Bangkok Cheap

By Salamia on 31 August, 2007

The Catfish Salad at Soms Noodle House

My friend Cheri raved and raved and raved about Soms sometime early this year that I decided to test it myself a week after her heavy advertising. I was happy to know, from her reviews, that the old Daddy Nicks was in good hands, because the old beer and sisig place kind of became an after office hangout for me and some officemates.

Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed in what I tasted. It was quite a hit and miss menu. And a year later, the verdict remains the same. You have to know what to order or you will forever wonder what all the rave was about. But if you do know what to get, you’ll probably end up like Cheri and go on and on about it to your friends.

The Tom Yam Soup, very yum. Hits the bulls eye on hot and sour. A perfect starter for a hungry samaritan. On the appetizer menu, though, the Spring Rolls, very ordinary. It reminded me of Chow King’s fried lumpia actually. And I wondered why the waiter recommended it. The Pad Thai, another let down. Ordinary shmordinary. And they use cheap oil too. The Bagoong Fried Rice, winner. If you have just this and the catfish salad, pictured above, you have yourself a good deal.

The Bagoong Fried Rice I absolutely loved because, aside from it’s el cheapo price (P98), the taste is exotic. It has that hint of tempered saltiness mixed into the rice, which you mix in your mouth with the not-quite-ripe mango on the side, which offers a lovely balance of sour. You could eat the rice alone, but they throw in a couple of slices of meat too. So you have a full meal deal there as it is.

The other sour favorite of mine is the Catfish Salad. This is the plate that saved Soms for me on my first visit, where everything I tried was bleh except for the catfish. Now don’t be naive and expect catfish as in hito with the soft meat and many many tiny bones on your plate. Here it’s deep fried catfish that you get. Ground. It’s not ulam. The fish occupies half the plate then the other half is for the collage of sour: mango, onions, maybe a dollop of vinegar. It’s a perfect starter, really. It kind of teases your tongue for what’s next on the menu. Warning, though. If you’ve had the catfish salad at People’s Palace, don’t expect the size to be the same. I mean, compare the price and know you’re getting your money’s worth; Soms’ salad is only a third the price (and size) at People’s.

If you follow your catfish salad with any of the curries, that seals the deal. I don’t know what my friends round the table tried but I went for green. (There’s red, yellow and green curry on the menu. I am assuming the other foodies here tried the other colors.) I know it may have been sissy of me, not going for red hot, but hey, my tongue was still sour fresh so I decided to go for mild. Cut me some slacks. At least with the mild version, sky’s the langit kasi mas konti ang init. Anyway, it was goooood so have that.

In between meals, to give your tongue a rest, take a sip of their Thai Tea. Now I know why these bangkokers put milk in their tea. It’s to help soothen the tongue from all that partying going on with their hot and sour ingredients!

All in all, for the prices they offer, Soms is a cheap eats winner. It’s a place where I’d bring the boys and know that they’d love it. As long as I do the ordering…

Soms Noodle House
766 N. Garcia Street (formerly Reposo)
Barangay Valenzuela
Makati City
Telephone: (02) 729-7489

5921 Alger Street
Barangay Poblacion
Makati City
Telephone: (02) 757- 8079
Cell phone: (0917) 992-7648

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  • SEPTEMBER 1, 2007 11:43 AM

    Anonymous said...

    The Thai iced tea is really one of the best parts of the meal. Agree with you, Salamia, it's a nice break from all the riotous partying of the sour and the super spicy in your mouth.

  • SEPTEMBER 4, 2007 3:56 PM

    Salamia said...

    do you think that thai tea would be good with sago in it? just imagined it, tasted it again in my head and the sago crept in the pic ...

  • SEPTEMBER 5, 2007 10:29 AM

    Franco said...

    Like taho without the protein...Yum