The Siam, Bangkok (part 2)

Posted on August 14, 2012 by Aun

Fried egg, tomato and minced pork salad from The Siam

When my darling wife S and I choose a hotel to stay in, one of the most important factors (for us) is the food. While I realise that there are many that choose not to eat in the hotels they stay in, we tend to have at least one real meal (other than breakfast) if not more on property. To me, the food and beverage side of a hotel is as important as the room size, the service, and the architecture. When I choose to stay somewhere nice, I want to experience all that the hotel offers. And that means checking out their restaurants and bars (as well as their spa, gym, etc). When S and I checked into The Siam a few weeks back, knowing that the owners Kriss and Mel are real foodies, we were very much looking forward to exploring the hotel’s restaurants.

The Siam hotel Bangkok

The Siam currently has two restaurants with a third, a casual deli cum cafe, slated to open soon. Cafe Cha will be located near the hotel’s reception, up by the main road. The two main restaurants, Chon and Deco Bar & Bistro, on the other hand, are located at the opposite end of the hotel, by the river. Chon is located in a magnificent setting. The restaurant, and its attached cooking school, resides in three centuries old Thai teakwood houses. These houses were originally sourced by silk tycoon Jim Thompson and once formed part of antique dealer and OSS agent Connie Mangskau’s home. According to Kriss, Ms Mangskau was quite the celebrity and hostess, entertaining many Western dignitaries during their visits to Thailand. Some of these include Jackie Kennedy, John Rockefeller, Roger Moore, William Holden and Henry Ford.

The Siam hotel Bangkok

The interiors of Chon are sleek without being overly modern — sort of a contemporary rustic Thai. Deco Bar & Bistro, on the other hand, is overtly Western, celebrating Thailand’s Art Deco period and its love affair with Western style, design and music. Sitting directly behind Chon, its black glass facade reflects Chon’s striking lines, creating an amazing contrast between the past and present and east and west.

The Siam Hotel Bangkok

S and I, for pretty obvious reasons, chose to eat mostly at Chon. Well, actually, during the day, we ordered room service from Chon and only dined in the restaurant in the evenings. On our first day, we enjoyed some simpler dishes — Khao Soi Kai (my favourite Northern Thai noodle dish) and Pad Thai. Both were very well made. My only gripe was that I was wishing for more curry in my Khao Soi, but that’s less a fault of the kitchen’s and more an indication of my greedy nature.

At dinner that night, we really pigged out, ordering a whole range of dishes. Everything was fresh and delicious. And surprisingly, the dish I enjoyed the most was also one of the simplest — a mouth-wateringly good salad of fried eggs, minced pork, onion and tomatoes (pictured at the very top of this post). An incredible balance of flavours and textures, I had never had this dish (Yum Kai Dow) before. Of course, I immediately asked the chefs for a copy of the recipe, which I am sharing with all of you at the end of this post.

The Siam hotel Bangkok

For starting the next day properly, I ordered one of several Thai brekkie options: sticky rice with pork satay and grilled, crispy pork belly, served with a chilli dip. Talk about a real killer breakfast. S, T and I then had lunch with Mel and Kriss at their home before returning to The Siam for another excellent dinner at Chon.

kids cheeseburger and fries at The Siam

I should also say that our son T ate very well. We had originally vacuum-packed meals for him that we had prepared from home. But on our first day there, he refused to eat what we had brought along. So we were forced to order off of The Siam’s kid’s menu. Fortunately, the kid’s menu there rocks and T was a very happy camper throughout the weekend. The above picture, for example, is the cheeseburger with fries he had for lunch on our last day there (the bowl in the background contained some beautifully cooked red rice which he had with his burger instead of the bun). In fact, before I saw T’s burger, I was planning on having my final meal at The Siam at Chon. But when I saw how good his burger looked, I called room service and ordered the adult version for myself, which was pretty damned good.

What’s really special about the restaurants at The Siam is that while very sexy, the food is unpretentious, comforting, and delicious. They are the kind of places you want to be seen in, serving the kind of food you could eat every day. And I think that’s a very, very smart formula. And one that more hotels should take on board when planning their own F&B programs.

The Siam
3/2 Thanon Khao, Vachirapayabal
Dusit, Bangkok 10300
Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2206-6999
www.thesiamhotel.com

 

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. Rain August 14, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Them Thais, man they sure eat well!

    While their traditional dishes may be “simple”, the skill it takes to balance the sweet, sour, and sometimes spicy flavors is where a true chef’s mettle is tested. And even if one can enjoy phad thai in posh 5-star digs, it can just as well be enjoyed by the common man out on the street. And it is this equalizing power of Thai food — unassuming, accessible, yet just as potent — is what for me puts it right up there among the world’s best cuisines.

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