Som Saa Founders Launch New Thai Concept Kolae, Celebrating Southern Provinces’ Cuisine

Som Saa Founders Launch New Thai Concept Kolae, Celebrating Southern Provinces’ Cuisine

…By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.

The founders of Som Saa, a renowned Thai restaurant in Spitalfields, have announced their plans to open a second concept called Kolae.


This new venture, set to open in October at Borough Market, will focus on the distinctive cooking styles of Thailand’s southern provinces.

Kolae will center around grilled dishes, featuring signature offerings such as half-chicken marinated in lemongrass, fresh turmeric, and black pepper, all cooked over an open flame.

Additionally, seasonal fish and seafood will be prepared using a similar grilling technique.

Salads will be freshly pounded in a pestle and served with fiery condiments like nam phrik, which combines garlic, chili, lime juice, and fish sauce.

The restaurant will be located in an old London coach house, boasting three floors and accommodating around 80 guests.

Mark Dobbie and Andy Oliver, the founders of Som Saa, expressed their excitement about opening Kolae in Borough, citing the area’s vibrant restaurant scene as a significant factor in their decision.


This marks the first new concept from Som Saa since a controversy in 2018 when a chef at the original restaurant, Shaun Beagley, was dismissed for running a racist social media account.

In response to the incident, the founders implemented significant changes to the business structure and human resources procedures.

Since Som Saa’s opening in 2016, London has witnessed the emergence of several high-profile, Thai-inspired restaurants with substantial budgets.

The introduction of Kolae further demonstrates the growing appetite among Londoners for modern interpretations of Thai cuisine in less traditional settings.

Andy Oliver expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming project, stating that Kolae represents an exciting new direction for the team.

The concept aims to celebrate special dishes, ingredients, and techniques that inspire and captivate the founders.

Kolae is scheduled to open its doors in October at 6 Park Street, SE1 9AB.

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