Where to eat? Where to eat? Most times, I usually have an idea of where we might end up, but this time, MG and I were just wandering about Chelsea.
Thai food. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be a big fan, but I don’t hate it. Everything just seems very “almost”. The food is almost spicy enough. The sauce is almost savory enough. Everything is nearly something I could go crazy about, but never quite there. Would this restaurant change my opinion?
At Mexican restaurants, you receive nachos. At Royal Siam, you receive a plate of these little babies. I think they were crab chips. They are served with something that tastes like a spicy duck sauce. This would definitely beat out potato chips as my choice for something fried and crunchy when I’ve been drinking. They were super.
I did not try MG’s iced tea, but check out that glass. Nice.
We started with an order of Vegetable Dumplings ($5.00). The picture above is not what I was expecting. When the menu says dumplings, I expect various bits of diced vegetable inside some form of flour wrapper. This was more like a purre of mashed potato, spinach, and scallions formed into triangles and then fried on all sides. It was served with a soy sauce for dipping. The exterior was crunchy and the interior was like mashed potato. I don’t know what to say about this dish. It was OK, but aside from not being what I expected, it wasn’t necessarily a pleasant surprise. It wasn’t bad either. This form of dumpling definitely holds the oil from frying so it is better shared with another person (or more). If not, the oil that sticks to the potato gets a little overwhelming.
For my main dish, I got their Panag Curry with Beef ($14.00). They certainly did not skimp on the beef. There was plenty of beef, plenty of curry, but not much vegetable, just a little bit of string beans and a few strips of red pepper. I’m not complaining, but I just want those who really desire vegetables to be forewarned.
This dish was good, and if you are into Thai curry, I think you will really enjoy this offering. However, for me, once again, it was almost. The beef was well cooked, and almost tender enough to be really pleasant. The curry was almost savory enough to make me smack my lips. The curry was almost spicy enough to give my lips a tingle. Once again, not quite, but almost.
MG got the Pad Phed Chicken ($14.00). Unlike my dish, her’s came loaded with veggies. I’m not sure if this was done on purpose, or was an accident, but that’s just what went down. I did not try the dish, but she really enjoyed it, and she is very critical of Thai restaurants.
I’m not running out the door to get to Royal Siam again, but keep in mind, Thai food may just not be my thing. I think there might be a Thai restaurant out there that will curl my toes and make me click my heels with enjoyment, but I haven’t found it yet. The portions are sizable, the prices and reasonable, and the décor is pleasant, so I can recommend Royal Siam without hesitation. As their awning states, they have been in Chelsea for nearly two decades, and since I’ve seen more turnover on Eighth Avenue than any other street in NYC, I guess they must have a following. Give ’em a shot. Let me know if they are really great Thai and if my taste buds are just missing something.
240 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10011