I haven’t written about places I eat (of which there are many) yet in this little blog of mine, instead you’ve just been subject to my calorific recipes and experiments. After a particularly enjoyable lunch, and, more importantly, a lunch that I actually took photos of I decided what better way to kick off this portion of the blog than with a write-up.
The other day Momma Lee and I went for a little jaunt around town on her day off. We wanted to go to the Windsor Farm Shop so she decided to take me to the Siam Food Gallery in Virginia Waters first for lunch. She had been promising me that it was Thai food to the max, and I wasn’t at all disappointed.
We ordered a couple of starters and main courses with coconut rice, to all come at the same time, and were greeted with an array of colourful dishes, taste explosions and staff who, although appearing vaguely disinterested at first, were actually extraordinarily nice and friendly, seeing to our every whim. Of course, when we arrived, there were only two other tables occupied, and by the time we left we were the only diners in the entire restaurant. Shame, really, because the food is that good.
Things were kicked off with Thai prawn crackers and sweet chilli dipping sauce. Often with prawn crackers I find that they’re too greasy, or overly fishy tasting, especially the white variety, and the brown variety are hard and jaw-achingly difficult to eat, but these ones were the perfect combination of light and crisp, and oil-free. The dipping sauce, too, was a nice touch. Incidentally, if you’ve never fried up your own prawn crackers it’s really fun – they come about an inch in diameter, throw them into the hot oil and FWOOMP. Giant prawn crackers. Awesome.
One of our starters was the dish at the top of the post, Yum Wun Sen, which are vermicelli noodles mixed with prawn, squid, scallop, spring onion, tomato, fresh lemon juice and chopped chillies. It nearly blew my head off it was so spicy. I ordered myself a Thai Iced Tea (mhmmm!) to wash it down and unhook the chilli from my tongue.
We followed this up with Nuea Dad Duew, strips of sun dried beef served with sticky rice and chilli sauce. It was such an interesting dish, the beef was sweet and slightly sticky, the sticky rice was crunchy on the outside and marvellously gooey in the middle, and the chilli sauce wasn’t explosively spicy (which my tastebuds couldn’t have handled after the Yum Wun Sen!) but a little sweet, too.
On to the mains, and we ordered Gaeng Hoi Shell Bai Chaplu and Kang Kiao Wan Kai – king scallops in red curry with Thai Betel leaves and chicken cooked with green curry, spiced with chillies, mixed with pea aubergines, Thai aubergines, sweet basil leaves, and simmered in coconut milk.
The scallops were a little on the small side and slightly gritty. Their tenderness had been lost a little in the cooking, and I suspected that they were frozen rather than fresh, but it was pleasant enough.
On the other hand the chicken was lovely. It was tender, moist, creamy, the pea aubergines were a wonderful combination of crunchy and tender and the entire dish was brought together with the slight tang of the sweet basil leaves. It was really delicious. I gobbled it up with my coconut rice (which was bright green – I suspect pandan leaves?).
It wasn’t too expensive, either, about £20/head (without wine), and the service was very attentive. The atmosphere, too, is lovely – the building is incredibly beautiful and they have an outer conservatory where you can sit and enjoy the passing scenery (it was too hot that particular day to sit there).
If you’re ever in Virginia Waters and fancy an awesome Thai meal, hit up the Siam Food Gallery. Definitely worth a visit. Or two. Or three. Or four…
Some more recipes coming later this week, including a baking creation and a childhood dessert treat! Until then – peace and love.