I love Hungarian food - rich, flavoursome, oftentimes very well-seasoned, albeit on the salty side most of the times. But after more than a week of Hungarian cuisine (overload), I was looking for something really different. So, coming across Kaeng Som Tom Yum Thai Étterem along the plush Andrássy út, Budapest's premiere boulevard, is a very pleasant surprise indeed.
I didn't have any high expectations for this new-ish Thai spot - after reading so much about how "Thai" food served in Hungary (or any Central European country) tended to be poor imitations of the real stuff.
However, Kaeng Som Tom Yum bucked the trend - serving some of the *most* authentic Thai food I'd had anywhere in Europe! For one, the "holy trinity" of Thai cuisine: lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves, were all used in the cooking here by the three Thai women-chefs as seen in the open kitchen.
What I had:
- Popia tod: filled with vegetables and served with sweet Thai chilli sauce. Not the best I'd had, but beautifully plump and perfectly textured here.
- Tom kha kai: my fave Thai soup in the whole world - chicken breast-meat strips and mushrooms in a coconut-milk-enriched soup. The flavours were spot on: rich, sourish, with distinct galangal and lemongrass flavours. Perfect!
- Thai red curry with pork, served with steamed white rice. A bit over-salted here, but perhaps to suit Hungarian taste. Still, very enjoyable meal.
The Thai iced tea here was also spot-on. I actually enjoyed my Thai dinner here much, much more than the one I had at @Siam in Soho, London, last month.
Kaeng Som Tom Yum Thai Étterem
Andrássy út. 2
Tel: + 36 1 273 09 03