As a child, I recall watching ‘The King & I’ on television. The story follows the relationship between a Thai King and an English Teacher. It’s a mesmerising film and one of the first to convey the power of colour television. The film remains banned in Thailand. Thai Monarchy are revered across the Asian Kingdom.
If you’ve never seen ‘The King & I‘ or visited Thailand, other opportunities to experience a little bit of South East Asia exist in Brum, namely the food. My favourites include Zen at Metro Bar and The Barton Arms. This offering has been increased with the recent introduction of Siamais (pronounced Siamese as in Twins), Thai restaurant in Brindleyplace.
One of Brum’s top chefs recently tweeted the absence of a decent Thai Restaurant in Brum. It made me wince. His comments about Thai food in Birmingham were unfair. We are spoilt for choice.
Siamais in Oozells Square is one worth visiting. It’s in the space previously occupied by Thai Edge, one of the leaders in the renaissance of Birmingham food. For 17 years, Thai Edge helped put the city on the culinary map and I would like to thank Harish and Nancy Nathwani for all they have done for Brum.
Siamais takes the Thai concept to another level. A drinks area is separated from a dining space where the attention to detail is second to none. Suspended bird cages housing skulls in the bar give way to traditional fishing baskets above the dining tables. It’s a bewildering detail and one that made me smile.
Enjoy the illuminated tables with Thai words spelling ‘food for the eyes, food for the mouth and food for the soul.’ It’s the perfect review for the food we ordered. A seafood platter fit for the Captain of a Royal Liner. If you order it, eat the Salmon first, it’s cooked to perfection and should be enjoyed as soon as it arrives at your table.
I ordered the Chicken Massaman Curry as a main, it comes with Jasmine steamed rice and again beautifully cooked, flavoured and presented. For drinks I started with a Singha, Thailand’s signature beer. I then considered the option of ordering a glass of Shiraz or a bottle and compromised by ordering a large glass.
Quick note on the cutlery, plates and glassware; all superb and enhanced the experience of dining in a contemporary Thai Restaurant. The sun sets later this time of year. The lighting in Siamais adjusted as the light outside changed. It was good to see both the bar and restaurant area busy on a Monday evening, especially during Easter when families take advantage of the bank holidays and fly off to distant shores.
Siamais is a fabulous addition to Brindleyplace. As we headed back to the car across Oozells Square, I remembered what this part of the city was like before it was transformed. A landscaped square illuminated by Cielo, Piccolino, Yorks Cafe IKON and Siamais would have been unimaginable. This place would inspire a Thai King and English teacher to dance, just like that film, a long time ago.
Siamais Thai Restaurant
Six Brindleyplace, 7 Oozells St, Birmingham B1 2HS
0121 643 3993
Images from the Press Night: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jassansi/albums/72157679742680542