August 3, 2015 Closed, soup, Southside, Thai No Comments

Tom yam

Tom yam

Blythe’s Verdict

Lightning never strikes twice. Never return to the scene of the crime. As I crossed the threshold of 79 Buccleuch Street, the previous home of the execrable Lotus, and new home of In Siam, I wondered which phrase would be the more pertinent, once our visit was over

Lotus had been the site of Lunchquest’s lowest hour. Without restating what you can click away and read, Lotus didn’t quite manage to deliver us what we were after on our visit – namely food. When the place closed a few weeks later we were scarcely surprised, but it has been sad to see the property sit vacant for so long, since then.

When we wandered past, the other day, and saw that a Thai restaurant had taken up residence, we made a note to visit at the soonest convenient opportunity.

We were joined by Russell, a first time quester, but long time friend of the questing family.

Tempura

Tempura

The interior has been given a simple spruce up. It feels neat and tidy in an unfussy way. We had the run of the place, throughout our visit.

Their lunchtime selection offers two courses for £8.50, which on the face of it seemed cracking value.

Russell opted for their prawn tempura to start, then followed with chicken noodle soup. I kept things classic with tom yam gai to start, then prawn pad thai to follow.

Starters promptly arrived delivered by our attentively unobtrusive waiter. My soup was brightly seasoned with good aromatics and succulent pieces of chicken in the depths. Russell’s prawns looked nicely done and the sweet chilli sauce packed some good punch.

My pad thai was a good rendition with four well prepared prawns buried in flavourful noodles. Russell’s soup was rather more in the wholesome category, but a nice mix of condiments were provided for him to pep things up.

So overall, In Siam is starting life from a solidly good place. Both dishes I had were pretty pleasing and represented good lunchtime value. I hope it can build an appreciative audience so it can once and for all lay to rest the ghost of Lotus.

Noodly soup

Noodly soup

Russell’s Verdict

Throw a stone in Edinburgh and (if you don’t hit a tourist) you’ll hit a Asian restaurant. In Siam, a new Thai eatery which keeps fine neighbours among a range of cheap-eat Korean and Japanese restaurants, is in for a tough battle for your custom. A little off the beaten city track, you need to know where you’re headed to find it.

The lack of footfall meant that we were the only customers for lunch on a typically-drab summer’s day. Despite the echo of our voices, we were greeted and seated warmly at a window-side table, and left to make our choices. With royal purple décor and a few Thai paintings watching over us, In Siam felt inviting and cared for, without being overly formal.

Pad thai

Pad thai

The lunch menu offered a small but sufficient range of starters and mains, for under £10 a head. Starter choices included chicken skewers with Thai dip, spicy tom yum soup and fried prawns with a mango and chilli salsa, whilst mains offered up the usual Thai curry, Pad Thais and a few more unconventional options. I opted for the In Siam Tempura prawns and guay tiew gai (a healthy boiled chicken soup with noodles).

Service was efficient but not overbearing, and the food arrived swiftly. My prawns were juicy and flavoursome, enhanced by the heat and fruity zest of the dipping sauce. Meanwhile, the guay tiew gai was given a bit of extra vavoom from the complimentary spices tray which allowed you to concoct your own broth using chilli oil, dried chillis, sugar and soy sauce. All of the dishes were freshly cooked, using fresh ingredients, and this transferred to the plate. Still, I wasn’t blown away by the flavour, and to me that’s what matters most.

In short: if you happen to be in the area and are tempted by a bit of Thai, In Siam is an affordable and fresh option for lunching.

Scores
Blythe scores In Siam
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20

Russell scores In Siam
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 15/20

Today’s questers were: Russell, Blythe

We ate: king prawn tempura; tom yam; pad thai; guay tiew gai

We drank: water

We wore: matching beards

Total bill: £17.90

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Written by BKR