’re green vegetables.

Som Saa review image

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Ice Cream With Turmeric Grilled Banana

You’ll try making this at home afterwards. It won’t be nearly as good.

Featured in

Suggested Reading

Lyle’s review image

A modern veteran of London's dining scene, Lyle's is a cool and casual warehouse restaurant in Shoreditch where the refined British cuisine is second to none.

Hoppers review image

Hoppers is an excellent Soho restaurant serving Sri Lankan food that will blow your mind. The waits can be lengthy, but it’s worth it.

Dishoom Shoreditch review image

Thanks to a lovely verandah and excellent views, the Shoreditch branch of modern Indian restaurant Dishoom is one of our favourites.

Hutong review image

Hutong is the Shard’s ultra-swish Chinese restaurant, and if we were going to throw down on a pricey dinner with a view, this would be on our list.

Infatuation Logo
2023 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store