Monday, October 22, 2012

Siam Orchid: A return for dinner!

Back in July, I went to a belated birthday lunch at Siam Orchid. Their food was disappointing and I made it know so on my review. They saw my review a couple weeks ago and called me. Initially I braced for a tongue lashing but it never happened. They said that they were sorry that my visit was disappointing and that they have made menu changes and even changed Chefs. I was invited to come back in for dinner. How do you turn that down?

As I walked in, they immediately knew who I was and welcomed me warmly. They even remembered which table I had occupied 3 months earlier.

Lady Finger Rolls

Complimentary to all patrons are the Lady Finger Rolls. It is their creation and it was a delight. It's crispy, not oily, and has a flared out design. It's just enough to tide you over and I love that your not biting through a large, oily wrap to get to the filling.

As an appetizer I had the Thai Fresh Spring Rolls. I was in awe as they were placed on the table. The presentation was beautiful. It's stuffed with lettuce, carrots, chicken and a prawn wrapped in rice paper. There is a side of peanut sauce and a soy dip. The peanut sauce was like none I had experienced before. It was creamy, not runny. The soy dip is soy sauce with some additional sweet and spice. I loved both sauces. It has a very fresh taste and the cilantro adds a nice little bite. My only advice would be to pace yourself. I ate 3 of the 4 rolls and was nearly full, which saddened me because I still had Tom Yum Soup and Panang Curry on the way.

Thai Fresh Spring Rolls

Tom Yum Soup

The Tom Yum (Thai Hot and Spicy Soup) is my latest addiction. I ordered it with prawns and requested the spice level to be medium. Anytime in life that you think staying in the middle of the road is safe ground (metaphorically), you get that wake up call. Wow! Medium-Spicy is SPICY, but absolutely delicious. There were onions, mushrooms, cilantro, tomatoes and the best broth you have ever tasted. In previous posts about Tom Yum, I have written of my love for the perfect spicy, vinegary broth. It hits you fast and makes your mouth water. You will crave it at all hours of the night. People watching me at the restaurant probably thought that I needed therapy. I would move my spoon in a propeller motion through the soup and then taste it. This was usually followed by a "hmmmm" or "wow" and then repeated.

One quick note about the Tom Yum soup. She brought me a side of lime saying that in Thailand, some people add a lime for sourness. I did that and it really gave the dish an extra component.

They knew that I love curry. We discussed the types of curry at length. Initially I was a fan of Massaman Curry. Recently I switched to Green Curry craving some variety and also a little more spice. Desiring to try something new, Panang Curry sounded great. It carries with it flavors and aromas of distant places and has peanuts as the major ingredient in the paste.

Panang Curry

The Panang Curry was loaded with ingredients: green peppers, red peppers, peas, cilantro, pineapple, pork, zucchini, and some little strands of greens that I could not identify. I kept trying those leaf strands obsessing over what they were. They didn't taste like scallions but they did pack a punch. It did add quite a bit of flavor to the dish. Eventually I gave in and accepted that I did not know. I asked them and they said it was kaffir. Wow, I had heard the name but never tasted it in that form. Delicious it was, along with rest of the curry. The texture was perfectly creamy and the pork was very tender and flavorful. There definitely was a spicy kick to it but not overwhelming.

We sat and talked for a while after the meal. The owner told me that in authentic Thai cooking, they don't follow recipes. They really need a Chef who knows the cuisine. The owner or manager will taste it twice before going out to the table. The new Chef at Siam Orchid is definitely skilled. The food really was night & day from when I went in July.

Thai Fresh Limemade. Absolutely worth it!

They truly have a passion for food. Learning to cook growing up in Thailand, the owner fell in love with food at a young age. Coming to the United States, she worked in Thai restaurants in San Francisco for five years before moving on to Salt Lake City. Her love for what she does is evident. I was grateful to be their guest and to see true passion. They definitely get my vote this time.

Siam Orchid
4410 South 900 East
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84124

Happy Eating

 Siam Orchid on Urbanspoon

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