Siamese Dream

May 1, 2013 | By Margie Jacinto

Restaurant Siam Square offers up delicious Thai fare.

There’s nothing more satisfying than discovering a tasty gem of a restaurant, except for maybe chancing upon one while on vacation. Tucked away on the second floor of a quaint building on the corner of Lewers Street and Kuhio Avenue is Siam Square—a casual eatery that offers patrons an authentic taste of Thailand.

Though it’s often difficult to gauge restaurants due to a variety of factors, when it comes to the food, a good rule of thumb is to order something that you’ve had in a venue serving similar cuisine. Whether its spaghetti Bolognese at the neighborhood Italian joint or hamachi nigiri at a Japanese restaurant, ordering at least one item that’s familiar to you allows for a fairer basis of comparison.

For this writer, Pad Thai Noodles was the proverbial measuring stick for dining establishments— whether affordable or more upscale—that serve Thai food, and Siam Square’s did not disappoint. The Asian comfort food had all the components of a well-executed noodle dish—not too sweet, just the right amount of tang and a touch of heat that doesn’t overwhelm. Combined with the crunchy texture of crushed peanuts, fresh beansprouts and slightly chewy/sticky noodles, this particular Pad Thai dish was a pleasure to relish.

Siam Square has a wide selection of dishes to choose from, and you’ll easily find Thai classics such as spring rolls, Tom Yum soup and papaya salad, just to name a few. For the more adventurous diner, there are more than a few a la carte offerings in which you can treat yourself. Case in point: Basil Stir-Fry. In this dish, ground pork (beef and chicken are also available) is mixed with sweet basil, red and green bell peppers and onions. Garnished with fresh Thai basil leaves, the entree is great on top a serving of steamed rice—Jasmine, of course.

Photos: Jeff Sanner

And when it comes to Thai cuisine, don’t be surprised to come across an entire category on the menu dedicated to curries. From yellow to red to green, the ubiquitous dish is available in an array of “colors,” in addition to several unique versions like Pineapple Curry (red curry with chunks of pineapple), Siam Jungle Curry (another red curry rendition) and Mussaman Curry (a rich curry originating from the Middle East).

We ordered the seafood Pa Nang (peanut) Curry—a southern Thai dish made with ground peanuts and coconut milk. Served with a medley of shrimp, squid and fish, the curry’s strong flavor was nicely tempered by creamy coconut milk.

All curry entrees can be prepared mild, medium or hot, and made with chicken, beef or pork, as well as shrimp or a mix of seafood. If you plan on having curry, should you decide to pay Siam Square a visit, we suggest trying it with a side of Kao Neow (sticky rice).

As for sweet endings, offerings are simple yet satisfying. Take your pick from tapioca pudding with banana or taro, ice cream with sticky rice, rambutan in sweet syrup and crushed ice, and arguably the favorite of restaurant regulars—ripe mango served with sticky rice.

In the sea of restaurants you’ll find in Waikiki, those craving a taste of Thailand will want to pay this somewhat hidden establishment a visit.

Siam Square
408 Lewers St., Ste. 200 [B:7 Waikiki Map]
(808) 923-5320