Sunday, May 07, 2006

Best Rockwell resto yet


Well, it isn't really IN Rockwell. Just ober-da-bakod, actually. From Kalayaan, past Grilla, along the small eskinita with the iron-grilled fence separating the fancy from the not-so-fancy, you'll find SOMS-- arguably the best restaurant in the area. Oh, and it isn't really a restaurant either. More like a semi-upscale carinderia. 'Upscale' because they have waiters (and, I hear, a pretty waitress), incandescent lighting (or at least lightbulbs), and really good Thai food. How good, you ask? So good that tables are almost always full during dinnertime, and it is not uncommon to see Volvos, BMWs, and the occasional Porshe pulling up to get take-out.

Must-tries are the Thai milk tea, catfish salad and their assortment of curries. Red, if you like it hot, green, if not. I've never been a curry person. In fact, if you asked me a few years ago what my top 10 dreaded dishes/food items were, curry would be right at the top of my list. Next to durian, of course. And adobong paniki. But back to the curry at SOMS. I don't know what exactly is good about it, but if I had to hazard a guess (Naks! I've always wanted to say that.), it'd be the sauce. It's flavorful enough so that you can pour it over rice and eat it kain-karpintero style, but mild enough that you don't feel the need to use extra-strength deodorant after your meal. Also good, albeit not extraordinarily so, are the Pad Thai, spring rolls, and bagoong rice.

What makes SOMS so special, what endears it to me the most, is its prices. I took 10 of my friends there last month and our bill totaled P1020. I kid you not. With their dishes priced at P60-P80, with their perfect-for-hot-summer-nights cold milk tea, it is, hands down, my favorite restaurant of the moment.

There is also something to be said about their charming eat-along-the-road-under-naked-light-bulbs set-up. As you lean back on your monoblock chair, enjoying the cheap but yummy fare, don't worry about alikabok. Spice of life, I say. Something to be savored. Every now and then. Preferably at SOMS.

SOMS is open everyday, from 9am to 11pm. Try to go before 9pm, before they run out of milk tea.

20 comments:

bogchief said...

Oo, grabe, I have never been able to try their thai iced tea.

I have some tips: Order the som tam but ask them to use special white cucumber insted of green papaya. Manyaman! Also, they don't sell beer.Though their neighbor does, it's often piss warm. Best to bring your own cooler of ice cold suds. I imagine Tsingtao would go down well with the food there. And finally, if you have a favorite Thai dish that's not on the menu, just call them a few days before your meal and they can cook it for you. That's what I call a full service restaurant.

Miguel said...

i take responsibility for the photo of the red curry na mukhang kanin baboy. sorry. pero malinamnam talaga sya.

and hey, so it wasn't just me? they really don't serve beer?

bogchief said...

Maybe they do serve beer but had just run out when I was last there.

wysgal said...

Interesting review! I heard about SOM's previously when folks from a foodie egroup I'm a part of --- pinoyfrugalchowhound --- planned a field trip there.

As with many egroups though, there's quite a bit of ambient noise in the form of emails of questionable utility floating about. You take what's useful, delete the rest from your inbox.

karabau said...

Thank you, bogchief, for fixing the layout! And kudos to Miguel for the pics :)

filet minion said...

yung mga kinunan nyo ba sa picture ay mga artista? or sila yung mga naka volvo/ porsche/ bmw sa som's?

chibog tayo uli sa som's! lalo na last week, we ate at a greenbelt resto, 4 lang kme, and our bill was over P1000!!! more than 100 for evat and another 100 for service charge! mantakin mo yun! grabe, carinderia dining is really the way to go!

orange.pixie said...

I suggest coming in earlier, around 7. I guess word of mouth is making the place very popular. You do have the option to take out the food, but make sure you have a bowl for the tom yam.

And oh, there are no toilets near the area. So go there with an empty bladder.

Katrina said...

The place has gotten so popular that not only do you have to wait for a table, but the kitchen just isn't equipped, nor are the "staff" trained, to accommodate the number of customers. I recommended the place to friends, most of whom had to wait over half an hour for their food, while the rest waited over an hour! Even the rice took an hour -- longer than the curries did, so by the time the rice arrived, the curries had cooled. The "waiter" wasn't even apologetic. These friends vow never to go to SOMS again. While I still plan to return (since that was my first bad experience there), I predict that if they don't hire more staff soon, word-of-mouth will kill them as quickly as it made them. Yet another case of too much, too soon.

christine said...

Last Sunday my sister and her family of 5 came over for lunch and as is her customer, she brought her own food to add. This time she brought food from SOMS. Everything (except the pad thai) was excellent! With all those dishes - she brought 5 main courses, some were 2 orders each - she said she only paid P500. I couldn't believe it. That's less than what I pay for myself when I eat out!

Mila Tan said...

I don't like the phad thai at Soms, reminds me of the Jollibee spaghetti.
I enjoy their curries, and their vegetarian curry is the best! For P70 pesos (I think), the price and the taste is perfect for these rainy days.

christine said...

" as is their customer" waaa why doesn't blogger have spell- and grammar-check to spare me from embarassment?! Ok, I really don't talk like that. I swear. :)

bogchief said...

All is forgiven, christine. We here at bogchinoypi have probably had our own slips, and probably will continue to do so. English is our second language, and we can't all expect to be accustomered to speaking it. Haha, sorry, couldn't resist. :) I love gypsysoul73! :)

christine said...

I swear you crack me up! Love this blog already! :)

Anonymous said...

we had our early dinner (5.30p) at som's this afternoon. sarap ng red chicken curry + thai bagoong rice. too bad the thai iced tea was still 'cooking' when we arrived. i missed the iced tea - so i just bought the 'mine shine' at ministop.

also, one of the guys at som's mentioned that they'll (som's) be moving soon to the next street from where they're located (alger? st.) now. no date given.

love this blog! thank you!

christine said...

Bought food from SOMS again the other night to take to a friend's apartment. Had the green chicken curry, bagoong rice, catfish salad, tom yum soup, one order of milk tea and 2 extra cups of plain rice - all for P 407.00 !!

Everything was delicious as usual. How can you go wrong?! It's really such a great discovery.

christine said...

I heard that the chef at soms has partnered with an investor to open Chatuchak (sp?) in Mall of Asia. I hope he leaves Soms open.

karabau said...

Panalo yung garlic pepper beef/pork and catfish salad :).

Anonymous said...

so if im coming from powerplant, hilera sha ng grilla on the right side dba? where do i take a right turn?

pls help! thanks!

- kate

bogchief said...

Kahilera siya nga Grilla. But remember that Grilla is on the corner of Kalayaan and Algiers(?). So right after you leave the Rockwell compound, and right before you pass Grill, make a right to Algiers(?).

hello, i'm polyap. said...

i will forever be thankful for this!:)

paul