Perfect afternoon refuelling spot
One of my joyful moments when going to Chatuchak weekend market is the food. There are so many restaurants and one of my favourites is ‘Som Tam Foon Talop’.
This joint is easy to find from the Kamphaeng Phet MRT station (exit 2); turn left past the coconut ice-cream vendor, walk less than 100 metres straight, and it is on the right side of the street. That is the som tam spot I always go for in the late afternoon.
It is a bit like an organised-chaos system of musical chairs. People have to wait behind those who are eating. It is worth the wait and it never took too long in my experience.
What’s good here is the combination of popular Isaan food like ‘Gai Tod’, Isaan sausages, pork or beef ‘Nam Tok’, soup ‘Nor Mai’ (shredded young bamboo shoots cooked in bamboo grass) and of course, som tam.
I usually order all of the above, especially ‘Som Tam poo’ together with ‘Som Tam Thai’ with crushed peanuts on top. ‘Som tam poo’ has a more intense flavour of chilli, lime and fish sauce and is so painfully good! But at the same time, I also like som tam Thai which offers something different with a slightly sweeter taste from palm sugar and a less aroma of fish sauce, with the freshness of lime zest they sometimes add to the dish. I love soup ‘Nor Mai’ for the softness of shredded bamboo with a little hint of herbal taste, all mixed well for a great umami taste. Their Isaan sausages have a nice sour taste perfect with the young ginger that’s served with it. This dish is popular and can be quickly out of stock.
For ‘Gai Tod’, I prefer the wings. The highlight is the dip or ‘Jaew’ made from tamarind, a combination of grilled tomato, garlic and chilli, and a dash of ‘Pla-ra’ or fermented fish. This sauce could be my soup! The ‘Jaew’ here is so robust! I would dip and coat my sticky rice with all that goodness before devouring it!
The menu here is quite extensive. It’s an unconventional place and is pleasing to enjoy among the chaotic yet fantastic atmosphere.
Address: Som Tam Foon Talop in JJ market opens on weekends from 11am-6pm. The easiest approach is from Kamphaeng Phet MRT station (exit 2).