After our success at Bashuge (we were very pleased to find out we had ‘discovered’ this sichuan gem before The Age’s Epicure staff), KB2 and I were keen to see what other delights we could find down Koornang road.
After a bit of a discussion and a walk, we decided on Siam 1, a Thai restaurant that bills itself as “an authentic and creative restaurant and wine bar that was purely set up to raise the level of Thai cuisine and restaurants in Melbourne.”
It is a small narrow space, the table are crowded together and we were very cautious squeezing in to our table, as were the ladies that attempted to squeeze into the table next to us a bit later on.
It is also a very dark restaurant, with extremely low lighting, with the majority of light coming from the candles on the table.
KB2 noted that is was a very date like restaurant.
So naturally, with low lighting the photos aren’t great, sorry folks. The flash isn’t discreet, and the results actually look worse than without the flash.
Once we were settled we ordered a bottle of Koonowla Clare Valley Rielsing. I had never heard of this brand before and to be honest it was the cheapest of the Rieslings, bearing in mind that two out of the six were marked N/A. But, it was really good, went really well with the food and I definitely want to buy some more to have at home.
We decided to order three entrees and see how we went from there.
We started with gai thod krop, curry puffs, and seua rong hai, KB2 doing an impressive job of pronouncing the names of the dishes correctly. We also ordered one serve of steamed rice.
The gai thod krop (crisp marinated chicken, soy, pepper, num jim jal dipping sauce) was fine, nice but nothing to rave about.
Now, I am a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to curry puffs (puff pastry, minced chicken, onion, potato, curry, sweet chilli sauce). I love them and order them whenever I can.
These were up there with the better ones I have had.
The pastry was golden and flaky, but possibly a little too thick. The filling was a rich dark colour with lots of flavour, with a hint of sweetness. They could have been a bit more generous with the filling but overall these were very good curry puffs.
The seua rong hai (crying tiger beef salad – char grilled rare rump steak, roasted dry chilli, roasted ground sticky rice, mint, coriander and spicy dressing) was easily the dish of the night. Melt in the mouth beef with the perfect combination of flavours, and just the right amount of heat. KB2 and I both loved this dish and wished there was more of it.
We were pretty happy with our entrees and decided to move onto mains. We ordered gang massaman and phad pak. We didn’t order anymore rice but as we hadn’t finished the bowl we ordered with entree, the staff brought as a complementary fresh bowl with the mains.
The gang massaman (slow coked diced beef, massaman curry, roasted peanut, potato, star anise) was good, with very tender beef and potatoes.
The phad pak (wok fried local vegetables, tofu, chilli, garlic, spicy sauce) was basically vegies with two pieces of tofu. I didn’t think there was a lot of flavour, and the carrots were undercooked.
We were comfortably full by this time and decided to skip dessert.
We had a very nice evening and enjoyed most of the food. The staff were really good.The servings are small for the price, and this is not somewhere you would go if you want cheap and cheerful, there are heaps of other options on Koornang road for that. But if you do want something a bit more upmarket, then Siam 1 is a good choice.