photo by puuikibeach
date of visit: Tuesday 25 October 2011
Manee Siam happens to be more or less over the road from a friend’s house so it’s quite a surprise it’s taken us so long to get there. I have to admit that I’ve often wondered whether or not the restaurant is open – one of its street front signs looks unbelievably worn and tattered for an open business … It turns out it is very much open for business and after a bit of a false start (double booking by me – ouch!) we finally made it for a very early (6pm) dinner on a Tuesday night.
Even at this early time we weren’t the first people in the restaurant – another family had beaten us to it! We were quickly settled at our table with proper table linen and high chair and plastic cutlery and crockery thoughtfully provided for the baby.
With a baby in tow there’s not usually very much mucking around when it comes to perusing the menu and choosing food. With beers at hand, we settled on sharing some entrées before the mains. We started with spring rolls and fish cakes which, if we’re being brutally honest, were really nothing special at all. In fact, after the meal we all admitted that we were a little bit worried about the rest of the meal. The fish cakes in particular were the chewy, rubbery type that you can’t help thinking have gone straight from the freezer to the fryer and been just that bit over cooked.
But we all held our disappointment in check and our main courses soon arrived. I had chosen the hot chilli pork: a stir fry with green beans, capsicums, chilli paste and basil. At a ridiculously cheap $12.50 the portion size was perfect and there was plenty of heat from the chilli paste along with sweetness from the basil. The dish wasn’t overloaded with beans or capsicum as a filler and wasn’t drowning in sauce. I was very pleased.
Also at our table we had a beef massaman curry which passed its test with flying colours – especially on the beef tenderness front. And Andy had the seafood combination stir fry with basil which he cheerfully polished off. Both of these dishes came in at just $15 each.
Service was perhaps a little slow – it wasn’t an issue for us because we were dining so early on (although, by the time we left around 7:30pm, quite a few additional parties had arrived) but I can see how this could pose an issue at busier times. For me, the slowness of service was made up for by attentiveness and thoughtfulness: no restaurant yet has brought out dedicated baby friendly tableware and the staff were all friendly and helpful.
Of course, the icing on the cake was how ludicrously cheap and good our meal was. We spent $30 a head, which included a generous tip (so we could easily divide the bill by three!) and included the entrées, mains, rice, one dessert (ice cream and lychees – I don’t think you need a description of that!) and drinks. If you were trying to save money you could easily leave having spent less than $20 a head.
We don’t eat Thai very often but we’d be more than happy to return to Manee Siam and I suggest you try it out too!