Asian East London


Top notch Thai pop-up finds a permanent home


Som Saa is in Spitalfields where lots of restaurants have set up camp in and around that area over the years; Taberna do Mercardo, Hawksmoor and St John’s, all a stones throw away. Som Saa is easily accessible via Shoreditch High Street station or Liverpool Street, both about a 10mins walk away.


You can’t miss Som Saa as it has a lovely teal facade. The bar area occupies the front part of the space; a number of high tables with brass brushed tops and high stools are dotted around the room, where guests can perch and sip cocktails as they wait for their table. There are low hanging lights (some simple exposed bulbs, others encased in woven basket lampshades) along the length of the room. The far right of the bar area has a couple of wooden booths where I believe you can sit and eat a proper meal – above here is a high shelf of potted plants giving the place a low key tropical look and feel.

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The main eating den is outback – it’s pretty much wood on wood on wood with brick walls and a couple of industrial looking but chic long grill lights hanging from the ceiling. Seating wise, there’s a communal table (which I assume you can book for a large party), a couple of booths and the rest are individual tables. All in all, I would say it has a casual yet sophisticated look and feel.

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We waited for 2 hours to be seated – yep 2 hours. I absolutely hate waiting but Som Saa has a lovely bar, so my friend and I perched here  and had a good ‘ol chinwag over a basil based cocktail whilst we waited for our table to become available.


When we finally got seated, we opted for x2 main dishes and a salad. I was totally into the fried seabass, nice tones of sweet and tangy – flaky and lush flesh with a crispy coating and edible bones.


The beef curry really was superb, if you want your tastebuds ‘tantalised’ as we Nigerians love to say, then make sure you order this bad boy. We also ordered some veg (nice and crunchy) and welcomed the fact that it wasn’t rammed full of flavour as it helped to keep the meal in equilibrium, since both the fish and curry were so rich with taste.


The service at Som Saa was also really great – I was quite impatient and they handled me with charm and so the wait didn’t feel as painful as it could have. Also, they have a charging station for phones at the front desk and were really accommodating with this and just other general requests.

Having amassed a sort of cult following as a pop up (they managed to raise £700k to set up permanent shop in a few days), Som Saa has now laid it’s permanent foundations in Spitalfields and all the hype it’s getting is well deserved, it really is that good.


We hit up Som Saa on a Friday night. Got there about 6:30pm and the place was buzzing though not in a claustrophobic way. There wasn’t a particular type of person here but I did notice a lack of City Boys. It had a fun, lively ambience with nice lighting where we sat – perfect date digs.


The cost is reasonable for what you get. A shared curry, whole deep fried seabass, salad, rice, a cocktail and a glass of wine each came to c.£45


Banging plates of Thai food coming out of this deservedly hyped restaurant, housed in a pared back tropical, sophisticated space

Cuisine: Thai

Avg cost Inc. an alcoholic bevvy: £36-45 [£££] 

Address: 43A Commercial Street, Spitalfields, E1 6BD

Reservations: Yes 

Hours: Lunch: Tue-Fri 12 – 2:30pm  | Dinner: Mon-Sun (5-late) Last orders 10:30pm (Sun 10pm)

Phone: +44 (0)20 7324 7790