23 August 2007

Thai Food

Great title, I know... At least it's to the point. At least.

Yesterday, I ate at a little restaurant in downtown South Bend called . I've been there once before and (sadly, I'll add) haven't been there since, though not because it wasn't good.

You walk into Siam Thai and you're met with a little partition, behind which you wait to be seated. Unless you're shorter than the partition, in which case step to the side (as I did, though my dad is taller, but there wasn't anyone sitting in the table right behind the partition and it helped them notice us). Personally, or not, as my dad thought so too, they could do without two or three of the tables. It's a little compact but without the claustrophobic-inducing feeling (I don't know how that is), though the problem is the noise. Once the majority of the customers start talking, the only way to hear the conversations you have with your friends/parents/siblings/hobbits is to raise your own voice. (Another option is either to just sit silently and stare at each other or become mimes, the latter which has the potential to get you kicked out for frightening everyone else.) The atmosphere makes up for any shortcomings. Each table has it's own table lamp, which emits a lovely golden glow once it gets dark outside (there is wall-to-floor glass windows at the front of the restaurant), and the lightening the restaurant has is soft. It's enough light to analyze your food with -- I hate eating in the dark.

Firstly, we ordered a pot of the regular green tea, which had a nice, light flavor without being over-powering. Secondly, for an appetizer we ordered the fried stuffed mushroom that came with what seemed like an MSG-less sweet-and-sour dipping sauce. It didn't have that sickish fully red hue and it wasn't gloppy. Glop-glop. The mushrooms were good, though I prefer portobellos because regular mushroom just taste watery to me. The filling was good, a somewhat moist pork filling? I forgot. And the outtards (the fried part) was neither greasy nor too thick. It all came together and was a perfect with the sauce. I can also recommend the satay because last time I got it, it was good, and the peanutty sauce was excellent.

Dad ordered beef with broccoli and mushrooms in some sort of a sauce that... It was #17. It was good. I don't remember much of it besides the beef not being dry (!!), the sauce being flavored perfectly, and that I really like broccoli in saucy dishes because it acts like an edible sponge, emitting a flavorful burst of saucy goodness. I ordered #15, the chicken with carrots, green cabbage, green onions, mushrooms, and red onions in a ginger sauce. I was apprehensive about ordering chicken because most chicken is overcooked but I needn't have worried. The chicken was thin and moist, sopping up the sauce, the vegetables were between raw and too limp (i.e., you bit into them is it was firm, giving a nice chew, without being like crudites and not being mushy), and the sauce? Stellar, it was amazing. This light ginger sauce, not over-powering but the perfect amount of flavor, which was enhanced when you bit into a piece of ginger, but it still wasn't over-powering (you know how too much garlic stays with you for days? This didn't have that effect). Each entree, unless it's a noddle-y entree, comes with jasmine rice to aid in sopping up every last bit of their perfectly seasoned sauces. The portions were generous without being gluttonous, leaving you room to eat more, if you so desired. Interspersed throughout the bites were my dad and I taking turns saying things like, "Wow, this is so good!" "Amazing, absolutely perfect!" "I don't know what dessert I'd want to eat after this."

Which leads me to the desserts. There are two cheesecakes offered but we both thought that it would be horrid after such a meal. Cheesecake is a meal unto itself. There's a dessert wine, Japanese plum-something, but I don't drink. The truffles I had next door at That Cheesecake Place (where they also get... the cheesecake from) and I didn't like them. I won't get into that right now. The only dessert that intrigues me is the fried bananas (it might be like banana wontons, or it's fried in a tempura batter, I don't know) with... a sauce. With vanilla ice cream. Sprinkled with sesame seeds. My memory just failed me. But we didn't want anything because we enjoyed the taste of the entrees so much, we didn't want something else to take it away. I think they should have a lemongrass sorbet, or any sorbet, something light. All the desserts seemed a little heavy and wrong to follow the sort of food they serve. They do have chocolate-covered mint sticks accompanying the bill. (Cheapo *cough*. No, I'm kidding!)

The appetizers are around $5, the entrees are $8 to $15, and a pot of tea starts at $3.99. You can dress either casually or you can dress up. A reservations is required for large groups but you can't get one otherwise. And it closes at 9 pm.

For now, Siam Thai remains my favorite foodie restaurant in South Bend.

Siam Thai
(574) 232-4445
(574) 233-2233

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