Somtum Der Restaurant
Somtum Der is now a famous restaurant on Sala Daeng in Silom, but it was not always like this. I actually often believed that the best Som Tum is found by the street, often in dirty tiny shops or at the carts of local markets. And in most cases it is true, but we found ‘Somtum Der’, a great som tum in a cool restaurant in the middle of Silom. The staff is young and very friendly, obviously taking great pride in the preparation of their appetizing selection of Som Tum.
Somtum Der means nothing more than ‘Som Tum’ with the typical way Isan people end their sentences, and just in case you don’t know it yet, Som Tum is a spicy and sour salad made with grated green papaya mixed with many possible ingredients.
The restaurant is simple yet trendy, painted white and orange tones with a warm lighting and using a lot of pine wood. Dine at one of the few tables in the main room downstairs or upstairs at the mezzanine floor. You also can eat at a small outdoor terrace, probably for smokers, but traffic in this street can be really busy at rush hour. Music is cool and not loud, just adding the right touch to create an easy going atmosphere.
Then it is time to order. Menus are unfortunately not in English, but if you are familiar with Som Tum, you will instantly recognize the photos. We went wild and ordered no less than six dishes for two, plus Kao Niao (sticky rice), but we had no problem finishing every plate. Most dishes are really prepared the traditional Isan way (northern Thailand) and can be quite spicy but you can have them as spicy as you want them to be.
Ingredients seem to be of higher quality than average street shops so it really does taste great. We order Som Tum Moo Yang (Papaya salad with grilled pork 85 baht), Som Tam Poo Pla Ra (Papaya salad with salted crab and fermented fish – 55 baht), Nua Rong Hai Der (Grilled beef with spicy sauce – 95 baht), Laarb Moo (Spicy pork salad with lime and mint – 85 baht), Super Peek Kai (a hot and sour chicken soup – 95 baht), Kao Niao (sticky rice – 15 baht).
Every dish was heavenly good and if it seems to be more expensive than the cart next door, it is not overly pricey and a lot more enjoyable than a plastic stool on the sidewalk next to passing traffic.
5/5 Soi Saladaeng, Silom Rd.,
Tel: 02-632-4499, 084-764-4291
BTS Sala Daeng