Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Som Tam, Orchard Central
I've noticed this place (#08-13 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, tel : +65 6238 6872) for a while but for some reasons didn't pay attention to them probably because of that generic sounding name. As it turns out, Som Tam is managed by the Jus Delish Group who happens to run Gin Khao as well as a few other places.
I wanted to try their som tam because it was their namesake. The papaya salad arrived in a jar and came with what tasted like a Chinese plum sauce. The som tam sucked. There wasn't much of the fish sauce or citrus going on. For some reasons, it was really garlicky as well which threw us off. This was definitely the worst one we've had.
Their tom yum "Black" was kinda nice. The colour came from squid ink that was added. The broth had some sweetness from the onions and seafood, was a little tangy and also had spikes of heat from the chilli. Those prawns were deliciously sweet.
This was their satay gai. Chicken satay with a sweet glaze that tasted like it could have come from Tori-Q. I'm not seeing the Thai fusion element here because this appeared to be simply pseudo Japanese. There's even some Japanese sesame dressing to go along with them which would have resulted in a flavour overkill with the already sweet glaze on the chicken.
What unexpectedly turned out pretty good was their sautéed beef pad thai with truffle oil. Yes, truffle oil. This era's most overused ingredient which likely does not even contain actual truffle. However, this plate of fried rice noodles was actually quite enjoyable. The truffle aroma never took main stage. In fact, it was just lightly in the background throughout the dish - even after the crushed peanuts, dried chilli and lime. Liked it better than I thought I would.
Here's some grilled yellowtail collar. The menu called it kama shio so I expected some salt. That salt was virtually non existent but the Thai shrimp chilli (tasted quite like our local sambal belachan) that accompanied it paired off pretty well. Actually, the other thing that complemented this grilled fish was that sauce that came with the som tam.
Dessert was a chocolate chip basil gelato with D24 durian paste. Don't knock it till you've tried it because it's actually pretty good.