FOOD REVIEW: Flavour and grandeur at revamped Thai restaurant

Owner Chawalit Chusoipin with Sarayut HathaiphuttrawongOwner Chawalit Chusoipin with Sarayut Hathaiphuttrawong
Owner Chawalit Chusoipin with Sarayut Hathaiphuttrawong
With ornate decor, fresh flowers at every table and plush furniture, there's something very grand about the dining room at So Siam at Baan Thai.

Located in a beautiful Victorian building at 1 Ecclesall Road, the restaurant has been serving authentic Thai cuisine to the city since 2004.

Owner, Chawalit Chusoipin, whose career highlights include working as a sky chef on Jennifer Lopez’s private plane during her tour of Asia, revamped the restaurant last summer and introduced a new menu.

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“We’re the only Thai restaurant in Sheffield to offer the dishes we do, so if someone wants the seafood streetfood dish for example, they’ll have to come here,” says Chawalit.

The Stand Up Sea Bass dish.The Stand Up Sea Bass dish.
The Stand Up Sea Bass dish.

As we walk in on a quiet Wednesday evening, we are greeted by friendly and attentive staff, who unfold your napkin for you and give you just enough time to make your selection.

From an impressive selection of vegetarian appetisers, I chose the tord mun kao pod, deep-fried sweet corn cakes, served with ground peanuts and sweet chilli.

The dish came with four sweetcorn cakes, which were very tasty and the sweet chilli dipping sauce was the perfect accompaniment.

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My dining companion opted for the seafood streetfood, which comes with prawns, scallops in dried chilli flakes, ground roasted rice, mint leaves, lime juice and nam pla.

The restaurant had a refurbishment last summerThe restaurant had a refurbishment last summer
The restaurant had a refurbishment last summer

He tells me the way the dish was cooked was amazing, and ingredients were very high quality. But the dish was too spicy for his tastes, and overpowered the rest of the flavours.

Moving on to the mains, the dish that took my fancy was the panaeng tofu, a red curry with tofu cooked in coconut milk.

The massaman dish, cooked with curry paste, peanuts, potatoes and coconut milk, is what my dining companion opted for and we shared a steamed Thai fragrant rice.

I couldn’t have been happier with my main course.

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Khap Pad Sab-Pa-Rod Gong dish.Khap Pad Sab-Pa-Rod Gong dish.
Khap Pad Sab-Pa-Rod Gong dish.

The tofu was cooked to perfection, and was very flavoursome – which is not an easy feat when it comes to tofu. The sauce was delicious, and just spicy enough to provide the dish with a welcome kick.

My dining companion expected the beef in the massaman to be slow-cooked and tender, as is traditional, but it was braised instead, leaving the meat way too tough.

Coming in at just under £42 for two courses and a beer each, I found So Siam and Baan Thai to be a very reasonable and enjoyable dining experience.

Star ratings out of five:

- Food: 3

- Service: 5

- Atmosphere: 5

- Value: 5

Three more to try:

1, The Orchid – London road2, Royal Elephant, Laughton Road3, All Siam Thai Restaurant, Ecclesall road