Sunday, November 23, 2008

Taste of Siam: New Restaurant in Stoneham

Stoneham is seeing the opening of a few new restaurants lately or in the near future. One of the openings that most excited me was Taste of Siam, a Thai restaurant. Stoneham did not previously have a Thai place so I was intrigued by what this place might be like. It has now been open for a couple weeks and I have already eaten there a few times, for both dinner and lunch.

Taste of Siam occupies the previous location of Georgie D’s Place, so it does have a bit of a parking issue. Though they are supposed to be having valet service in the near future which will help to alleviate much of that problem. Plus, as they are still very new, they don't have their liquor license yet, though that is forthcoming.

Only some minor changes have been made to the interior of the restaurant, including adding some tasteful Thai decorations. They did place a small section of wall in the front dining room to block off the view of the kitchen.

They are open for both lunch and dinner and their menu is fairly lengthy and diverse. There are appetizers, soups, salads, curry dishes, noodle dishes, fried rice, healthy stir fry dishes, and entrees specials. Prices are very reasonable with appetizers averaging $6 and most dinner entrees costing under $15. Lunches range $8-10. You will find many standard Thai dishes as well as some of their own creations. There should be something for everyone there.

To start your meal, I highly recommend the Thai Chicken Wings ($5.95) appetizer. They are your standard fried chicken wings but covered with Thai spices and a delicious and slightly sweet sauce. They were fresh, meaty and very flavorful. The sauce elevates this appetizer above the usual wings you get elsewhere. They are messy though but you will probably just lick the delicious sauce off your fingers.

The Shrimp Tempura ($6.95) was good, though the batter was a touch heavier than I prefer. I am very picky about my tempura. Kyotoya in Stoneham still has one of the best tempura around, just so light and crispy that you crave piece after piece of it. The Chicken Coconut Soup ($3.95) has slices of white meat chicken in a broth made of coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal and cilantro. What I especially liked was that I could taste all of the individual ingredients and they mixed well in the soup. The Bangkok Dumplings ($5.95), deep fried, were small dumplings filled with pork that were okay but nothing special.

As for their entrees, they really excel, providing fresh, delicious food in good-sized portions. There are two standard Thai dishes I use in comparing Thai restaurants, Massaman Curry and Pad Thai. If a restaurant can do those dishes well, then there is a very good chance the rest of their menu will be as good. For both dishes, Taste of Siam passed with flying colors.

Their Massaman Curry with Chicken ($12.95) comes in a porcelain bowl sitting above a candle to keep it warm, a cool presentation. Though the bowl at first may seem shallow, it actually contains a ton of food and sauce, more than you get at most other Thai places. It comes with potatoes, bell pepper, carrots, peanuts and basil leaves in a superb coconut curry sauce. Everything seemed very fresh and the sauce really pleased me. I was extremely happy with this dish and highly recommend it.

They have a few different versions of Pad Thai. The traditional Pad Thai ($10.95), is a rice noodle dish with chicken, shrimp, egg, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts and scallions. A nice touch was that the sprouts were on the side so they remained crunchy. This was another large dish of food with plenty of chicken. Also quite delicious and recommended. Their Pad Thai Basil Noodle ($10.95) comes with rice noodles, egg, and some veggies, but also thin slices of a tasty, crispy chicken cutlet. This dish does not come with bean sprouts and I very much liked it, especially the crunchy batter on the chicken.

One of their lunch specials is Gai Kapow ($7.95), ground chicken stir fried with Thai chilies, garlic and basil leaves in a spicy sauce and served atop jasmine rice and with some veggies. This dish was spicy hot though not so overwhelming that you lost the flavors of the dish. There was certainly plenty of food on the plate and it is a perfect dish for a cold afternoon when you want something to warm and satisfy your belly.

They have nine desserts available, from Homemade Thai Custard to Fresh Mango with Sweet Sticky Rice. I tried the Fried Banana ($5.95), which includes several pieces of banana fried in light and crispy spring roll wrappers accompanied by a large scoop of vanilla ice cream with some chocolate sauce and whipped cream. A decadent dessert that you could share, though you might want it all to yourself. It was not as good as the similar dish I recently had at P.F. Chang, but it still was very good and worth ordering.

Service has been very good, despite the fact they don’t have their full staff working yet. Overall, I was impressed with this restaurant. It is an excellent place for reasonable prices, delicious food, and good-sized large portions. It is off to an auspicious start and I look forward to returning there soon to try more of their menu.

Taste of Siam
499 Main Street
Stoneham, MA
Phone: (781) 438-4001 (Note their website does not appear to be working yet)

Taste of Siam on Urbanspoon


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Anonymous said...

Great food, great service. We've already been 3 times in 2 weeks! Must try this "whole in the wall"!

Anonymous said...

Best Thai food anywhere! Service is even better than the food! What a pleasure to have this little gem in Stoneham.

Anonymous said...

I have been eating Thai food for many years, and the food at A Taste of Siam is, without a doubt, the best I have ever had. The menu is impressive, and the flavor combinations are wonderful The service is superb and very friendly.
This is the best of the numerous new restaurants that have opened in Stoneham.

Anonymous said...

A) I think you mean "hole in the wall!"

B) I am a city boy who just moved to the area from Boston. I have enjoyed the likes of Brown Sugar Cafe/The Similans for years. Nothing in my mind has ever beaten it in the Boston area. If I can find something that even comes close to it, then I will be hitting it up REGULARLY. The Thai restaurant in Reading, around the corner from me, is eh...extremely average.