Somtum Der may have gone international, with branches in Tokyo, Beiijing, Ho Chi Minh, and New York, but it is still as local as it can get.
The restaurant is headed by Chef Korn, a native of Sakhon Nakhon, a province of northern Thailand. He is responsible for keeping the roots of their Isan menu as intact as possible, even to the point of fermenting fish himself for one of their specialties, “pla ra”.
This cozy air-conditioned restaurant on Silom Road takes pride in its long list – more than 20 – of som tum varieties, each of which is prepared right before you as you order. Don’t miss out by ordering just one kind; try these top picks: Tum pla tu khao mun, Tum Suo Sakhonnakorn, and Tum Muo.
Somtum Der’s authentic Isan recipes are well-complemented by the Isan craftsmanship beautifully showcased in the restaurant’s interiors. The walls are adorned with photographs of Isan’s day-to-day life – real conversation pieces! A Somtum Der experience is akin to going back in time via their traditional Thai dishes while lounging in a modern red-orange time machine.
What to order: Tum pla tu khao mun, Marinated raw pork sausages, Spicy Isan pork cartilage soup
Price range: 50 to 120 baht ($1.45 to $3.47)
When: 11:00 – 14:30 (Lunch); 16:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Where: 5/5 Sala Daeng Road, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok
How to get there: Somtum Der is located right at the beginning of Silom Road. It is accessible by BTS Silom Line or MRT Blue Line, alight at Sala Daeng station.