Pattaya: Som Tam Naa Mueang


I had eaten at this modest isaan restaurant on my only previous visit to Pattaya several years back. The place is well known, and the memory of the som tam thai I had back still lives strong: crispy, chilled strips of green papaya gently coaxed with tart lime and barely smashed tiny cloves of garlic... I always wondered if the place was still around, and was excited when, arriving at the grilled chicken restaurant Songdet recommended, realized it was the very same place. I told you these guys have good taste in food.

This place is all about the som tam, in particular, the som tam thai:


which is som tam made with bottled fish sauce, and topped with peanuts and dried shrimp. It was every bit as good as I remembered; the papaya crispy, and the dish sporting an assertively tart flavour.

As a counterpoint to this central Thai dish, someone ordered the very northeastern version, tam sua, isaan-style som tam with khanom jeen noodles:


complete with the northeastern-style unpasteurized fish sauce known as plaa raa and pickled field crabs, I was surprised these Bangkok kids could eat stuff like this.

There were isaan staples such as laap muu, pork laap:


tap waan, 'sweet liver':


three dishes of khor muu yaang, grilled pork collar:


and an entirely too sweet wing bean salad:


And of course, the main reason Songdet took us here, the grilled chicken:


which according to him, is marinaded in honey.

And finally Peach, for some strange reason, decided to order som tam khao phot, corn som tam:


a bizarre mixture of corn and carrot. She said wasn't very nice. It didn't look very nice. Everything else was wonderful though.

Som Tam Naa Mueang
Thanon Pattaya Nuea (near the Tesco-Lotus)
038 423 927