Som Tam has recently opened at the corner of Orchard Central's level 8, serving modern fusion interpretation of well-loved Thai dishes. The casual restaurant want to give Thai food a new lease of life.
It sounds interesting enough for us to want to check it out, though I must say that the idea is not entirely new. We do see some restaurants offering the likes of green curry pasta, as well as stir-fried spaghetti with beef and holy basil.
But will an establishment dedicated mainly to such a concept work? Our trip was made with much anticipation, but not without a note of skepticism too.
What we first noticed was, the selection at Som Tam is rather extensive!
We flipped and flipped through the menu photos categorized into Street Delights, Burger, Rice Sets, Noodles & Pasta, Grills & Mains, Soup & Curries, Drinks & Desserts, before deciding on a few dishes that caught our eyes.
No single item is priced over $20, so I guess this is pretty affordable to most.
When at Som Tam, it seemed imperative to order its namesake: Som Tam ($6.80)! In case you've no idea what that is, it is predominately a green papaya salad, and the rendition here can be further dressed with toppings (+$1 to $2) such as salted egg, dried shrimp, Thai chicken sausage or deep-fried sweet prawn.
Though it came across as a tad gimmicky to have to shake up the ingredients in a container before consuming, it did serve the purpose of mixing everything together well. The starter adequately whetted up the appetite with its sweet, spicy and subtlety sour notes.
Snacks such as Deep-fried Wings ($9.80) and Tom Yum Truffle Fries ($6.80) were heavily seasoned with saltish tom yum powder. The latter regrettably, barely bore any hint of truffle scent.
Tom Yum Koong Burger ($13.80) was an instagrammable darling towering with grilled river prawns, egg, cheddar cheese drizzled with tom yum spices. But the problem was, with the prawns in skewer, I couldn't even take a bite into the burger without first dissecting it into a mini mess. Beautifully imagined, but poorly designed and unimpressive overall.
The Chicken Green Curry Pasta ($14.80) was of enjoyable standard, pleasing with its spicy savory taste and creamy texture accompanying the strands of spaghetti. If I had to choose something which I would order again, this would be it.
I must add that not everything on the menu is fusion. If you're craving for a good old Pineapple Fried Rice ($12.80) or Seafood Tom Yum Soup ($13.80), Som Tam has them too.
For desserts, expect not-your-usual Gelato ($3.20 single / $5.80 double scoop) flavors including Green Curry and Thai Basil, as well as creations like Velvet Mango Cake Popsicle ($10.80) and Thai Tea Cheesecake ($8.80).
My friend was visually disappointed that the mediocre After You Toast ($8.80) looked and tasted nothing like the one he had in Bangkok's After You Café. I later learnt that Som Tam's version is without the intention to bear any resemblance at all, but is inspired by the story of their founder chasing "after" his loved one whom he shared the sweetest French toast in his life. Ahh..... sweet memories.
Our meal at Som Tam was not exactly memorable in greatest gastronomy sense, but if the execution of some dishes can be improved, this is a promising place I wouldn't mind giving a second chance to. Service was friendly and eager.
Address: 181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central #08-13, Singapore 238896
Contact: +65 6238 6872
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 11.30am-3.30pm & 5.30pm-10pm / Fri-Sun 11.30am-10pm
Prices stated are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST.