new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Siam Square: Solid Thai Food, Awesome Menu Titles, What's Not To Like?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Siam Square: Solid Thai Food, Awesome Menu Titles, What's Not To Like?

Siam Square: Solid Thai Food, Awesome Menu Titles, What's Not To Like?
290 Main St
Great Barrington, MA 01230
(413) 644-9119

Siam Square is a solid "neighborhood Thai" restaurant - the sort of joint where the music is soft jazz, the decor is gaudy, and the food is homestyle and dependable. It's not going to rock the Asian culinary world, but it's a great choice if you want something a little more flavorful then most of the other American/continental joints operating in Great Barrington. (And one operating more in accordance with the health code.)

The food is dependable, if a bit under-spiced for my taste. Prices for dinner are over-inflated, although this IS the Berkshires, but lunch won't break the bank with most entrees under 10 bucks.

I was pleased to find out that they do have a Papaya Salad on the specials menu, which is absolutely huge and not a bad variant on the theme, although I don't think it'd kill them to give you more then two soggy shrimp - and to make it spicier.

Avoid the fried Siam Rolls ($5.95) - they're your standard grease trap appeal at the New England palate. The Thai soups (several varieties offered) are generally pretty good and definitely tangy - a nice way to stave off any lingering influence from a stuffy nose. I also adore the menu item titles here. There's a soup called the SEAFOOD VOLCANO. That is awesome. (It tastes pretty good as well.)

The Pad Thai($11.95) is a very large and very filling - although you do only get two shrimp with your order. (Shellfish withholders!) The veggie pad thai ($11.95) isn't half bad either, adding broccoli and fried tofu to the mix, if you have some sort of perverse objection to chicken and shrimp.

I've also enjoyed the black peppery Drunken Noodles ($10.95) which comes with finely minced chicken, flat rice noodles, carrots, and lots and lots of bell pepper. The Rama Noodles ($14.95) are best described as a Thai riff on seafood fettucine, featuring a variety of seafood mixed in rice noodles with vegetables and a creamy red curry sauce. It's definitely decadant, but worth a try if you're interested in something new, or at least something that will ensure future and tasty heart failure.

The curries are decent but have too much coconut milk for my taste - they are very, very rich. Shrimp red curry($14.95) came with a decent quantity of shrimp with the usual bamboo shoots, eggplant, and red and green peppers. With a side of rice, it's definitely a filling meal. The restaurant also features green curry, yellow curry, and Massaman, all for the same prices. Prices vary based on the meat you pick: chicken $11.95, beef $11.95, pork $11.95, shrimp $14.95, duck $15.95 and tofu $10.95. (There, now you won't have to look at the menu.)

Stir-fries here can also be tasty (and they might even spice them for you on a good day!). I had the awesomely titled FISHERMAN MADNESS for lunch today ($19.95 dinner, $8.95 lunch) and it was actually really spicy - I think they're finally beginning to recognize me. It featured squid, fake crab, scallops, shrimp and fish in a spicy pepper and garlic sauce, stir-fried with sauteed onions and red and green peppers. Yummy.

Decor is comfortable but not fancy, with the standard embroidered pictures of elephants and maybe-authentic Thai tapesteries adorning the walls (and the requisite photos of Thai royalty, of course.) Service is generally quite quick, with an impressively short turn around time from ordering to actually recieving your food, as you hear the wok sizzling ferociously away in the kitchen from your comfy chair. They're equally speedy if you're ordering take out, and put your food in cute little foil take out containers.

And I want to give extra props to my server this afternoon - after I ordered my stir fry very spicy, she brought me out some sambaal and an AWESOME dry Thai spice mixture that the restaurant apparantly makes itself. If you're really into spice, ask the server to bring this stuff out - it's impeccable sprinkled on just about anything. I'm trying to convince them to sell me some so I can carry it around and look sketchy.

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