On 27 October, Mark Dobbie and Andy Oliver - the co-founders behind Spitalfield’s som saa - will open their new outpost KOLAE in Borough Market. The restaurant will draw 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 will be prepared in the Kolae style, using a fragrant 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 will also be available, alongside vibrant curries and fresh small plates. Key ingredients such as coconut cream and curry pastes will be 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, banana blossom and roasted chilli jam
Kolae mussel skewer with calamansi lime
Kolae chicken bamboo skewer
Horse mango salad with dried shrimp and roasted coconut
Mu Hong middlewhite pork belly and ribs
Southern Gati curry of seasonal whole fish
Pandan sticky rice, young coconut sorbet and jackfruit
To accompany the larger plates there will be refreshing coconut water pickles, designed to cut through the earthy flavours, punchy pounded salads, herb fritters with cashew nuts, fiery nam phrik relishes and a signature side dish of blended new season and red jasmine rice.
Drinks will 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 will be 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 Green Mango Dirty Martini and Asian Pennywort, Calamansi Lime and Cucumber Highball.
Located in an old coach house on Borough Market’s Park Street, the 75-cover restaurant will see 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 will have 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 will offer 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 will take the shape of a more intimate environment with 25 covers. KOLAE’s second floor will offer 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.