Now, Chinese food is a bit of a problem for me. As Wifey’s parents owned their own restaurant for many years, I’m a little bit spoilt when I go over for dinner.
However, Thai food, that’s a treat that I don’t often get to do, which is rubbish as there’s plenty of restaurants in Birmingham offering amazing Thai food.
The newest restaurant on the block is Siamais at Oozells Square Brindleyplace.
The new owner is Nishil Nathwani, creator of the Aluna cocktail bar at The Mailbox. His parents previously ran Thai Edge, who occupied the space prior to Siamais.
The cocktails pedigree from Aluna has carried over as part of the dual concept of Siamais, accompanied by a range of South East Asian dishes.
The decor is a mix of traditional items like baskets and lanterns but in a modern setting. The reason for tonight’s visit was part of a ‘blog date’ arranged by Birmingham Bloggers. I’d decided to catch up with a good friend in the shape of Mr David “BrumHour” Massey.
After getting settled down, we started off the evening with a bit of a show. The Bang Pai Falls is from their Book of Siam, their specially themed cocktails. The description was “Overproof Rum with Cherry & Vanilla notes and cranberry juice. Names after the clear blue waterfall, you’ll see why!” It was a bit of a showstopper and there were a lot of onlookers in the restaurant (for the first time) when it arrived:
We decided to call him Steve as I thought it looked a little like the monkey from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’!
Onto our starters, I chose Soft Shelled Crab, a deep fried soft shelled crab smothered in chilli and salt. Dave went for Chicken Tom Yum Soup, a Thai classic with chicken, kaffir lime, lemongrass, mushroom, galangal, chilli and coriander.
My Soft Shell Crab had a crisp batter with the nicely balanced flavour of crab coming through. A touch of black pepper would have possibly lifted if further. The crunchy legs were my favourite part, with a flavour akin to a crab version of pork crunch, if you get what I mean.
Dave was certainly enjoying his Tom Yum Soup. I snagged a piece of chicken and some broth. The chicken was delicate, with the lemongrass coming through as a strong note, and the heat of the galangal and chilli following in quick succession. One thing I would’ve loved on the side was a prawn cracker or two to steal some of the broth from Dave when he wasn’t looking.
Our second set of cocktails, which turned out to be our first (more on that later) arrived:
Mine was the Dark Side of the Moon, Glenmorangie, blood orange and cherry. It was sweet and silky with a citrus finish and a whiff of whisky to the nose, but it didn’t linger on the palate as some whisky cocktails can.
Dave plumped for an Apple & Kiwi Mojito, white rum, mint, kiwi and apple syrup. I snagged a sip and it was a nice take on a classic mojito, with the kiwi adding an extra dimension and green apple keeping the bite.
For main I chose Lamb Massaman Curry.
I’m actually reminded of another visit to a Thai restaurant a few years back, when four of us ordered rice and three mains to share as we’d stopped for lunch. I was insistent on ordering Lamb Massaman, much to the grumbling of my fellow diners who wanted one each of red, yellow and green curries. I’d nipped to the loo just after the food arrived and upon my return to the table, one solitary piece of lamb was sitting in a small puddle of the middle of the dish. I was most upset!
If you’ve always stuck to green or red curry, I’d really suggest giving this a try. It’s a completely different dish to the others. Made, in this case, with coconut milk, potato, peanuts and onion along with star anise. It’s one of Thailand’s most popular dishes and I can see why, it’s certainly one of mine. I was happy to devour the lot and the accompanying sticky coconut rice quickly to avoid a repeat of my previous experience.
The erstwhile #Brumhour chose a Chicken Red Curry, chicken, coconut milk, bamboo shoots, aubergine, basil and red chilli. I once again did the blogger thing of darting my fork in to relinquish a piece from his plate. The chicken was again tender with a velvety spicy sauce.
Returning to the subject of #Steve, he had been bubbling away quietly in the corner of our table whilst we tried our others and got on with munching our starters and mains. We ordered dessert and I was moving Steve into position (he’s a sharing cocktail after all) and I dropped him…
… right on top of another glass, and contents pouring freely…
…and the whole restuarant paused for a breath.
Luckily the staff, probably warned that two of the most clumsiest and cloddish bloggers in Birmingham were due to visit, were marvelous. Within mere seconds, we’d been ushered to a new table and the disaster recovery team had swept the glass, mopped up the moisture and cleaned the table and chairs, whilst Dave and I were still rigid with adrenaline and embarrassment. I turned redder than Dave’s curry!
Thankfully nerves were returned back to normal with the arrival of #SonOfSteve and dessert:
For dessert, I selected the Coconut Cup, a half coconut shell filled with coconut ice cream
It was a really nice palate cleanser after a couple of heavy dishes, a light fragrant ice cream with nice chunks of coconut flesh throughout.
Dave went for something, in his words ‘photogenic’, so he had the Chocolate Ghirlanda, a coronet of dark chocolate with crunchy meringue, rich chocolate ice cream, white chocolate sauce and dusted with cocoa. Now if that doesn’t sound decadent, I don’t know what is!
It was rich, sweet, unguent and gooey, chocolate and all in all, deliciousness.
And that was it for our #mandate. We survived and so did #Steve (less his innards). I’ll be back again, with Wifey in tow, when I next get a craving for Massaman… mmmmm… Massaman…
Where: Siamais, Six Brindley Place, 7 Oozells St, Birmingham, B1 2HS.
Disclaimer: For this visit, I was a guest of Spray Marketing and Siamais, arranged by Brum Bloggers, this provides no bias to the post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.