Som Tam @ Orchard Central: Modern Thai Fusion Cuisine

When it comes to food, the possibilities are endless. The prospects of fusion and implementing the basic fundamentals of natural selection into the flavor structuring of its signatures is indeed limitless and awe-inspiring - as a result, many food establishments jump on the bandwagon in order to invigorate and tease their audience's palate. In fact, it's funny how Orchard Central plays hosts to several of these rogue identities - 49 Seats, Joie by Dozo and Tanuki by Standing Sushi bar among others. New to the scene is Som Tam - a modern Thai fusion restaurant bent on giving Thai food a new lease of life. It's grand gesture beginning with its ambitious placement in the hip hangout Orchard Central.

Starting off with something more traditional, the Gai Satay (6 sticks for $9.80) is a safe haven of chicken skewers licked with flames till caramelised on the exterior and served with green Nahm Jim. Glistening on the outside, these succulent morsels will have you tripping over your words. Then of course, I yield to the syndromes of the latest 'let's go gaga over salted egg yolk everything' ailment with Som Tam's Oozy Chicken ($10.80). Delicious in all its rights except that I wished for the salted egg to actually take on a cream form instead of the crumbled chunky texture of the sauce. The deep fried chicken failed in retaining that crispy edge, but then again, with a sauce that addictive, that takes a backstage.

If it's fusion you're after then do make sure to order the Pasta X Chicken X Green Curry?? ($14.80), seizing a rather quizzical name, it reflects in its cooking style - pasta is pan seared and quickly tossed through a savoury Thai green curry sauce resulting in a certain wok-hei hawker quality dish perfumed with hits of green curry botanics. Saucy.. and a definite must order as a true representation of Som Tam's identity.

Mixed up in a jar, the Som Tam ($6.80) packs quite a fiery punch. The signature dish of the establishment, the green papaya salad is shredded a tad thicker than norm, the spicy dressing adhering to the crisp shreds with much endearment. Pimp up your salad with toppings such as Gai Kem (salted egg), dried shrimp of Thai Chicken Sausage for an additional fee - the only logical thing to do too since there's no way you're getting out from ordering this dish once you've step foot in here, so you might as well make it a more lavish affair. 

Burgers at a Thai food joint, no, I ain't pulling your leg.. The Krapow Chicken Burger ($12.80) filled the hinterland of my burger fantasies with its Thai fusion roots resulting in a burger that stands up firmly in the growing encyclopedia of burgers that have gone through my scrutiny. Basil marinated chicken mince are made into patties, before being flame grilled, then this is topped with a quintessential egg (to mimic the motion of eating a regular chicken krapow rice meal), cheddar cheese and a whole lot of umami filled krapow infused sauce splashed on the bottom bun. Good and ultra satisfying too at a modest price tag; accompanied with a bottomless bucket of tom yum truffle fries that honestly a tad limp and lifeless; you really can't miss out on such a bargain.

Som Tam
181 Orchard Road
Orchard Central
t: 6238 6872

Operating Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 11 30am - 3pm; 5 30pm - 10pm
Fri - Sun: 11 30am - 10pm

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