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.