When I ate here regularly four years ago, I don’t remember the restaurant even having a name. The first thing I noticed, now that I’ve reunited with this popular lunching spot, is they’ve beefed up their branding, now calling themselves “Sum Tum 14“.
Same Same, But Delicious!
Granted, it’s a pretty basic name for a restaurant selling Northeastern Thai favorites in the back of Sukhumvit 14 (which is just at the Asoke intersection, across from the Terminal 21 shopping mall), but it’s one of the few noticeable changes. All else seems ‘same same’ as Thais would say; same pictures on the wall, same giant crowd, and most importantly the same matriarch greeting, running orders, and joking with guests.
Thinking back I probably survived a year just asking her what she recommends and having it with a plate of her grilled pork neck fried rice (ข้าวผัดคอหมูย่าง). You also can’t really go wrong having the pork collar (คอหมูย่าง) on it’s own and doing the usual issan dance of grilled chicken (ไก่ย่าง), yum salads, and minced meat larbs with sticky rice. Beyond that she has a large selection of made to order dishes on the menu which is now is in English too. On the last visit I also tried her soup-less tum yum (ต้มยำแห้ง).
Sum Tum 14 is located in Sukhumvit 14, but you need to beyond the places people know and frequent, namely when you see Hemingway’s to the left, go right and in the soi’s small alley is where you want to be. At the corner is a popular spot called “Suda Pochana สุดาโภชนา “. Resist temptation to follow the crowd and walk beyond the white people. Sum Tum 14 sells at lunch time only and now partly due to their success, there’s a giant enclave on sum tum restaurants frequented by the office workers. You’ll find the super crowded Sum Tum 14 located in the back right side of the alley.