DesBrisay Dines

SPICE IT UP: In praise of the “lunch special combos” at Som Tum Thai

Colourful combo: The lunch combos at Som Tum Thai merge three or four favourite dishes onto one packed plate

By Anne DesBrisay

I must admit I weary of the identicalness of Thai menus in this city. And in many Thai restaurants I find the offerings have fallen into the doldrums. (A scoop of green curry paste, a glug of coconut milk, bits of tough chicken, and a tin of bamboo shoots do not a memorable gaeng kiaw wan make.) But Som Tum Thai on Nepean Street has always flashed some charm in its pretty space, spread upstairs and down, a parade of little rooms in a smartly painted house in Centretown. I also appreciate that Som Tum doesn’t cater too rigidly to wimpy Western palates. Order a Thai salad (yum) or curry and you’ll find the spicing pretty bold.

You won’t want to drop in without a booking, though. Particularly at lunch when the noon-to-one crowd is dense and the specials are what folks have flocked here for.