During the research for our Bangkok trip it seemed that all recommendations for somtam (papaya salad) led to Somtam Nua, an institution of the Bangkok dining scene. With three sites we visited the original restaurant on Soi Siam Square next to the Siam Square One complex with no wait for an early dinner. We were lucky as queues soon started to form outside.
The interior is a simple no frills affair and locals were in and out rapidly. We ordered a selection of dishes from the English version of the menu and by observing what the locals were eating.
The restaurants speciality is somtam and we ordered the original and a variant with pork sausage and rind. Both versions lived up to the billing with fresh papaya salad full of life with satisfying bite and complemented by a well balanced dose of palm sugar, chilli and fish sauce. Unlike anything we've tried back home and much better.
Somtam with dry shrimp and peanut
Somtam with Thai pork sausage and crispy pork rind
A deep fried local fish that we didn't get the name of as it was explained in Thai was fearsome looking and extremely crisp. So much so that the flesh was quite tough and despite being quite large there was a limited amount of meat to be picked at. We probably should have ordered a fish with sauce but Mrs Nom was worried about the chilli levels.
Crispy fried fish
It seemed everyone had a basket of fried chicken so we followed suit and we were rewarded with excellent crunchy chicken with additive fried garlic chips adding to the strong flavour.
Naam Tok - chargrilled sliced pork shoulder
This was our first sit down meal in Bangkok and with beer and fresh coconut juice to drink cost approximately £10. We can see why this is an institution in Bangkok and is ideal for a quick meal and introduction to Thai food.
392/14 Soi Siam Square 5, Rama 1 Road, Bangkok,Thailand