Siam Kitchen, 334 Melbourne Road, Newport. Phone: 9391 5179
Consider The Sauce has received a good deal of medical advice in the past six months or so.
Some of it was about food.
“We really like Siam Kitchen in Newport,” the doctor said. “The wok dishes and salads – not so much the curries.”
That’s the kind of advice – medical or otherwise – we’re happy to follow!
Truth is, Siam Kitchen has been on our radar for a long time.
The restaurant occupies the same strip as the recently covered Odd Spot Cafe.
We are expecting a modest, typical suburban Thai eatery.
So we’re surprised and delighted to discover within a really love room dominated by dark wood and tastefully decorated.
We’re happy to report that by and large the service and food reflect those good first impressions.
This place is a handy and classy notch or two better than the phrase “suburban Thai eatery” implies.
It’s early in the week but the place is busy, with a good half of the tables occupied and a constant stream of takeaway customers coming and going.
There’s only one front-of-house staff member at hand and she’s working very hard indeed, though some kitchen folk help out by bringing full dishes out and taking empty ones back in.
It’s Bennie and I only tonight so we keep it simple by choosing two entrees and two mains plus rice.
The entrees satisfy rather than thrill us.
We whip through two roti breads served with satay sauce ($5) in quick time though it’s all rather nondescript and the sauce lacks punch and is too sweet for us.
Crispy golden bags (tang tong) of marinated pork mince with garlic, spicy onion and herbs served with sweet chilli sauce ($6.90) are way better and much more interesting than your average won tons.
The chilli sauce, too, is a flavour hit, boasting more zip and depth of flavour than your typical commercial version.
I cannot tell if this one of those commercial brands tarted up in the kitchen or one made from scratch – either way, very nice!
Seafood pad cha of – “traditional” stir fry with peppercorn, ginger, eggplant and mixed vegetables ($14.90) – is my selection based on the eggplant component.
As it turns out, the eggplant is pretty much the least of it.
There’s plenty of seafood that tastes very fresh – I slurp up the mussels as Bennie is uninterested, and the scallops have terrific flavour.
Best of all, there’s nothing tame about the seasoning levels here – it’s a spicy blast.
Crispy chicken salad with herbs and chilli topped with peanuts ($13.90) is Bennie’s choice and the outright highlight of our meal.
The chicken bits really are crisp, and delicious to boot. And we love the crunch of the peanuts.
There’s a significant chilli hit here, too, and real tang thanks to coriander, mint and lemon juice.
Unlike some people we could mention, we’re by no means Thai food experts – but for what it’s worth, the Siam Kitchen menu appears to have no really unusual dishes or surprises.
That said, this is the best Thai food we’ve had in the west.
Check out the Siam kitchen website, including menu, here.
It must have improved since the last time we went there, perhaps a year or so ago. The chef was heavy handed on something I recall. We would have had curry as well ….
Great little restaurant that I’ve been to several times.
If you venture there again, I recommend you try their Pad Pet.
Absolutely outstanding and the best I’ve ever had.
Yes, I too have been to Thailand … more times than I can think of.
I think it’s time I took you out for some ‘real’ Thai food.
A trip to Springvale will be required.
To be fair, the dishes you sampled at Siam Kitchen are no different to those offered in the majority of Melbourne Thai venues across town. You can count on one hand those that actually offer something more unique or inspiring.
BTW, I’ve never understood why they serve pre-made frozen roti at every generic Thai restaurant in Melbourne. Its not even a Thai dish. 😦
You do see street vendors of Muslim heritage stretching roti everywhere in Thailand, however it’s very much a snack of the sweet variety usually teamed with condensed milk, sugar, banana or chocolate.
Would like that!
I have no problem with non-Thai variations being offered but in this roti case things were a little on the routine side.
Yes, typical Thai dishes as offered around Melbourne but well done I reckon.
Glad to hear you have discovered my Go-To Thai restaurant 🙂
Yes, I’m with Nathaniel on the roti. I have been to Thailand 23 times and lived there for four years, as you know, and it wasn’t on Thai restaurant menus there, though it may have been in the south, of course. Customer demands have to be met, here, however. But if you can’t make your own, just leave it off the menu!
You could be right however going back to antiquity, what is now Thailand came under the influence of India. Academic studies refer to Thailand, Malaysia/Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos as the ‘Indianised kingdoms of south east Asia. It is probably the case that that early Thai cuisine mirrored aspects of Indian cooking. Where else did they get the idea of curry from?
As a footnote I failed to mention Vietnam which came under the influence of China. So it is no coincidence that racially they are very similar and aspects of Viet cuisine is directly borrowed from Chinese cuisines.