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The Star of Siam Thai restaurant on Gouger Street has been well known in Adelaide for many years, and many other restaurants have arrived and gone since they opened their doors in 1987.
We had actually planned to lunch at Mesa Lunga down the road but found it shut, and in the middle of a torrential downpour the Star of Siam was a welcome port in a storm.
Although an overcast day it was even darker and more gloomy inside the Star of Siam. Its narrow frontage doesn't allow a lot of window space, and curtains filtered the incoming light. Despite being without bookings we were immediately ushered to tables adjacent to other diners. Like many other restaurants in Adelaide, there is not much space between diners.
We were given lunch and dining menus, and soon decided on our dishes. The waiter made some suggestions for the wine, and helpfully offered to find out what vintage our Skillogalee Shiraz Cabernet ($8) would be.
The lunch menu had a wide range of choices for $12-13, although unfortunately my favourite (red curry duck) is no longer on the menu. After ordering Masaman Beef, Pad-Kee-Mao (pork), and Pad Prik Sord (prawns and squid) we only had to wait 5-10 minutes before the food was served.
The portion sizes were all good, and the presentation was attractive - my photos really don't do justice to the appearance of the meals due to the low ambient light levels.
The Masaman Beef curry disappeared quickly, and the verdict was that it was tasty and reasonably tender. It did not quite have the "melt in the mouth" sensation that the dish sometimes has though.
There were no complaints with the Pad-Kee-Mao, when the plate was spotless my friend said that it was exactly as he would have liked. He particularly enjoyed the fresh Thai basil with its pronounced aniseed flavour.
My Pad Prik Sord also had the strong overtones inherent with Thai basil, exactly as I was hoping for. The prawns were succulent although the squid was a bit chewy - not an uncommon experience in restaurants. The banana capsicum and button mushrooms complemented the seafood well, although there was a little too much onion for my preference.
Our overall verdict was the food is excellent value for money, and the service could not be faulted. At that price it deserves to be included in listings like Adelaide's top 12 cheap eats. For only $2 more than the typical price of those meals, we received full waiter table service.
Star of Siam has already been nominated as a favourite Thai restaurant by others, but perhaps you would like to add your thoughts?
When we left most tables were busy on a Wednesday. I think this restaurant will be around for many more years to come.