Soy Soi, Chennai’s newest pan-Asian restaurant is a welcome addition to the city’s diverse culinary scene

(All images snapped on the OnePlus 6 Avengers Edition)

Anyone who’s travelled extensively through South-East Asia will tell you that some of the best meals are served in the region’s busy streets. It’s why the culinary team at Soy Soi spent three weeks navigating streets full of culinary treasures in countries like Thailand and Vietnam. The result is an extensive, well-curated menu that rounds up some of the region’s emblematic dishes and the occasional surprise.

Soy Soi’s vibrant interiors

Don’t let the entrance to this restaurant fool you about its size. This narrow niche with a few tables and some vibrant design elements leads to the larger seating area. We like the multiple layers that also include a couple of cozy dining spaces tucked away. The wall art is quite special and elevates the interiors. If there’s one complaint about the restaurant’s menu, it’s voluminous. If you’re a first timer at the restaurant or not a natural with South East Asian cuisine, you’re likely to turn to the restaurant’s wait-staff for recommendations. Thankfully this team knows their menu and can help you navigate the menu with great conviction.

The restaurant’s many layers

We’d recommend kicking off your meal with a Vietnamese-style Pho (pronounced fuh) or one of their juicy baos. The beef bao and the pulled pork bao were probably among the most scrumptious of everything we sampled. The Thai style stir-fried chicken with a generous dose of bird’s eye chili is worth checking out too. There’s a whole bunch of salads – the tea leaf salad worked for us but not the classic Thai Som tam (raw papaya salad), and heaps of main course options. The Thai curries are certainly one of the menu’s strengths – we gave the red curry a go and were not disappointed. The Malay style flat noodles – Char Kway teow, was a tad below par though.

The baos.. don’t leave without checking them out

Dessertarians can take comfort from Soy Soi’s dessert menu. Dessert is clearly not an after-thought here. The basil-infused panna cotta gets full marks for innovation but the textures didn’t make the cut. This panna cotta didn’t quite ‘jiggle’. But do try the Thai-style sticky rice served with fresh mango. It scores on the presentation and flavours. We’re certainly going to head back for this and to explore the rest of the menu. That’s the advantage with exhaustive menus, there’s always something to go back for.

The sticky rice (inside the doll) and the panna cotta

Soy Soi is at  2/10, Gandhi Mandapam Road, Kotturpuram. Chennai: 85. Phone no: (044) 2447 2557. Meal for 2: Rs 2,000/- 

 

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