Last Sunday my daughter and I went to Fountain Square to shoot some photos. I asked her what she wanted for lunch & without hesitation she said “Siam Square“. Having never been to this restaurant I was happy to go based on the glowing feedback from friends.
Note, all images in this review are from the Internet because we actually left the cameras in the car while we ate & the lighting did not work for phone pictures. Rookie mistake for sure.
The menu at Siam Square is pretty typical of any Thai restaurant including lunch specials during the week. I’ve wanted to try a Curry dish for a while now. I’m usually a Pad Thai (chicken/pork) guy but I was feeling a little adventitious today.
My daughter ordered the Chicken Pad Thai and, after a brief discussion with our server, I went for the Red Curry. I was not sure what to expect but sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind.
I’m glad I took a chance because I was VERY impressed with the Red Curry. It was spicy (medium), sweet and had a lot of interesting flavors. The bamboo shoots and green beans were plentiful as was the thinly sliced chicken. Several Thai Basil leaves were mixed through the dish and they added a wonderful herbal flavor.
We’ve visited many Thai places this last year and the Pad Thai almost always is a little sweet (sometimes too sweet). The Pad Thai at Siam square had a nice “char/caramelization” mixed in and the noodles had a great texture. The Pad Thai has to be one of the best I’ve had to date.
Service was very attentive and the prices were on par with other Thai places in the Indy area. We spent some time exploring the Fountain Square District and identified several places to try next time we’re in the area. I think Duck Pin Bowling is on the agenda for the next visit!
Thai Orchid, located at 86th St. and I-69, is just north of my office. For whatever reason, it took me a long time to try this place. I kept driving past and thinking “I should try that place sometime”. The day I finally took the plunge (about two years ago) I was not sure what I would be in for. I’ve been there countless times since and thought it was time for a review.
The restaurant is right next to the Phantom Fireworks mega-store and seats about 60. There’s a cash register/bar in the back and the overall decor is nice. Wait staff are always very attentive and always helpful with questions you might have about a dish.
I always assumed Thai food would be similar to Chinese food. I could not have been more wrong. Being a big fan of noodle dishes the Pad Thai was the only way to go for my first Thai dish.
When my server asked “how hot?” (mild, medium, medium hot, hot, extra hot, and Thai hot) and not knowing the heat scale I decided to opt for “medium”. It turned out to be the right choice for a Thai novice. I’m now requesting medium-hot and will someday be adventurous and attempt the hot. I can’t ever see me requesting “Thai-hot”. That sounds like a death wish to me!
If you’ve never had Pad Thai here’s what you’re missing… Tender rice noodles and bean sprouts mixed with a somewhat sweet and spicy (you decide the heat level) sauce. Add your favorite protein (shrimp, chicken, pork, tofu) or vegetables then top with scallions, and crushed peanuts. I’m a big fan of the pork and chicken versions.
The flavors are unique and very addictive. I can’t think of another noodle dish that tastes anything like Pad Thai. Of course this just scratches the surface of the Thai menu. There are a lot of items to choose from including many curries and seafood dishes.
The one appetizer always ordered by my family, without exception, is the Golden Bags. Golden Bags are stir-fried ground chicken, carrot, and corn wrapped in a wonton skin. It’s then tied with green onion and lightly deep-fried. They come 6 to an order and have a sweet dipping sauce on the side.
Thai Orchid has a great lunch combo too. You get a coconut based soup, salad, spring roll, wonton and your choice of main course (curry or noodle dish). All of this for $6.99! It’s a great value and a lot of people take advantage of it during the week.
Here’s where I think a lot of “ethnic” restaurants miss the mark. I have NO idea what any of the curries are going to taste like and I’m hesitant to shell out the money to end up getting something I don’t like. I would LOVE to see a sampler/combination option that allows you to taste the various dishes (or sauces) without having to order one at a time. A lot of Greek places do this and I’ve found things I like and dislike (and I was able to expand my knowledge of Greek cuisine). This may not be possible (or practical) with the cook to order format of a lot of Asian dishes. That’s a lot of pans for a lot of little portions.
After dining at other Thai places on Indy’s north side my family and I have decided Thai Orchid is our favorite. I wouldn’t hesitate recommend it to anyone. If you’ve stayed away from Thai food because you weren’t sure what it was all about (like I did) I think you’ll be in for a nice surprise (like I was). Give it a try and let me know what you think!
I’ve found a new food love… I’ve been hitting up the various Thai places around the north side of Indy (I still have a few more to visit in this area alone). So far none have disappointed.
I’ve had Thai food before & always enjoyed it but it was nothing I would seek out. I don’t know what happened but I started craving Pad Thai a few weeks ago. It might of had something do with a sub-par experience from what was once my favorite sushi spot. I needed something different.
There is definitely a BIG price difference between the lunch and dinner menu (and you get the same amount of food!). I’ve also noticed these places seem to have quite the carryout business as well. I’m a dine-in kind of guy. I think the food testes better when you eat it right away vs. 30 min later out of a Styrofoam container.
I’ll post some reviews after I get a little more adventurous and move over to the curry side of the menu.
What’s your current food favorite?