21 December, 2007

Land of Siam

121 Lygon St, Carlton; 03 9349 1999 77 Inkerman St, St Kilda; (03) 9534 9909

It's always nice to go to Lygon St for something other than Italian. Land of Siam provides an authentic Asian taste experience and on this Thursday was buzzing with three separate Christmas party groups as well as a handful of dining duos.

The restaurant fitout draws strongly on stone: the walls are a dark grey, the floor is bare and with a large urn water feature there's almost a cave-like effect. A bigger effect of all those exposed hard surfaces, however, was a problematic noise level. Some wall hangings or other soft furnishings could go a long way to helping facilitate lunchtime conversation.

Lunch is fabulous value at Land of Siam. 15 or so dishes from their more extensive dinner menu are offered at the bargain price of $9.90 including jasmine rice. I was thrilled, as it meant I didn't have to limit myself to a noodle dish. Happily my dining partner opted nonetheless for the Pad Thai: the yardstick of Thai dining and the quickest way to determine restaurant quality.

In this case the verdict was better than average. The dish came liberally sprinkled with nuts and the peanut sauce was not too cloying. Most importantly there was some subtly of flavour - lime, tamarind and onion all came through.

My choice was the Wok Basil Beef, with snake beans, red capsicum, chilli-garlic puree and Thai basil sauce.

It was hot! Luckily I had a Singha beer to quench some of the heat. The chilli didn't overpower the dish, however, as all the ingredients had been well-prepared and made a contribution to the overall effect. There was ample sauce, its dark colour mirroring the aniseed flavour from the basil, the vegies were fresh and al dente and the beef was tender.

An excellent value, satisfying lunchtime meal.


  1. Land of Siam has now moved to a new location at 77 Inkerman street, St kilda

    t/f:95349909, 95349905

    and has a new website at www.landofsiam.com.au