When we stepped into Siam Orchid, a Thai restaurant located in Gilbert, the owners greeted us, and we immediately became hopeful we'd found a new place for traditional Thai food.
To start our meal we ordered the nam sod, a “salad” of siam minced lean ground pork marinated in lime juice, ginger, dried red chili onion and peanuts. The mere fact that this meaty dish was considered a salad had us sold, but its bright and fresh flavors truly won us over.
The meat was clean and delicate, the perfect vehicle for the flavors in which it was marinated. There was acidity from the lime juice, earthiness from the peanuts and a lingering flavor from the raw red onion. Though the dish was refreshing, it definitely had a strong flavor profile and sharp spiciness that primed us for the dishes to come.
Next we ordered a plate of drunken noodles. Though the menu described the dish as having hot and spicy noodles, we couldn't detect very much heat or spice in the dish. Perhaps the other, spicer dishes had decimated our taste buds, but in any case, while not spicy per se, the flavors of the noodles were still very good. A mild, savory brown sauce coated the noodles with the consistency of gravy. The noodles were wide, much to our delight, and we only wished they would not have clumped together so much. The final touch, Thai basil leaves, made for an soothing dish, a nice reprieve from all the heat.
And being the suckers that we are for a warm curry with a coconut milk-based broth, the green curry was an easy pick. It came out in a beautiful vessel. Floating inside the creamy and very spicy broth were slim pieces of chicken, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, and Chinese mushrooms. Unfortunately, the chicken was a tad overcooked, but the bell peppers were perfectly — tender, but still crunchy. The bamboo shoots were a welcome addition and the Chinese mushroom added a bit of good chew to the dish.
The portions were smaller than we expected at Siam Orchid (we blame our American up bringing), but each bite had an impressive amount of flavor, leaving us satisfied with the meal and just hungry enough to come back for more.
50 East Guadalupe Road, #105, Gilbert
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