But it does still appear in the guide.
The Michelin Guide just announced the full star ratings for its 2017 New York guide. But among the 77 restaurants which made the cut, one name was noticeable for Bangkokians in its absence: Somtum Der.
The quaint, no-frills somtum and Isaan food specialist, which first opened in Bangkok before New York got its branch, made headlines at the end of 2015 when it broke into the Michelin guide for New York with one star.
At that time, Michelin said this: “Based in Bangkok, this concrete jungle outpost is doing a terrific job of presenting Thai cuisine that perfectly reflects the modern spirit of the Northeast Isaan region.”
However, for 2017, Somtum Der’s name has dropped off the list. Instead, it appears in the guide’s Bib Gourmand section—Michelin’s list of restaurants which aren’t quite worth a star, but which it wants to celebrate for offering high-quality food at an affordable price.
The loss of Somtum Der’s star highlights a long-cited problem with the Michelin guide that its critics, working under fine-dining parameters, often view a city’s food scene quite differently from local food critics and diners.
While Somtum Der has lost its star, New York’s other Michelin-star-rated Thai restaurant from last year, Uncle Boons, has retained its position.
To check out Somtum Der’s food for yourself, head over to the original venue on Silom Road’s Soi Sala Daeng.
Restaurateur Thanaruek Laoraowirodge (also of Supanniga Eating Room) originally opened Somtum Der in the capital in 2012 with the objective to steer Bangkok taste buds away from the sweeter somtam flavors they so cherish.