Southwark, London

Som Saa’s Andy Oliver and Mark Dobbie’s second restaurant outing is focused on the food of southern Thailand


Kolae takes its name from a dish that is little known outside of Thailand that sees proteins – often chicken – marinated in a coconut-based sauce and grilled. Moments from Borough Market, it is a marginally more casual follow up to chefs Andy Oliver and Mark Dobbie’s celebrated Som Saa restaurant.  

In general, Kolae’s dishes are inspired by the cooking of the south of Thailand, which has not been as thoroughly explored as the food of central Thailand and the north by Western chefs cooking what is often referred to as ‘new wave’ Thai cuisine. Oliver and Dobbie are key proponents of the genre having both worked at David Thompson’s seminal Nahm restaurant in London. 

Priced surprisingly competitively given the calibre of those involved, Kolae offers a tight menu that is geared towards sharing that includes punchy Thai salads, curries and of course the eponymous skewers (options include mussels, lamb and crown prince squash).   

Standout dishes include grilled banana leaf parcel of stone bass, fresh coconut and southern curry paste; kale and herb fritters with fermented chilli and cashew nuts; and Phuket-style soy-braised Middle White belly and ribs. 

On Park Street a few doors down from Monmouth Coffee’s prominent corner site, Kolae is within the characterful three-storey space that was once home to Neal Yard’s Dairy’s warehouse. The space has 75-covers in total with a partly open kitchen on the ground floor with counter seating. Upstairs are a number of private dining rooms as well as regular restaurant seating.