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Ruby Siam Thai in Rochelle Park


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In a tiny little strip next to the Rochelle Park Shop-Rite was a great little Thai restaurant called Siam Ruby Cafe. It was an unusual place, basically looking like the tiny luncheonette it was in a past life. But the food was great and so were the prices.

Well, I am VERY happy to let everyone know that Siamy Ruby has reopened as Ruby Siam - New owner, new menu, still great prices. In fact, as good as the old Siam Ruby was, I think that this new incarnation may be even better.

The place still looks like a micro diner inside, but everything else is different. The menu, while still not nearly as extensive as a place like Wondee's, does seem to have a bit more variety and sense of adventure than the old menu. I tried an awesome appetizer called Bua Thai Beef. It was tiny strips of beef fried in chili flakes (or something like that) served with chili sauce. It wasn't a lot for $5.95, but it was absolutely delicious.

I also tried some chicken Tom Yum soup. This may have been the best version of the soup I ever had. (But I'm no Thai food expert.) The owner asked me how hot I wanted it. I said make it hot, but don't kill me. He said, on a scale of 1 to 10, about a 7? I said that sounds good. (I told the owner I would have said 9, but that I figured the Thai tongue was a bit stronger than my American tongue. He laughed and agreed.)

Boy, 7 was the bullseye. Spicy and hot (for weak Americans), but not enough to induce tears or set your tongue on fire. The soup had a great red color and loads of flavor. And at $3.95 for a pint, very reasonable.

I also got some chicken Pad Thai. It was great, but seemed to be a pinch more "sour" than other versions of the dish I've had (maybe some extra tamarind or lime?). It was still great, and at $8, a bargain. (Beef and pork are available for $8 too, shrimp is $2 more.) The pad thai also had some thin red pepper strips in it, which I haven't seen before.

The owner was incredibly friendly and gracious, even offering me a soda while I waited for the food (I politely declined) and giving me a slight discount for paying in cash. We chatted a bit about Thai food and other things.

Total for two orders of chicken pad thai, tom yum soup, and the bua thai beef, about $25.

The only strange thing about this place is that they seem to close from 3 PM - 5PM every day. I asked the owner about this, and he said if I wanted to get something during that time, to just knock on the door. (I would feel very funny doing that though.) Hopefully if business is good enough they'll expand their hours.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give this place a chance. They are very conveniently located, the food is delicious, and the prices are great on most items. The owner is a great guy too. I was crestfallen when the old Siam Ruby closed, but I'm glad that a new incarnation is back and better than before! Please keep them in business! We can't afford to lose this place again!

Ruby Siam Cafe

184 W. Passaic Street

Rochelle Park

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nobody's been here yet? Boy, you all don't know what you're missing.

Since my first post, I've been back three more times, and had a chance to try a few more things. In addition to the amazing tom yum soup, I also tried the tom khaa kai soup. Also delicious. Very similar to the tom yum, but with coconut milk. Both are great, but I think I like the tom yum better.

Also tried another appetizer which was shrimp wrapped in dough and deep fried, served with a spicy plum sauce (think a thin spicy duck sauce made with plums instead of peaches or apricots). The portion was small (4 shrimp), but they were very good, and the sauce was fantastic!

The pad see ew was a true winner. Delicious pork (beef, chicken, and shrimp are available too) with flat rice noodles in a great sweet dark soy sauce and broccoli (regular broccoli, not Chinese broccoli). The portion's smaller than the pad thai, but still decent and it's unbelievably good!

Speaking of the pad thai, the last time I went, the owner, Lui (pronounced "Louie", but I have no idea of the spelling) asked me how spicy I wanted it. this surprised me, as I've never had spicy pad thai before, but I stuck with the old "7" standby. Boy, it was great. It had a nice kick, without being overpowering, and was a nice twist on the dish.

Lui is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He is very friendly and gracious. One time when I went, several people were dining in, and I had to wait about 30 minutes for my takeout order. Lui appologized profusely and insisted on charging me only $10 for about $22 worth of food. I told him don't worry about it, but he insisted. That's a true gesture of gratitude.

Lui told me that his business is slowly picking up and getting better, but it's still slow, especially on Fridays. So please, please, please, check Lui and his wonderful reasonably priced Thai food out. You won't be sorry, and we need to keep this place in business for many years to come.

Oh, and I think I goofed in my first post about the name. I believe they are still called "Siam Ruby", although the menus say "Ruby Siam". The big neon sign inside the place is unchanged from the old place and still says "Siam Ruby".

Edited by zhelder (log)
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Friend and I went for dinner around a month ago.

The place was dead. There was one other person dining.

The owner was very friendly. Service was a bit slow.

The food wasn't so great. We agreed that there was no reason to return.

Pimaan Thai Restaurant on Kinderkamack Rd in Emerson is much better quality food, service and atmosphere.

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  • 11 months later...

Just to let everyone know, Siam Ruby has reopened under new ownership (again). The previous owner closed in June, and I was crestfallen, as the food was great and he was such an unbelievably nice guy.

Fortunately, the food under the new owners is still very good, and prices are comparable to what they were under the previous owner. The menu is scaled back quite a bit from the previous owner's, but all of the main dishes are available (the new owners do not offer pork as a meat choice, however, unlike the previous owners).

This is the third-and-a-half incarnation of this place. The first owner struggled, closed the place for a few months, reopened, and still couldn't make it, despite the good food and prices. The second owner lasted a little less than a year and despite the fact that he offered great food at great prices and a fairly varied menu, he couldn't make it either.

Please do not let this place close again! It's so nice to have a Thai restaurant in a convenient location offering good food at good prices. The Hackensack places have the good food and prices, but the locations aren't really convenient, with the traffic and limited parking around Main Street. The Ridgewood places charge around double the prices for food of comparable quality, and again, the parking is a nightmare. This place is the best of everything. Please give them a chance.

Siam Ruby

184 W Passaic Street

Rochelle Park, NJ


Edited by zhelder (log)
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