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Daniel

Staying in Rosemont

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Siam's House Restaurant

7742 N Milwaukee Avenue

Niles, IL 60714 (847) 967-2390

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Definitely agree with you on Siam's House, which is a great spot. For those of us who reside in the northern suburbs, it'll be an especially wonderful spot over the next several months, while the Edens Expressway is under construction.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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While it's no Spoon, or Sticky Rice, or TAC Quick, Thai Sookdee is probably the best THai food on the North Shore.

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Has anyone explored the Thai Menu from Siam? I want to try to get them to translate the menu.. I feel the best items from this restaurant have yet to be explored.

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2401 W Devon Avenue

Chicago, IL, 60659

(773) 338-2800

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I have been here a few times before and each time I have found it wonderful.. As you can see above the menu is pretty limited.. There is another side but, it doesnt vary much.. A few rice dishes, a few grilled dishes, some different breads, and some vegetables..

My normal go to here is the seekh kebab and the lamb bryani.. The bryani being possibly the best I have had.. I tried to venture out tonight and go to Tandori in Park Ridge but, the India's answer to a NJ Guido manager informed me that the restaurant closes at 9.. So as I entered the restaurant at 8:20 with 4 tables ranging from 4 to 8 people at them, he told me that he would serve me take out or I would have to eat quickly, I decided Khan's would be a better choice..

Khan's draw is certainly not its decore.. I am happy that they at least went the sparce route and kept it fairly open.. Its two large rooms with high ceilings, lots of tables with plenty of space between them.. In the main room, there is a large screen television and a full few of the cooks placing large swords with skewered marinated meat into the ovens..

I am not proofreading or checking my menu so, I will give you all the gringo names of what I had.. Sesame Naan:

The bread here is always perfectly charred and wonderful..

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Some sort of marinated chicken.. Chicken Boti i believe.. This too, like all of their meats was perfectly charred, juicy, and just wonderful..

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Aloo Gobi: Fantastic version, not fried like I often find.. This was stewed, had really deep layered flavors with some heat to it.. None of this generic sweet flavors that most "ethnic" restaurants assume Americans want to have..

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Finished off with a little candied fennel.. Check was $17 dollars..

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P.S. Here is a previous photo of the bryani.. This too has a wonderful depth of flavor.. A really nice heat to it..

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Edited by Daniel (log)

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Drove passed this little spot tonight on my way to Khan's called:

Pampanga's Cuisiane Filipino

6407 N Caldwell Avenue

Chicago, IL 60646

(773) 763-1781

Has anyone been there?

ETA. I just noticed I asked this same question two years ago.. :biggrin:


Edited by Daniel (log)

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Daniel,

I too, love Khan BBQ and was there with a group on Tuesday night. Is that when you were there? If so, I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to say hi.

You are correct that the chicken pictured in your post above is the Boti, arguably the best item on the Khan menu, but there are so many that are fantastic. Tonight, we were lucky enough to score a few orders of the goat chanp, which seems to be available rarely, at best. I'd also recommend the broast chicken which is, for lack of a better term, like Pakastani version of Popeye's.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I was there last night.. Having been pressured to leave Tandori at 820 I am assuming I arrived around 845 or so.. I walked in by myself wearing a black jeans and a button down.. I sat in the far left back corner of the room.. I saw a large group sitting against the left side of the main room.. I am assuming that was your table.. How funny.. Right as I was leaving the heavens opened up.. They were nice enough to let me hang out for a bit..

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That was definitely our group along the windows on the east side of the restaurant. Despite the sketch of Ron in his posts, you may not have recognized him, because 1) he didn't have a camera with him, and 2) his back would have been turned to you.

As far as Pampanga, I've been there several times. Very good lumpia and adobo dishes. I also like the kare-kare. Haven't been there recently, though. Now you've got me thinking I have to make it out for a Philippine meal soon.

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I wish I had known about the gathering, it would have been fun.. Perhaps next time.. I will be back in May..


Edited by Daniel (log)

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I ate at Siam's House in Niles late last year, and I thought it was dreadful - the worst Thai food (by far!) that I have eaten in the past few years. And I like to try a lot of Thai restaurants; I've probably eaten at a dozen in the past year.

Thai Sookdee is still my "gold standard" when it comes to Thai food. In saying that, I should note that I prefer fairly common Thai foods, such as tom kha gai (soup), satay, panang, mango with sticky rice, Thai iced tea, etc. Thai Sookdee has the very best tom kha gai I've had in the Chicago area, and they do a great job with the other dishes, too. In the past year I've eaten at TAC Quick and Sticky Rice, and while I can appreciate the fact that they have a Thai language menu with more unusual dishes, I think the food tastes a whole lot better at Thai Sookdee. (I thought TAC Quick was pretty good, better than Sticky Rice.) If you're in Rosemont, you might also consider altThai in Arlington Heights.

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Wow.. Thats disappointing to hear about your experience.. Maybe they changed kitchen staff or something I suggest you go back because the place is really really good.. Though, I did not order anything that you seem to enjoy.. So, if you are happy, then maybe you shouldnt try it, unless it closer to your house.. But for a change, I can't see how anyone wouldnt love the pork leg and mustard green..

Its really strange how menus can vary.. Whats the local obsession with Crab Rangoons for crying out loud.. Thanks for the recommendations I will have to check the places out.


Edited by Daniel (log)

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Took a customer here the other night not knowing much about the place.. Its pretty, though its more of a sophisticated steakhouse, business suite type spot..

Man in suit greets us and is very friendly.. Seats us in a large leather circular booth.. We order a tuna appetizer that was good for this restaurant.. Served charred on the outside rperfectly rare on the inside with a spicy pineapple chutney, huge amount of piped wasabi that offered nothing past presentation value, and something else.. If I stopped eating after this dish, the place would have been pretty good.. ..

Next up, I ordered rack of baby lamb chops and the person I was dining with ordered a filet.. I ordered my chops medium rare to "blue" I say.. My companion ordered medium well.. I having never dined with this person, was put off by the medium well request.. But hey.. We also ordered a side of spinach and mashed potatoes..

My lamb chops were poorly cooked.. Actually, they were supposed to be crusted with nuts and shit but, I asked for them plain.. No reason to cover up the taste of baby lamb with some chef's "creation" It was a wonderful piece of meat but, the person cooking it had no clue.. It was medium well... However, the filet was medium rare..

At no point during the course of the meal did someone come by to ask us how dinner was.. If everything was ok.. The mashed potatoes were a disgrace.. Served out of an ice cream scoop and plopped on the plate, they were hard.. When the waitress did come by at the end of the meal, I showed her my half eaten lamb and said this was not cooked correctly.. The other filet was eaten around the edges because it was uncooked in the middle.. Mind you these were like 30 or 36 dollar plates of meat.. She took the plate and gave no response..

I orderd a cafe au laite after dinner and it was terrible.The foamed milk was bubbly and when the bubbles subsided there was scum left on the side of the glass.. I dont know how they frothed the milk but it was like water.. Reminded me of the crap thats left on the side of a glass if you were to blow air into your straw in a coke float.. A really bad way to end..

Dinner for two was like 180 bucks.. Place was expensive and loud.. A stereotypical old boys business restaurant with poor execution.. In the area you have Gibsons, Mortons, Nick's Fish Market and a couple of other steakhouses.. I would happily go to any of those before going back here.


Edited by Daniel (log)

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Ahhh, glad to see someone is paying attention.. :biggrin: Rosewood.

Rosewood Restaurant & Banquets

www.rosewoodrestaurant.com

9421 W Higgins Rd

Rosemont, IL 60018

(847) 696-9494


Edited by Daniel (log)

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So I have been in Chicago for two days and each night I find myself at Siam House.. I have been thinking about the wonderful thai salad since I had first tried it.. Though, I have had it at a few other places, Siam House might be my favorite..

In fact, Siam House might be my favorite Thai Restaurant.. It amazes me that this restaurant is not packed.. Sadly enough, the only people that seem to frequent this restaurant are Thai People.. Place has been open for 18 yeaars and In fact, I have read and heard that the majority of there customers are from the small surrounding Thai Community.. From local Thai restaurant owners to Thai families driving hours to come here, the weekends are the only time its busy..

I have found that there is a translation for the Thai Menu.. And if you asks, they will provide you with this menu.. Though, the last time it was translated was in 05...

Side one of page one

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Side two of page one:

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Sadly enough, I did not bring my camera tonight so, I only have photos from last nights adventure...

Crispy Catfish Salad.. The catfish is cooked and then shredded and fried in the wok.. Served with chili peppers, scallions, basil, peanuts, fish sauce, lime juice, red onion and lettuce.. A crime not to order at this place..

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Pork satay.. Served with a wonderful chili sauce.. This is not something from a jar mind you..

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Angel wing.. A chicken leg stuffed with, you guessed it, pork.. Really interesting..

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Pork shoulder with another completely different yet, wonderful sauce.. The pork shoulder was bbq'd over there charcoal grill.. It was sweet and complex..

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Homemade noodles with greens and chicken..

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Another type of pork served over rice.. This too was outstanding.. Really, just beyond good..

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I bet you are seeing that there is a lot of pork during this meal.. It turns out that the owners son happens to work on Monday's.. He is a little socially ackward and not very helpful..Also very young.. We had ordered other things and had asked about others.. He kind of just wrote down things during parts of the conversation and gave us what he wanted.. I normally wouldnt order this heavy of a meal but, I certainly know what to get next time.. I am glad I tried each of these dishes and would re-order them invdividually whenever.

Dessert:

Coconut, taro, egg custard.. Easily the best Thai Dessert I have ever had..

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Tonight I went alone and ordered the house made thai sausage.. It was with fermented rice and pork.. An absolutely fantastic sausage.. I also had the catfish salad again, and some other pork dish with sticky rice.. A couple of beers and I am a happy man..

Next time people come here, ask to see the translated Thai Menu.. If anyone wants to try authentic, expertly made Thai Food this is the spot. This place should be packed 24/7


Edited by Daniel (log)

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In fact, Siam House might be my favorite Thai Restaurant.. It amazes me that this restaurant is not packed.. Sadly enough, the only people that seem to frequent this restaurant are Thai People.. Place has been open for 18 yeaars and In fact, I have read and heard that the majority of there customers are from the small surrounding Thai Community.. From local Thai restaurant owners to Thai families driving hours to come here, the weekends are the only time its busy..

I have in fact found that there is a translation for the Thai Menu.. And if you asks, they will provide you with this menu.. Though, the last time it was translated was in 05...

Siam's House is my favorite Thai restaurant. Even routine dishes there are wonderful. They do the best pad Thai in Chicagoland and lovely red curries.

Every local Thai whom I've quizzed about restaurants has mentioned it. Even the staff of the Thai consulate eats there. I haven't had a chance to go there in a while, so I'm glad to hear it's still keeping up its standards.

The menu translation is by Erik M, who did a lot of restaurant menus around town but has now moved to L.A.

Siam's House

847/967-2390

Rayyan Plaza

7742 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles


LAZ

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The menu translation is by Erik M, who did a lot of restaurant menus around town but has now moved to L.A.

I'm glad you mentioned this because so many of us here in Chicago have benefitted via his effort.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I noticed on the translated menu that there was website.. It was something like silapaahan.com.. However the website is down.. Do you know if guy still has a website up?

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I noticed on the translated menu that there was website.. It was something like silapaahan.com.. However the website is down.. Do you know if guy still has a website up?

Unfortunately, the web site is no longer. But Erik has been posting quite a bit about L.A. over at CH. Additionally, many of his translated Thai menus can still be found over at LTHForum.com:

http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=359

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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You can read a bit about Erik and his translations here, but apparently what he had online was lost in a disk crash, so only what the restaurants have is still available.


LAZ

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Steak N Shake

10421 W Touhy Ave

Rosemont, IL 60018

(847) 299-3944

So on paper Steak N Shake is a wonderful thing.. Its like the Midwest's answer to the west coast burger place. Fresh meat patties are placed on the grill as the orders come in..

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I like the style of preparation.. Ground meat is placed on the flat top and then pressed down on the grill.. I love this style of cooking when done correctly.. However, i think the quality of the meat is not up to snuff.. The patties come out grey and dry and fairly tasteless.. Not to mention the fries are pretty terrible too.. Something about those super skinny fries really annoy me..

Looking back, it would have been a better photo if I moved the plate over. Would have been interesting to see the side by side.. Though it looks pretty accurate.

In a town like Chicago, its hard to find a dry burger.

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Edited by Daniel (log)

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Went to Siam House a few times this last trip.. Must say, the food here is wonderful.. I have had a chance now to compare this place to a few of my other favorite Thai places.. I think the biggest thing this place is suffering from is lack of interest.. Lack of interest and support from the local community.. I have mostly gone on weekday nights and during some trips I have been the only person in the restaurant.. Other trips on weeknights there have been a few take out orders and just a small handful of customers.. Weekend nights are better, I believe this is because a lot of out of town Thai people will travel to come here.. Because the restaurant can't support a full time wait staff, there is one waitress working on a Saturday night.. So with no busboys and one waitress, the wait tends to be long.

How the heck can a kitchen have enthusiasm when there is little support from the community.. How can a restaurant maintain such a varied menu if there isnt anyone ordering food.. A place has to cut corners in order not to throw out tons of food.. Though, I have not noticed any quality issues.. IWould you be brave enough to order the mussel special on say a wednesday night? If this place was in New York, this place would be packed.

Note this was over the course of a few meals.. As I stated in another thread, the best way to eat here is to order of the translated Thai Menu.. This was translated by a previous member of this board I believe.

Pork Sausage.. Homemade sausage served with peanuts, hot peppers, and ginger.. The sausage is sour and meaty.. Its fantastic. The traditional way is to serve with sticky rice

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Another shot of the crispy catfish salad.. As Miss A stated, the cashews work better in this dish.. But the amount of catfish they give you is amazing. Wonderful salad and still might be my favorite preparation.

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This was a pretty intense papaya salad.. Served with dried shrimp and salty baby crab.. The salty crab is pretty intense. This dish is the most clear example of the hot, sour, salty, sweet. A shock to the sense and a great way to start a meal.. (The crab is pretty hardcore)

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Grilled chicken special.. This dish was fantastic.. When I was there on a Saturday, I was listening to the conversation in the restaurant.. I was the only non Asian person there and people were getting up and walking between the tables.. I over heard on older gentlemen say that he ordered the grilled chicken and it reminded him of the chicken he use to eat in Thailand. At like 7 bucks, I had to give it a try..

The restaurant has lot of fighting cocks around the place.. Here is a painting on the wall.. I was wondering if I was eating the loser:

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Came with a lime, peanut, and pepper sauce.. Oh baby.

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Sweet and sour calamari:

They have a version of calamari that is stuffed with pork and deep fried.. I will wait for another time to order it.. This seemed to be the more healthy version:

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Shrimp pad thai.. It was definitely not a dry version.. Its not my favorite dish but, this was good

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Saturday night mussels.. They were wonderful.. Served with lots of Thai Basil.. A fantastic preparation.

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My current favorite dish.. Strips of catfish cooked and then fried.. Served with long beans and a spicy red curry sauce.. This dish is outstandingly good..

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Crab fried rice:

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Would you be brave enough to order the mussel special on say a wednesday night?

Yes, since I ordered them on a Thursday night. And they were fresh and decent, one of the few highlights of a dinner that otherwise ranged from disappointing to dreadful. Here's what I wrote about it at the time:

We decided to try Siam's House for dinner tonight. As it turns out, we were generally disappointed in our meal.

The pleasant waitress took our order. She asked how spicy we liked everything, and we told her how we like it (medium, fairly hot but not burn-your-head-off hot). As it turns out, everything was prepared with the specified level of hotness. Kudos for that.

We started with a drink. My SO had a Singha, and I had the cha yen (Thai iced tea). This was not one of the better cha yens I've had; it was way too sweet and syrupy (cha yen is normally sweet, but not this sweet) without the characteristic smoky tea flavor to offset the sweetness.

The first dish was great. We had the satay gai (chicken satay), and it was excellent. Plump, juicy, flavorful, with a nice char on the outside, served with lots of peanut sauce and lots of sliced cucumber (enough that we did plenty of cucumber dipping after we finished the satay). And, unlike every other Thai place on the planet (or so it seems), they serve an even number of skewers, six. Not that that aspect is a big deal, it's not; it's just more of a curiosity than anything else.

Unfortunately, that was the best dish of the meal, and it was followed by the worst. The next item was the tom kha gai (soup made of chicken, galanga, lemongrass, coconut milk, etc). When it arrived at the table, there was a thick pool of rather disgusting orange oil floating on top. I was able to use my skimming skills to remove as much of the oil as I could. Even aside from the excess oil, though, the soup itself was, well, just not very good. The taste was too bland; it was reasonably spicy, as noted above, but other than that, there was just not that strong a taste to the broth, making it rather dishwatery. Granted, not every place (not even TAC Quick, IMHO) has tom kha gai as good as Thai Sookdee, my favorite, but this is the first time in ages that we have left over any tom kha gai, anywhere. 'nuff said.

We had two mains. One was a daily special of basil mussels with chili paste. This dish was very good. The mussels tasted fresh, and the relatively small amount of sauce was nice and tasty.

The second was less successful. This was panang gai (chicken curry). This too was excessively oily, although the oil was somewhat blended with the sauce, rather than sitting on top. Like the soup, the dish itself was a bit on the bland side - again, reasonably spicy, but not that tasty. Also, FWIW, the amount of liquid sauce in this dish was huge - not really a big plus or minus, but there was 4-5 times as much sauce as most other Thai places serve, even though panang normally comes with a fair amount of sauce.

They didn't have khao niaow mamuang (mango with sticky rice), either on the menu or otherwise (we asked) so we skipped dessert.

How would I rate Siam's House overall? I like to rate restaurants on the following scale:

4 stars - Wow, Incredible (worth traveling long distances to dine)

3 stars - Very Good (worth recommending to others)

2 stars - Just Okay (worth visiting if you're in the neighborhood)

1 star - Disappointing, seriously flawed (worth forgetting)

0 stars - Dreadful (worth warning others away)

On this scale, I would give Siam's House 1 star. By way of comparison, Thai Sookdee in Evanston, my current favorite Thai place in the Chicago area, rates 3 stars, as does Thai Pavilion 2 in Skokie; TAC Quick in Chicago gets 2.5 stars; and the other eight or so Thai places in Evanston and Skokie all get 1-2 stars, as do another four or so Thai places I've tried on the north side in the past couple of years.

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Right you mentioned this.. I havent tried any of the things you tried besides the mussels.. Its nice we agree on those! If you like that style, you can get it at most Thai places.. Not that there is anything wrong with that. This restaurant is geared more towards authentic food..

If you like the mussels you should try the other dishes I like..


Edited by Daniel (log)

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