Siam Cuisine - Anigua's Thai Food Haven
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
There are already a lot of loyal customers who know just how good the food is at Siam Cuisine in Anigua, just try going there at 12:30 pm to get a table ... you'll be standing for a while. Siam's menu boasts 74 different appetizers and entrees, with soups, salads, curries, noodle dishes, a sizeable vegetarian selection, and other Thai specialties using shrimp, chicken, beef and pork, meeting just about everyone's culinary preference.
Carol & I decided to explore lunch at Siam and thought we'd beat the crowd by coming at 11:30 am - I was surprised how full Siam already was, with several tables pulled together to accommodate large parties. (If you want to be sure of getting a seat, they are open at 11:00 am!). Our smiling waitress Leng, who's name means "braid" in Thai (she shyly showed us the braid in her hair) brought us two Thai Iced Teas, which are always a nice refreshing treat, especially on hot days. I'm impressed by how these are made using a special tea blend that's combined with condensed milk. They tend to be a little on the sweet side.
The Vegetarian Spring Roll appetizer ($5.50) was the first item we ordered, to be followed by the Yam Nua (Spicy Beef Salad - $9.00), a bowl of Tom Yam Kung (Sour Spicy Shrimp Soup - $9.00), and a Combination Pad Thai ($9.00). Pad Thai is one of those benchmark dishes one orders when comparing Thai restaurants ... usually a favorite for Westerners. Carol specified "hot" since she likes spicy.
The Spring Rolls came served on fish-shaped ceramic platter, and had been cut into easy to handle portions. The crunchy deep fried exterior wrap gave way to a pleasing blend of vegetables that filled the inside. Mushrooms, rice noodles, corn kernels, carrots, and cabbage made this a relatively healthy eat (not overlooking the frying). A sweet dipping sauce with ginger, fish sauce, sugar, and chili peppers enhanced the taste of the spring rolls.
The Tom Yam was a flavorful concoction, its broth seasoned by cilantro, lime leaves, Thai basil, chili, peppers and fish sauce. The shrimp were plentiful and fairly large, with tomato pieces and straw mushrooms rounding out the ingredients. Appreciating the spicy sour soup combination is an acquired taste, and I'm sure that this potent Tom Yam is an excellent cure for clearing sinuses!
When the Yam Nua (Spicy Beef Salad) was placed on the table, I felt a stirring in my salivary glands...why? Because I'd had this dish once before at Siam, and I'd ordered it again to see if it would be as good now as it was then. It was sensational! From looking at it, one would be impressed. Beautiful red tomato wedges joined by large cucumber slices surround a center piled with marinated slices of tender beef resting on a bed of shredded lettuce and onions. But when you take your first bite (as Carol did), then you realize that this is no ordinary salad, and that it ranks up high on the flavor chart! The special marinade used for the beef (by the way, this is a quality cut of beef, perhaps sirloin - as opposed to using ground beef) gives it a unique char-broiled, smoky flavor. This is enhanced by the homemade sauce that dresses the salad, which is made with sweet vinegar, fish sauce, and fresh lemon juice. If you are a beef eater, then this dish is a definite must for you...it's addictive!
The Pad Thai looked like it usually would, with the bean sprouts, chopped nuts, lemon wedge, and noodles separated on the plate awaiting the mixing routine. The only difference for me was that there was a slight reddish tint to these noodles, and after I thoroughly combined the ingredients, I'd find out why! The color was from powdered red pepper added to make this dish "spicy", just as Carol wanted. She was delighted. I felt a noticeable increase in the room temperature, my glasses started to fog, and I could feel the sweat building up in various parts of my body. The flavor of the ingredients (combination of shrimp and chicken) was still discernible despite the alarms going off in my palate. This entree would also qualify for a sinus clearer! I guess I just stick to the mild version in the future.
Siam Cuisine has been a favorite for local residents for many years, with good service and ample parking (since they moved into what used to be a 7-11 a couple of years ago). Their lunch hours are 11-3 on Monday - Friday, and 12-3 on Saturday. Dinner service is Monday - Saturday from 5 - 9:30 p.m. They are quite popular for take-out orders, which is understandable since seating can fill up quickly. I can't wait for my next visit to Siam Cuisine, when I'll explore other parts of their extensive menu. I'm sure it will be as satisfying as on my other visits! Siam Cuisine is certainly Anigua's Thai food haven! Call them at 472-9775.