Siamville continues to be my go-to Thai food restaurant in Cedar Rapids. Some can argue its’ because there are only two… but one of them has to be the best, right? Once upon a time, I thought Thai moon had great Pad Thai. But I moved away, moved around, and eventually ate at every Thai establishment I stumbled upon in my path. Still, when I came home to visit CR, I realized that Thai Moon’s food was failing, and my heart turned to Siamville.
Tucked away in a precarious strip mall, your alarm bells might immediately sound when directed to this dining destination. But I promise, look past the fabric store and empty store fronts, and head into this cozy little secret where only some of the greatest Thai comes from.
Long gone are the days of ordering Pad Thai for me, but every person I venture with to this restaurant swears it’s great. If you a little more daring, I love a spicy Pad Kee Mao and usually ANY DAY OF THE WEEK the Kua Kai is great- not usually seen on other Thai menus I’ve come across. The Pad Pra Ram, aka Rama Chicken, gets a thumbs up in my book for the spinach instead of broccoli. And while I may carry my own bottle of Sriracha in my purse wherever I go, I haven’t dared to ask them to make the Pad Kee Mao or any other dish “Oh-style” purely out of fear. Named after the chef, this special request promises to make you sweat and cry.
I usually start with a Thai Iced Tea, although their beer and wine menu is great. I don’t think you can go wrong with a Sapporo or their other selections of imports, but they offer wine from all over the world as well.
I pass on the prawn cakes, even on the crab rangoons some nights and go straight to the Fried Tofu. It depends what your preference is, but the little Thai french fries that are dropped on my table never disappoint, especially with their peanuty sweet & sour sauce. The spring rolls are on the larger side- so they will be destroyed the moment you touch them. But if you can look past the mess, and piece it all back together, it’s still delicious.
The service is usually good, not overly friendly but nice, just very nice. I feel like they are there because they like the food, not because they have an undying desire to be on a waitstaff. One thing I ask, people- hand me some damn chopsticks. Upon every visit, it requires a “flag down and ask” and I’ve yet to figure out if it’s because they think we are uncultured Iowans or not skilled outside of the spoon & fork variety, or they just want to keep them for themselves. But please, pretend that you think I can do it and leave them for me to decide.
After all of that, if you still want something more, the mango sticky rice is deceivingly sweet. I was skeptical at first glance (that rarely stops me), but surprised to the point that I couldn’t stop my own fork. It looks like a crappy ball of rice with some seeds on top but the sweetness is…. ahhhh. Get a grip, sister.
It’s at this point, I must give them a nod for increasing their efforts in the decor area. Each time I go back, there is a new piece of art, or another curtain hung on the windows, and I have to hope that it was my full belly and dinner/lunch bill that helped it happen.
Kudos for being an ethnic restaurant who doesn’t take creepy photos of their food, these actually look good!
I must point out that it is conveniently located near JoJo’s Oriental Market. If that doesn’t lend to its’ credibility, I’m not sure what will. If you have a free minute and need to walk off your dinner, stop in, browse the aisles and be sure to pick up fresh noodles, cheap spices, or a strange looking ingredient you’ve never seen. Forget for a moment you are in CR, enjoy the lingering flavors from your new Thai experience, and ambitiously reach for an item that you will attempt to cook…. before giving up and going back to Siamville for more.