I COULD live on the starters at Siam Garden.
And the London Road restaurant didn’t disappoint when it came to the main courses either.
We pitched up at the restaurant at about half eight on a Friday night, without a reservation, but the staff were only to pleased to find us a table.
Drinks - including authentically Thai Chang beer - were served in the waiting area as we perused the menu.
That’s quite a task, as the menu is a weighty tome.
There’s a truly mind-boggling selection of dishes on the menu, and it’s hard to decide what you want to order.
That’s not a complaint, because it gives you plenty of excuses to make repeat visits and make sure get chance to try everything that takes your fancy.
The four of us opted to begin with a sharing platter of starters.
It’s not the cheapest option on the menu at £6 a head, but it’s worth every penny.
We were served a selection of goodies including prawn toast, roast pork, chicken satay, spring rolls and more along with a selection of dips.
I could eat it every day, although I’d soon be in need of trousers with an elasticated waist.
For the main course two of us opted for pad thai - a noodle-based dish served with either chicken or prawns.
We also ordered a sizzling beef dish - which was hotter than the Earth’s core, judging by the huge cloud of steam it produced - and a garlic chicken dish.
A bit more garlic was needed in the chicken dish, but other than that there were no complaints around the table, and only reason we didn’t finish our meals was the gigantic portions.
The dessert menu was offered, but no one had space left for the extra course.
The bill for four, with drinks, came in at just short of £74.
One of the great things about the restaurant is its authenticity.
There’s Thai beer and wine on the menu, the furniture is imported and there’s great attention to detail.
Set away from the road, and with the pond and gardens at the front, there’s also a very tranquil atmosphere that you wouldn’t normally expect in a town centre restaurant.
The fact that we were able to get a table at such short notice just doesn’t make any sense - the restaurant deserves to be packed out on the strength of its great food, authentic surroundings, friendly atmosphere and good value.
Review by Bob Hart