Casual Thai Street Food at Samsen
Imagine a food stall in a busy Thai city, Samsen would be exactly what you’re looking for (a much cleaner and organised version though!)
We waited 30 minutes for the bar table seats on a Saturday evening which is a great spot to be seated if you want to peek into the plating of the dishes. The atmosphere is very casual with friendly staff and even friendlier chefs!
As soon as we sat down we ordered one mango and passionfruit and one pineapple and ginger smoothie style drink. Both very fresh and the ideal flavour combinations that depict Thai cuisine.
Unlike my usual indecisiveness with food, all the choices sounded delicious so we were able to decide and order quick enough to get the last green papaya salad with crispy pork belly. The food arrived so quickly! Probably because we ordered directly with the chef who made it immediately, we saw them pound the green papaya with fresh chillis, lime, cherry tomotoes and the pork belly mixed in last so the skin was still crispy. The tamarind dressing had a nice kick to it, which gets quite spicy towards the end, but still do-able. Plus the super cold drinks can cool everything down.
For the main and side we ordered a classic of Pad Thai with prawns and deep fried pork collar to share. The flavours were very fresh, the prawns had not been treated unlike many restaurants to keep their “fresh” texture and served with fresh herbs, spring onion and the usual lime and chopped peanuts. This was a very tasty yet typical dish not too many surprises here.
The deep fried marinated pork collar was very fragrant and crispy and served with a sweet chilli tomato dip and deep fried thai basil. Again a delicious dish and very satisfying but nothing out of the ordinary.
Since we shared the main and sides, there was still room to try the dessert, we ordered another classic so we could compare to other thai restaurants. Their version kept to the classics again, but since mangoes aren’t in season yet, the flesh was quite sour and the sticky rice and coconut sauce were very sweet. Enjoyable but best to share such a sweet and filling dish.
Verdict: I really enjoyed my meal at Samsen and it’s got a great, no fuss, casual and friendly atmosphere. The ingredients are fresh and of great quality. I’d definitely come back here and can see it being a regular dinner spot.
Address: G/F, 68 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai