Overlooking the Mill Pond in the Dundrum Town Centre, Siam Thai has been unfeasonably busy since opening. The food is good, the atmosphere is buzzy and contemporary room is pleasing. Paolo went along recently and enjoyed.
It’s a large ‘L’ shaped room seating I’d guess over a hundred people and there’s an upstairs as well, which I discovered on a trip to the loo. On this necessary trip I also passed the open counter into the kitchen, where you can see a small army of chefs at work. If you should ever find yourself in this restaurant, visit the loos and discover the amazing high-tech, state-of-the-art, ass-kicking hand dryers. You’d almost want to wash your hands again just to give the dryer a second go.
We had a reasonably sized table to sit at and the spacing between the tables is rather more than you usually get. Menus and wine list come on large laminated cards and the first thing you notice is how long the menu is. There are loads of dishes listed, so many in fact that I gave up any hope of remembering them. Alexis had eaten here before, so she knew what she wanted to order. I took a little longer, turning page after page until I had my mind made up.
The wine list is pretty impressive. I wouldn’t have expected to find a so carefully chosen list in an Asian restaurant, since wine isn’t really a part of Asian culture. Yet this list shows some care, wines have been selected by referring to expert opinion - Robert Parker, Decanter Magazine and the Wine Spectator. It’s such a simple thing to do I’m surprised that other restaurants haven’t done the same thing. So using the same guidelines Alexis chose a glass of Otare Tinto Joven from Spain, a wine with high marks from the guru Parker. A big glass, charged at €8.50 arrived for her with a small bottle of Tiger beer for me. A bottle of sparkling water, rather heftily priced at €5.70, completed our drinks order.
For starters Alexis had ordered the pork ribs and I’d ordered the dim sum. I liked both of these dishes, the pork ribs were simple, cooked so they came off the bone easily and spicily tasty. The dim sum, which was a selection of steamed dumplings, were also pretty good, especially the crab one. Served in the bamboo basket in which they’d been steamed, they also presented rather well.
For main courses we’d ordered a vegetarian stir-fry for Alexis and a beef one for me. Alexis’ one came with a mix of vegetables and was flavoured with ginger and cashew. For an extra euro she’d got the fried tofu as well. Fried and flavoured with garlic just gets tofu past my taste buds, any other way and I’ll give it a miss. Alexis had noodles to go with her stir-fry, I had fried rice to go with my garlic and pepper beef stir-fry. I did enjoy it, but both of us left quite a lot behind, as the portions here verge on the large.
We finished our meal with an espresso for me and a Sambuca for Alexis, which ended a pleasing evening. The food we’d chosen wasn’t complex, it was simple and carefully flavoured, served quickly and courteously in a modern, cleanly decorated room, with a sole drawback of low ceilings where we sat. Any nutritionist would prefer a meal like this with lots of veg and not a lot of meat, to a steak with chips with deep-fried onion rings, so you could think of it as healthy too. A bill for €88.25 was fair value for what we’d had.