Som tum (pronounced 'som tam') is one of the pillars of Thai food and is usually found in anonymous street shops and basic carts. But things are changing: a new generation of Thai chefs takes great pride in bringing this excellent dish to a brand-new level and Somtum Der is a good example of this. Located on Soi Sala Daeng in Silom not far from Patpong, Somtum Der is a small but attractive-looking two-storey restaurant serving great som tum that doesn't compromise on the original taste.
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In case you didn't already know it, som tum in basically a spicy and sour grated green papaya salad mixed with all kinds of additional ingredients ranging from salted egg, barbecued chicken, blue crab, fermented crab and lots more. Being such a popular and traditional dish, customers expectations are rather specific, but chefs at Somtum Der are very aware of this and the som tum here sticks to the basics, without compromise. No fusion here, although you'll maybe find a few original creations with high-quality ingredients.
In this warmly lit white-and-orange restaurant, your som tum is prepared right before you at a large wood counter. Of course all other barbecued dishes are prepared in the kitchen so you don't have to worry about smoke and odours.
Simply choose from the illustrated menu and, as the servings are not large, just the way it is in Thai restaurants, guests can order a lot and share - that's the fun of Thai food. There were only the two of us but we got through six dishes and all were just great! Som tum moo yang (85 baht), a papaya salad with grilled pork, som tam poo pla ra (55 baht) also a papaya salad with salted crab and fermented fish, nua rong hai der (95 baht) grilled beef with spicy sauce, laarb moo (85 baht) a classic spicy pork salad with lime and mint, and a house speciality called 'super peek kai' (95 baht) which was a really delicious hot-and-sour chicken soup. Of course what would be better to go with all this than some khao niao, this simple but great sticky rice (15 baht).
Somtum Der is a very agreeable venue with an extremely friendly team, a great place to take a friend or a group of friends for some great classic som tum in a youthful atmosphere. And it comes with air con - a great plus in the heat of Silom and Patpong!
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 14:30, 16:30 - 22:30
- BTS: Sala Deang
- Address: 5/5 Saladaeng Road, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0)2 632 4499