Boston: House of Siam

Let's Eat by Kitty Kaufman, photos by Kim DeVito

House of Siam Eight years ago, a publication sent me to House of Siam on Columbus Avenue. I was to eat and write and I did. An outpost on Columbus Avenue at the time, it set high standards for merry outings.

The South End had many fewer places to eat which is true for most neighborhoods. (Twenty-five years ago there were nearly none except for the St. Cloud, a chic place we took vendors and they didn't mind about our jeans.) Where St. Cloud sat on Tremont Street is now a bank and you can wait for lunch at dozens of places. Even House of Siam has a second location across the street. I'm sure there's a good reason for them having two places within blocks of each other.

South End weekend eating is competitive sport. Lines form everywhere. When you suggest a place, and you've told your companions you'll be writing and someone needs to take photos, there's onus on both sides. Would we have to stand on line? Will they like it? The day was warm in a Boston-in-January kind of way meaning no ear muffs and luckily we do not have to wait.

House of Siam is cozy, with flowers, awards, and artifacts from home. We sit upstairs and soon there is spicy chicken stir-fried with cashews, water chestnuts, pineapple and chilis in pik-pao sauce. Dom says sweating is the sign of a good meal. He did and it is. House of Siam Kim goes for pad Thai. Rice noodles, chicken, egg, fish sauce, tamirind, red chilis, bean sprouts, coriander and lime make perfect mouthfuls of salty, sweet, crunchy brunch. Even with tastes all around there wis plenty to take home. I'm a rice noodles fan so rad nar with broccoli and mushrooms is a big treat. Actually, it was too much.

HOS still holds the "huge menu" title with 25 appetizers, 30 seafood choices, 40 specialties of the house, six soups, eight salads, and ten curries. But there are no table condiments like peanuts, fish sauce, pickled turnip, chilis, garlic, salt, pepper. What does this mean? The chef is a prima donna or the food is just right?

See it on TripAdvisor

© January 22, 2013
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