I think most people who reside in Thailand know that the country was once called “Siam.” However, that is strictly not correct. The country has twice been called “Siam”. The signature of King Mongkut (r. 1851 – 1868) reads SPPM (Somdet Phra Poramenthra Maha) Mongkut King of the Siamese, giving the name “Siam” official status until 23 June 1939 when it was changed to Thailand. Thailand was renamed Siam from 1945 to 11 May 1949, after which it again reverted to Thailand.
A little SE Asian history to introduce Siamese Cuisine, this week’s restaurant reviewed by the Dining Out Team. It is an easy restaurant to find on the Pattaya-Naklua Road, about 500 meters past the Dolphin Roundabout and on the opposite side from the La Baguette restaurant. With its full glass frontage it is an attractive restaurant and on our night the restaurant was packed with visitors.
Dining is in three locations. There is an al fresco area at the front, leading into the main air-conditioned dining area, and then there is a mezzanine floor for private functions. The tables are adequate, and the chairs are very comfortable. The décor is up-market modern and the service personnel outfitted in black uniforms.
There is a separate menu for cocktails and beverages with local beers B. 95-115 and house wines, white and red, at B. 185.
The main menu covers Thai items first and then international, and most items are also shown photographically. Taking the Thai (Siamese) items first the appetizers include Satays (B. 120) and Lao sausage (B. 160). Thai salads (B. 180-290) with an interesting prawn salad with chilli paste.
Thai Mains (B. 140-360) with staples such as Massaman (B. 180) and Pad Thai (B. 180) and others more adventurous such as prawn with asparagus (B. 250) and grouper at B. 360.
On to the international items beginning with the Appetizers (B. 60-160) and then into Buffalo wings (this dish is reputed to have come from Buffalo in the United States and has nothing to do with Pegasus the Flying Horse, or the large black beasts that are always getting sick in Isaan). Tempura prawns are B. 190 and there are some NZ mussels on the menu and specials board outside.
Salads are next up at around B. 240, followed by pastas (B. 220-280), burgers and other standard items as fish and chips (B. 290), chicken cordon bleu, fajitas and imported steaks (B. 325-765) with a choice of sides and sauces.
International desserts include a Swiss meringue, which will be explained later. Thai desserts are B. 70.
Madame chose the crab rolls for a starter and the crab curry for a main (feeling a little “crabby” for the evening?).
I chose the Mexican quesadillas to be followed by a beef stroganoff.
Madame was very happy with her choices, the crab curry coming in a copper pot with white ‘mee’ noodles on the side. Great presentation.
I loved my quesadillas, which were very flavorsome and not too hot (the chef deleted the Jalapeno peppers for me). The stroganoff was excellent, with the steak tender and the finely mashed potato very smooth. One of the best stroganoffs I have had recently.
Our evening at Siamese Cuisine was a complete eye-opener. A very classy restaurant serving both Thai and international dishes of a particularly high standard. Overseeing everything is Michael Thenisch, and if you think you’ve heard the name – you have. Michael is the son of the Royal Cliff’s executive chef Walter Thenisch. However, I believe it will not be long before Walter will be described as the father of executive chef Michael Thenisch. For me, it only seems like yesterday when I saw this fresh-faced 10 year old kid on a bicycle. Now he is running a restaurant. Time really does fly!
It is easy to recommend Siamese Cuisine restaurant. Good choices, good food, well prepared and presented and not overly expensive. And say hello to the fresh-faced kid, though he doesn’t use a bicycle these days.
Siamese Cuisine, 179/92-93 Moo 5, Pattaya-Naklua Road (opposite La Baguette), open seven days 10 a.m. till 10 p.m., roadside parking, telephone 038 370 330.