Siam Inn Returns With a Big Kra-Pow!

siam-thai

The best thing about restaurants in New York is that the turnover is high. Such a system lends itself to constant rebirths and many opportunities for us to try new restaurants. What is funny though is that sometimes you get restaurants that just change their name and all of a sudden the food is completely different? I present you restaurant 1 and restaurant 2 on Yelp. Different name. Different ratings. Exact same address and phone number. But at $8 for appetizer and entree as part of the lunch special, this really required some more investigation.

When I asked Zach about this place, he (surprisingly) got a bit excited.  Apparently Siam Inn was one of the first Thai restaurants he ate at when he moved to NYC, about 5 years ago, when they were on 8th Ave. btw. 51+52nd.  About 3 years ago they closed down and opened around the corner as Blue Chili, but the vibe went from homey to neon and glossy. The menu for the new spot says Siam Inn and the website for Blue Chili says it’s Siam Inn @ Bluechili. It’s confusing as hell really. But lets just get to the food because $8 lunch specials are what attracted me to this place in the beginning.

spring-rolls

For the price you get an appetizer (really small) and an entree (regular sized). I tried two and the spring roll was really good. The outside was fried well and it came with a sweet pineapple carrot dip. There were some beans in the spring roll which was really new to me but not too much of a distraction.

chicken dumplings

The other thing I tried was the Steamed Thai chicken dumplings. Basically they taste like they look. Weird. It’s filled with minced chicken, shallots, peanuts, and preserved radish. The interior of this dumpling is pretty salty. Really, I just think you should avoid it unless you’re curious. Other options on the appetizer menu include: curry puff, fried tofu, roti, som tum (green papaya salad), green salad, tom yum soup.

kow moo daeng

For the entrees there’s lots of options as well. Things range from green curry chicken to pad thai noodles, pad kee mao, and pad sa-ew. There are also three things that you don’t normally see on Thai take-out menus. Kow Moo Daeng (roast pork), Kow Krapow (minced chicken), and Praram Rong Song. I tried the Kow moo daeng because I like roast pork (who doesn’t?) and the kow krapow (because Serious Eats seems to love this stuff). The Kow Moo Daeng is roast pork, pork sausage, boiled egg, moo dang sauce, and rice. On paper I was thinking there was no way this is going to bad, but really it’s just pork with soy sauce and some extra fixings. The sausage, which is a lot like Chinese sausage, is a nice touch. The moo dang sauce makes the rice pretty damn tasty but the roast pork simply wasn’t anything to write home about. But the kow krapow on the other hand…

kow krapow

The kow krapow is pretty awesome. It has minced chicken, thai basil, white mushrooms, bird’s eye chili, and rice. The thing about kow krapow that makes it really stand out is the fish sauce. Bird’s eye chili helps bring the heat and the fish sauce brings the umami bomb. On the surface it may seem ridiculous to pay for just ground chicken but when you combine the chicken mixture with the rice, it’s as addictive as any meat over rice dish you can find on the streets of Midtown. Personally it’s been hard trying to spot Thai restaurants with krapow dishes on the menu. It’s not always made with chicken but the idea is the same even if the protein is switched.

No matter what they call the place, I will definitely be back.

THE +

  • Kow krapow on the lunch special menu!
  • You get to sample some appetizers with your lunch special
  • This is pretty good for Midtown

THE -

  • Skip the chicken dumplings on the appetizer menu…
  • I want bigger portions for the appetizers
  • For $8 dollars I could get 8 slices of pizza at some places!
  • If I’m going to go all the way to 8th, you might as well go the extra Ave. and hit up Wondee Siam or Pam Real Thai

Siam Inn Thai Kitchen, 251 W 51 St (btwn 7th and 8th). (212) 246-3330

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