Saturday, December 15, 2007

Siam Square in Riverdale/Spuyten Duyvil

Finally Khao Soi makes it to the Bronx! I never would have believed that this would happen given the relative paucity of Thai restaurants in the Bronx, nor would I have found out about it had my perennial quest khompanion Chris not happened to be in the hood, stopped in this restaurant, and knew I was obsessed with this dish, so told me I needed to check it out. I'd made a previous failed attempt to visit this great-white-north representative of the Khao-soi-o-sphere since I work in the Bronx at the New York Botanical Garden, where I organized 2 cars and 7 people to trek clear to the other side of the Bronx for lunch, only to find that despite the neon sign in their window that said they were open for lunch and dinner, they do not open until 5 PM. So back to Siam Square I went on a rare evening when I found myself still in the Bronx with my friends Jolene (congrats on her new book chapter publication on Mayan healthcare!) and Anthony, who were excited to find a good new restaurant in their hood, even though they were moving out of there that night.

Once we finally made it into this mysterious Thai outpost up a long hill on an icy night, we we greeted by a warm, lavishly decorated interior with plenty of thai fabrics, puppets, and instruments. The prices are a bit high especially for the "Kao Soi" at $17, even when we ordered it with tofu instead of shrimp and chicken. This was probably higher than even Kittichai, the priciest place I'd been to on this Khao Soi tour. Hmm, maybe the rents are even higher in Riverdale than in SOHO. In the end it was probably worth it since it was very tasty, and the other dishes we got, sautéed watercress with garlic and Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodles), were both very good and under $10.

The Khao Soi came with all the toppings on top already, leaving out half the fun of eating this stuff for us, but what can you do? This had a minimal set of toppings with just mung bean sprouts, raw shallots, a lime wedge, and scallions, missing the fried shallots, fried noodles, and ever-so-important pickled mustard greens. But despite the lack of these rich, flavor-inducing components, the broth and soup had a complex flavor with plenty of sourness and spice. They didn't even ask us how spicy we wanted things but maybe inferred that we were serious about spice and Thai food when we ordered the Khao Soi and Pad Kee Mao. As usual, the dish was a bit short on the broth/curry, not lasting quite as long as the noodles, and especially for $17 and with broth this good, there should be more. But maybe it's hard to get coconut milk in the nosebleed section of New York. Who knows! I'd definitely recommend this place if you're nearby, you have some money to spend, or you order some of the other, cheaper-yet-still-tasty dishes on the menu.

The hostess said she was from Chiang Mai, as expected, and said she was excited to go back there and visit next summer. Mmmm, Thai food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, delicious tropical fruits like the best in the world fruit, the mangosteen, and cheap, relaxing Thai massages! I want to go back!


564 Kappock St
Bronx,‎ NY‎ 10463
(718) 432-8200

 

1 comment:

Neeta said...

I have to say though that Siam Square has become vegetarian unfriendly nowadays. They add fish sauce in everything from salad to noodles. I used to like going there and now I wonder if the management has changed or they didn't tell us before that they add fish sauce in everything. I am very sad to say goodbye to one of my favorite restaurants.