Sherman's Food Adventures: Siam Le Bien

Siam Le Bien

In my neighbourhood, there are actually a decent amount of good Thai restaurants including Thai Cafe and an ol' favourite in Chad Thai.  However, I was really intrigued with the addition of Siam Le Bien on Hastings.  This location was some noodle place before (name escapes me) and a diner before that.  I've been to all of them and never actually returned.  Wonder if Siam Le Bien will be the one to change that trend?  I guess we will find out...

Viv and I visited the place before watching a movie at Brentwood VIP theatres (this was when the weather was better...).   We started with the Green Papaya Salad with shredded green papaya, green beans, tomatoes, roasted peanuts, fresh chili, plum sugar and lime dressing.  This was really good, especially the elevated spice level.  It helped balance the sweetness and tang.  Things were fresh and the crunch was satisfying.

Next we had the excellent Spicy Eggplant with fresh chili and garlic, bell peppers, onions and Thai basil.  There was good wok hei where the high heat caramelized the ingredients without making them soggy (while cooking them through).  Lots of natural sweetness (and added sweetness from the palm sugar) to go with the seasoning and noticeable heat.  This was texturally on point and went well with the coconut rice.

Also going well with the rice was the Chicken Green Curry with green curry paste, coconut milk, bell peppers, eggplant and Thai basil.  Again, this was another solid dish with a rich curry that had layers of flavour including that impactful level of spice.  I also got the fermented shrimp flavour at the end.  The chicken was well portioned and tender (for white meat) and the peppers were still vibrant. 

Lastly, we went for the default in the Pad Thai with prawns, tofu, egg, shallots, bean sprouts, chives and ground peanuts in tamarind sauce reduction.  The caramelization from the wok heat really showed here with chewy noodles that were not clumpy.  They were bathed in a tangy and spicy tamarind sauce that had enough sweetness to balance.  Now if you are wondering why I don't have more dishes here is because Viv did go back, but I wasn't with her.  However, I can report the food was just as good as the first time.  It won't be our last.

The Good:
- Good heat level
- Impactful flavours
- Good wok heat

The Bad:
- Super tight seating
- Smallish portion sizes  


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