Chief reporter Nick Lakin samples some authentic Thai cuisine at Siam Balcony in Lancaster
Venturing into Lancaster for a post New Year pint with a friend from Manchester, we decided to call into the Siam Balcony Thai Restaurant in Chapel Street for tea.
I hadn’t been for several years, not since it was Mung Mee, and I must admit I wasn’t overly impressed then, despite its popularity.
This time however the experience couldn’t have been more different.
We booked for around 8pm and we were greeted at the door by a friendly young waiter, who took us to the front desk/bar where we exchanged introductions.
What struck me immediately was the friendliness, efficiency and professionalism of the staff.
We ordered drinks - the Thai beer Singha, and a Thai rum each – along with prawn crackers and dips.
The prawn crackers were fantastic, a spicier, tastier version of the Chinese takeaway ones I’m used to.
We also ordered Thai style ribs and my friend went for the chicken Thai Green Curry - extra hot - while I chose the king prawn Phad Mee.
The former is a Thai style green curry with a selection of Thai herbs, chilli, aubergine, bamboo shoot and coconut milk.
This came with boiled rice.
The Phad Mee comes as a stir fried egg noodle with soy sauce, bean sprout, onion, spring onion, carrot and egg.
The presentation when the food arrived was second to none.
Great effort had been made to carve vegetables such as carrot into flower representations, and the dishes were colourful, fragrant, and steaming hot.
We both got stuck in and basically didn’t stop until it had all gone.
My friend Roger, who prides himself on enjoying curries from the mouth burning end of the spectrum, said this was the best Thai Green Curry he had eaten, despite the fact, he said, that it could have been hotter.
We had a laugh with the waiter about this, who said he would make sure Rog was catered for properly next time.
The Phad Mee was delicious, the prawns were large and cooked perfectly, and the noodles and veg were tangy and spicy at the same time, the ideal combo.
The ribs were a nice addition to the main dishes, with meat falling off the bone and a thick warm sauce that was finger licking good.
With no room for dessert, we talked further with the waiter before asking for the bill.
The meal came to a total of £44.65 for the two of us, including drinks.
There was so much moreto try on this menu including a wide selection of chef’s recommendations.