Thai food is one of my favorite cuisines and the recent discovery of Siam Trading Company has made me a very happy girl. Read to know more about the brilliant meal we had curated by none other than Ruth of Bangalore’s Restaurants blog.
Siam Trading company or what before was One Night in Bangkok is located where else but on Indira Nagar 12thmain. Off late, it seems like all the good places are coming up only on that street in town. I would roll eyes if I could but honestly, staying in Marthahalli Indiranagar works just fine with me.
So a few weeks ago (or may be more, yes I have been very very lazy with posting) dear friend Ruth put together a tasting table for a few of us at Siam. And like we all fondly call each other the food family. We had to see what Siam has to offer under the able guidance of one of us. In my mind, I was already sold on the place. Ruth had come back after exploring Thai food a while ago. Chef Thashvin has a long standing relationship with Thailand as he says. I knew the result will show on the table and it did. One of the best Thai meals I have had in Bangalore for a while.
The afternoon started with casual chatting. As we met some people new and hugged old friends alongside free flowing cocktails. Flavoured with Thai herbs and a little chili, the drinks hit the right notes and were just what the day asked for. Som Tum, the delicious salad which originated as a market-place snack from the North-east of Thailand was being made at the live counter. For those who are new to Som Tum, it is primarily made from julienned green papaya pounded in a mortar along with chilies, garlic, and dried shrimp. It is one of my favorite Thai salads along with the variation Som Tum Mamuang which is made with raw mangoes.
The sit-down meal started with a beautiful Beef and Rambutan Soup. One of the things I love so much about Thai food is the balance of all flavors and this one won that part hands down. Beef simmered with Rambutan made a delicious and fragrant broth.
This might be a good time to insert a fair warning here. This meal was meant for non-vegetarians, though I think Siam Trading Company does have vegetarian choices on the menu. Let just say that we didn’t care for some that day. However, we did make two exceptions. First was the Chilled Mushroom & Young Coconut Soup. I wouldn’t imagine these together somehow but it worked oh so beautifully. Light and flavourful broth with little delightful bites of young coconut aka our good old nariyal ki malai. And such few places do cold soup anyways that I feel like giving an extra 10 points to places which attempt it. The other was the glorious Steamed Lotus Stem which I don’t seem to have a picture of. But which everyone must order when they visit Siam. Such a far cry from the deep fried, soy laden lotus stem one usually gets at all Thai places.
Now that we have the vegetarian dishes out of our way (yes feel free to roll eyes at me). Let’s talk about the star of the shows for me. First and foremost, the Grilled Pork Neck. Sliced pork neck grilled over charcoal and topped with a spicy lime sauce. I have gone back to Siam twice just to eat that. I remember the silence that descended on the table when it arrived and it takes a lot to shut us all up. The Sour Beef, In-house fermented beef, fried with whole garlic pods, onion, and dry red chilies was another perfect starter. One could very well imagine having that on the streets of Bangkok with a chilled beer to give it company.
Another beauty from that day was Carambola and Prawn Salad. A spicy and sour salad made of grilled prawns and fresh star fruit tossed in a dressing of chili paste, fish sauce, lime juice and toasted. Again who would have thought of star fruit and prawns together but it did work so well.
In all this, we did have a few passable dishes. Like the basil prawns, prawns marinated in basil and garlic paste and grilled over charcoal served with peanut sauce. May be if I would have had them as the first dish I would have liked them. But after all delicious food, they failed to leave any mark on me. Another dish the sound of which I loved but didn’t enjoy too much was the Crispy Fish with Mango Salad, Raw mango salad topped with crispy fried tilapia. The man did love it though so I think it is worth a second try when I go there next. Unfortunately, I get carried away with pork and beef every time I am actually at Siam Trading Company.
I cannot move to the main without talking about the Homemade Pork Sausage. A landmark Bangkok street food dish. I am not sure this one could match the ones you get in Bangkok streets but I am sure this is one of the best ones you will find in Bangalore. Another legendary Thai dish, Pandan Wrapped Chicken also made an appearance at the table. Boneless chicken morsels and chicken skin wrapped in pandan leaves first steamed and then fried. I will be honest, I acted as a snob and said no to it. Tell me, when you have pork, beef, prawns and fish why should one eat Chicken. Ok yes, I know you guys are rolling eyes big time but it is fine. Go right ahead.
For the mains, we had two options. Dry Noodles with Pork and Prawns – a dish which is from China town in Bangkok, dry noodles are tossed in chili flakes and pork fat, served along side sliced pork, prawns, shiitake mushroom, and greens. What is not to love here if you ask me. I was sold at pork and prawn, only helps that the flavors were bang on as well.
I loved this however, the main dish that stole my heart was Chiang Mai Chicken Curry. This curry comes from Northern Thailand and is also known as Burmese curry. It is what I would have in bed on a rainy day while I watch Netflix. If only I could Dunzo it from them on a regular basis.
And with this, the end of a long and delicious meal is here. Yes, we are talking about Desserts but honestly, I have zero or no expectations when it comes to desserts in Thai places. I was secretly hoping this might be different but alas it wasn’t. Having said, let me tell you that it was a good attempt. I just think it is the cuisine that fails this course. Sticky Rice with Mango and Rubies which is water chestnuts in sweetened coconut milk is what we were served.
Thank you, Ruth, for curating this spectacular meal, raising a toast to many such meals.
Siam Trading Company
1079, 12th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bangalore