I arrive a couple of minutes before Emma; I’m seated on a window-side sofa and have a quick chance to browse the cocktail menu. There’s a mixture of old classics, some brand new names, and some with a Thai twist. Emma arrives and quickly opts for a classic Bobby’s G&T with black pepper and lemongrass, whilst I choose The Porthole.
I remember clearly the first and last time I went for a Thai meal. It was at a now-closed establishment in the Birmingham suburbs, about 20 years ago. I felt nauseous halfway through the meal and spent the rest of the evening with my head hanging over the restaurant toilet. I always swore that Thai food didn’t agree with me, but now – with hindsight – it may well have been the half a dozen bottles of beer and a couple of large Archers and Lemonade beforehand that didn’t agree with me. Willing to give the whole experience another go, I agreed to be paired up by Brum Bloggers with a random Brum Blogger on a blind date at Birmingham’s hottest new Thai restaurant and bar, Siamais.
My blind date for the evening was Worcester based food and lifestyle blogger Emma aka Miss Pond (go on, go and stalk her on her blog and across social media like I did…) and happily we got on like a house on fire. Mainly over a shared love of gin, food and 80s kids TV show Trapdoor.
Siamais, located in Oozells Square near the Ikon Gallery, opened at the end of March this year, a replacement for the previous incumbent Thai Edge. It has something of a Gothic-Old-Curiosity-Shop-meets-Siam feel to it, with birdcages, skulls and lavish chandeliers dotted around the place.
We’re finally ready to order. There’s a lot of choice and a lot of items took my fancy, but I opted for the soft shell crab for my starter, and the chargrilled lamb for my main course. Emma went for the the Thai crab cakes, and beef panang curry. The crab was deep-fried but the coating was beautifully light and sprinkled with garlic and chilli to give it a bit of a kick. Emma’s crab cakes with plum sauce also looked tasty, and these were soon polished off, ready for the main course.
Our mains don’t disappoint. I’m terrible at describing food so I’ll let the photos tell the story.
Both dishes were amazing. My lamb was accompanied by a black pepper sauce and a Thai preserved salad, and I had a side order of deliciously sticky jasmine rice. Emma’s panang was flavoured with lime leaves and had ample chillies to spice things up a little. It was marked “two skulls” – moderately spicy. They like their skulls here at Siamais. Indeed, our neighbours order the signature Bang Pai Falls, served in a skull, with an elaborate preparation which results in a small explosion of fire and smoke.
Despite eating all the food so far, we snap off our waiter’s hand when he offers us the dessert menu, and we alternate between perusing this and the cocktail menu. Emma has a hankering for tequila so opts for Tommy’s Mezgarita. I select the Thai Fashioned, a “basil and cinnamon infused Bulleit bourbon, stirred down with a cinnamon smoke”.
For dessert, I can’t resist the mango and passionfruit cheesecake. It tastes like a Wall’s Solero on a biscuit base and tastes as delicious as that sounds. Emma opts for the green apple sorbet. We’re comfortable enough with each other by now to sample each other’s food. Both desserts get a massive thumbs up. Well played, Siamais. Drinks, desserts and food have all been completely top notch.
And the service? Also top notch, from the moment we walk in to the moment we leave. It’s not intrusive but all of our servers are keen to ensure we are having a lovely meal, and to give suggestions and recommendations on the menu options. Of course, its blatantly obvious we’re bloggers, from the constant photo-taking, table re-arranging, dish-swapping and Instagramming but similar attention seemed to be paid to our fellow non-blogging guests too.
It’s a successful evening all round. I’ve found a great new bar and restaurant to explore further (and I will be back as a paying guest very soon) and a new blogging pal too.
Emma and I were invited to attend by Siamais and Brum Bloggers, and our meals and drinks were complimentary. However this has not influenced my review in any way and all opinions are my own.
To make a reservation at Siamais, or to check out their menu, please visit their website: siamais.co.uk
Siamais, Six Brindley Place, 7 Oozells St, Birmingham, B1 2HS