KOLAE – the new outpost from som saa co-founders Mark Dobbie and Andy Oliver – is now open in Borough Market. The restaurant draws its name from Kolae (also known as Golae, Galae and Gaw Lae), a cooking style from Southern Thailand where ingredients are generously bathed in a curry-like coconut marinade and grilled over open flames.
Signature dishes are prepared in the Kolae style, using a coconut curry marinade to coat a variety of proteins or vegetables before being finished over smouldering coconut to create a rich and aromatic smokiness. Seasonal fish, game, seafood and vegetarian specials that pay homage to the cooking techniques of Southern Thailand are also available, alongside vibrant curries and fresh small plates. Key ingredients such as coconut cream and currypastes are made in-house, with produce coming from a network of trusted suppliers and producers. Highlights from the menu include:
Fried prawn heads with with turmeric and garlic
Rice crackers with grilled pork jowl and cashew nut salad
Kolae grilled mussel skewer
Kolae chicken bamboo skewer
Sour mango salad with roasted coconut and dry fish
Phuket style soy-braised middlewhite belly and ribs
Southern Gati curry of wild sea bass
Pandan sticky rice, young coconut sorbet, peanuts and jackfruit
To accompany the larger plates there are refreshing coconut water pickles, designed to cut through the earthy flavours, stir fried seasonal greens, kale and herb fritters with cashew nuts, a fiery prawn, snake fruit and shrimp paste relish and a signature side dish of blended new season and red jasmine rice.
Drinks include a considered selection of crisp draft beers from Lost and Grounded that compliment KOLAE’s hot and aromatic flavours, with Thai beers available by the bottle. Also making up the beverage list are a range of lively wines selected from Modal Wines, as well as cocktails and mocktails that have been crafted using innovative techniques and ingredients from the kitchen, including a Pickled Mango Dirty Martini and Calamansi, Pennywort and Crystal Cucumber Highball.
Located in an old coach house on Borough Market’s Park Street, the 75-cover restaurant sees Mark and Andy partner with award-winning design specialists A-nrd Studio to create a warm space that feels welcoming and transportative. Simultaneously, the space has a modern, fresh feel for a London audience, drawing on the ambiance of Borough Market and carefully maintaining the building’s historical characteristics.
Split across three floors, KOLAE offers a selection of dining spots; ground-floor guests can be seated overlooking the restaurant’s open fire kitchen or al fresco on the small courtyard in front of the building, while the first floor takes the shape of a more intimate environment with 25 covers. KOLAE’ssecond floor offers a uniquely designed private dining space for 12-16 guests, where many of the original beams and historical features have been celebrated to create a dining room that’s steeped in character.