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About Us

Somtum Der Bangkok was first founded in 2012 by Thanaruek Laoraowirodge, Thai restaurateur, whose desire is to share the originality of regional cuisine from his hometown, Khon Kaen province of Thailand and Kornthanut Thongnum, one of the founders who creates all the local Isan recipes for Somtum Der. Thanaruek describes Somtum Der as a place “where real local recipes are available in a differentiated ambience.” The brand’s genuine spirit of Isan is reflected in every bit. Starting from the name of the restaurant, der is a common suffix widely used in Isan region. It indicates a warm invitation, which in the same time can be informative.

In 2014 Somtum Der journeyed to New York City and introduced original taste of Isan food to New Yorkers and visitors. There, the restaurant is awarded one star by Michelin, French tire company, and is listed in Michelin Guide New York City 2016 only one year after its opening and Bib Gourmand in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2019. Closer to home, Somtum Der also opened its branch in Ho Chi Minh City in 2016, Tokyo in 2017, and Chiang Mai, northern city of Thailand, in April 2019.

The new Somtum Der in Red Hook, Brooklyn, has design concept that showcases various artifacts from day to day lifestyle of Isan people. These include the use of huad (weaved steamer), soom (fishing coop), and pa-khao-ma (loincloth); the ordinary items seen in every household in Isan. The design at this branch also is uniquely inspired by the concept of Muay Thai, local pastime and competitive sports Isan people enjoy while having free time from harvesting.

Muay Thai, one of Thai cultural heritages, that is a popular form of sports practicing around the world. Muay Thai is derived from an ancient art of combat, meant to be used in warfare and self-defense. It is trained all over Thailand. However, a lot of international acclaimed Muay Thai boxers are from Isan; like Buakaw Banchamek of Surin province, two times K-1 World MAX Champion and Sagat Petchyindee of Nakorn Ratchasima province a local boxer who inspired the character Sagat in the world-famous Street Fighter video game franchise. Boxer like Somrak Khamsing of Khon Kaen province also won the highest international recognition such as Olympics’ gold medal in 1996.

Today, Muay Thai still is a major part of Isan way of life that is preserved by the locals. The same way Somtum Der preserves authentic taste of Isan food without compromise or adaptation. At Somtum Der, you can rest assured that your stomach will be filled with genuine Isan recipes in contemporary atmosphere that still represents Isan in every way.

Now, it is time to experience

authentic and unique recipes at Somtum Der Redhook
and discover the true taste of Isan.