Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bangkok Travelogue: Som Tam Nua

Who would have known that tucked behind an alley somewhere in Bangkok is a famous restaurant, known for their Som Tam (Papaya salad)?
Located on Soi 5 (soi is street or alley in Thai) in Siam Square, is this place called Som Tam Nua,  famed for their legendary papaya salad which have attracted many from the country and also tourists worldwide to make it a must to stop by this place when in Bangkok.

I was fortunate enough to be staying in Siam Square, and the restaurant was just right down my alley.

There was already a queue waiting outside the restaurant, and typically I don't like to queue for my food (yeah, I just don't), but as I have heard of the fame of this restaurant and also I was traveling with a group of friends, I just joined in the crowd.
At this time, I was really curious and excited to try for myself the credibility of this place as there must be something really good (or cheap!) when people are willing to wait for their food.
Sometimes, it could also be due to the commercialization and some places could be overrated, but either way, I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

I guessed we were really lucky again, as we only had to wait for about 30 minutes and with friends to chat with, the time passed by really quickly and soon we already found our place inside the restaurant.
(They had this really good service where you are presented with the menus to have a glance at what they have, and while waiting, customers are also served with a small glass of fruit punch).

Sweet chili sauce, and a super spicy sauce

 A closer shot of the super spicy chili sauce

Deep Fried Chicken

The famous Som Tam (papaya salad) which seems to be the signature dish in the restaurant.
Now, I am not a papaya fan and I don't really fancy the papaya salad, but I find this raw papaya slices with the slightly spicy sauce of a combination an extremely appetizing dish.
I can understand why they gain their reputation

It seemed that almost everyone had more than enough helpings, and there was just something irresistible about the dish.
I also liked that it was not overly sized to proportion, and how it suited the standard serving of a salad which makes it even more attractive as many get a few, but enough to taste the glory of the dish which made the restaurant famous, and the reason for the restaurant's name.

I am not sure what the following is called, but I know it was an extremely spicy pork soup.
(Yes, the restaurant is non-halal)

While the Som Tam was indeed the famed attraction of a dish here, I was delighted and surprised with this other enticing dish which tempted and lured at my taste buds, leaving that taste which still tickled my memory to this very day.

When we ordered a steamed fish, we expected to see a fish which came with the usual metal platter where a candle is lighted beneath the fish platter. I have never expected to see this....

These were awesome; and they used thread fin fillets which was lightly steamed to perfection and I just loved how it turned out in its taste.
I cannot remember the exact name of this dish, but I know I am ordering this again on my next visit!

I can see the reason behind the fame, reputation and the crowd at this restaurant, as I have tasted for myself and I am bookmarking the place for my next visit, which is coming very soon!~

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