If you want "Authentic Thai Foods", go to Soms. Remember, not "Food". "Foods".
My trip to The Mango Tree Bistro made me want to revisit an old favorite of Rina and I. Perhaps the only place we think of when we crave for Thai food, mainly because it's really cheap and, truth be told, pretty darn kick ass. While The Mango Tree Bistro gives you a sophisticated and authentic Thai dining experience at an upscale rate, Som's cuts through all those "unnecessary" luxuries, and gives you no frills, delicious Thai food.
My first few Som's experiences were rather interesting. Their dining area was actually the side of the road, across the front of the restaurant. As it was very possible that a waitress could get run over by a passing car while crossing the street to serve her customers Pad Thai.
Som's didn't have much in terms of ambiance, but what they did have, was excellent Thai food, at a very good price. I had heard about Som's "modernization, and I for one was elated at the thought of finally being able to enjoy Som's food with the benefit of air conditioning, or watching my waitress turn into roadkill.
One night, Rina and her BFF Lia made plans to have dinner. Lia had promised Rina and I that once she started at her new job, she would treat us to dinner at Som's, since we took her to lunch at Bob's one time.
Since she had been at her job for a few weeks now, and I was running low on things to post, I thought it was high time for the lovely Lia to pay up!
Though the sidewalk" area of Som's is still intact, Customers now have an option of having their meal in their Indoors section. I was really quite shocked with the sheer size of the place, especially considering that their new "ball room" used to be a ratty old townhouse. The place is pretty much your basic four walls, a roof, tables and chairs. Nothing fancy at all, but serviceable.
The only dish food dish that looks the same way going in and going out.
Normally when I post, I begin by featuring the starters, and move on to the main courses, right? This time I'm going to have to break from the tradition, and go straight to the main course, because when I go to Som's, It's all about the Green Curry (P130). You can choose if you want to have it in Beef, Pork or Chicken (Rina always chooses beef) but to be honest, it doesn't really matter, because the meat of the dish isn't the highlight. The Curry Sauce is. It has the right amount of heat on it that can be doused by a few sips of water, but the taste rich creaminess of the sauce leaves you wanting more (or in my case, more and more and more and more..). I started with the Curry because I ended up pouring the sauce on virtually everything else I ordered, making it even more awesome. I even ate the veggies (Mostly eggplant)! The beef could have standed to be a bit more tender, but like I said, the sauce made me forgive all other sins of the world. The sauce is so good, in a previous visit, when Rina asked for her leftovers to be wrapped, she bravely asked, "Pwede ba dagdagan ng sabaw?" (Translated to: "Could you add more sauce?" They politely said no.)
I'm lucky Rina didn't notice one was missing before she could take a picture
Som's Spring Rolls (P95) are also quite amazing. It's one of those dishes where you tell yourself "Just one more" and you find yourself with a clean plate. The outside was cooked into a perfect golden brown, while the meat inside had a wonderful blend of spices that made this fried little sticks so flavorful. As mentioned, I eschewed the chili sauce it came with and drowned it in Green Curry sauce.
Little Thai grenades
The egg is perhaps the best part
Lia wanted the Chicken Pandan (P150), and since she was paying, who were we to stand in her way? The Chicken wrapped in Pandan Leaves were a tad bit on the dry side, leaving the chicken tougher than I would have wanted. It wasn't a bad chicken dish though, however if they hadn't overcooked it, it would have been amazing. (The dryness was nothing the green curry sauce couldn't cure, although the vinegar-soy sauce with Sesame seeds sauce wasn't that bad either)
The egg is perhaps the best part
I love Pad Thai (P120), so I think it was only fitting that I ordered the pork one. Though this particular time it was a bit more citric than I was used to, it was still one of the best I've ever had, up there with the one from Basix in Hotel Dusit, which is fried right in front of you by an authentic Thai Chef (Who looked more like a little old lola than a chef, but damn, the woman can cook). Believe it or not, this was also enjoyed with a little Green Curry!
Thai Rice is nice
The Pork Fried rice (P150) is one of my favorite dishes of Som's. If you take a scoop of the - wait for it - Green curry, and mix it into the rice, it is a meal in itself. I loved how the onions were perfectly cooked and sweet. The rice itself was moist and lightly sticky, and bursting with flavor. The tomatoes were in chunks so it was easy to pick off hehe.. But my main problem with this particular dish, that didn't usually happen in my previous experiences, was the pork was overcooked, to the point of it being dry.
Beware of passing cars with filthy exhaust pipes.
Having a new "indoor restaurant area" opened a world of opportunities for Som's and widened their market, which is all well and good for them. Unfortunately, their service suffered in the process. The food took longer than usual to be delivered. We were accommodated in the table near the counter, but it was hard for the waitresses to get through to us because the tables and chairs were squished together so tightly due to the overwhelming number of customers.
As happy as I am to see good things happening to a small restaurant like Som's but I'm hoping that their progress doesn't mean their quality will suffer.
Oh, and on a final note, I think they should seriously consider renaming some of their dishes, since their market is predominantly Filipinos. As a Pinoy, would you order something called "Pork Satae"?