Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Sea Siam ~ Keller, Texas
I just realized I never reformatted Sea Siam in last year's flurry of activity. So much has changed since we wrote this review just over 8 years ago. Sea Siam was just starting out, and so was the RJG. In fact, Sea Siam was the first Thai restaurant we reviewed for the blog, so we had to introduce where we were coming from in regards to the cuisine. Today, Sea Siam is one of the most popular restaurants in NE Tarrant County, and deservedly so. And for our part, we have remained loyal customers for the entire time. With that prelude, I'm going to leave our original notes as stated, even though many of my comments you no doubt have already figured out if you've peeked on this site before. But for those new to the blog, it does provide some context. And if for some reason you haven't been to Sea Siam, or it's been a long time, be sure to visit. They have only gotten better with age!
Original 2008 Notes / Food: Want to know the RJG's favorite food destination? Thai food. Why? Because that's Mrs. RJG's favorite food - and pretty close to my favorite as well. And we've been to every, or just about every, Thai restaurant in NE Tarrant (with multiple ventures into Ft. Worth and Arlington as well).
Before I get started here on Sea Siam, I want to tell a little story. A couple of years ago, I walked into a Southlake based pizza joint (that is now closed), and mentioned to the owner that I was glad he was still here, and the food is great. His response to my magnanimous comment? "Yea, well no thanks to YOU". He didn't say it rudely, but matter of factly, with a slight smile. I was a bit taken a back by his comment, paid up, grabbed my pizza and got out as fast as possible. On the way home I realized he had been right. Truthfully, as someone who tries as many restaurants as possible, I'm not what you would call a reliable customer. If the business counted on folks like me to make a living, they'd all be broke quickly!
The two paragraphs above are there to set the stage for this important statement: We go to Sea Siam every single week. Almost without exception. If that doesn't underscore how great this place is, then I'm not sure anything else I say will.
For me, the battle I have at Thai restaurants is getting the heat level to where I need it - scorching hot. See, I'm a fair skinned blond, with blue eyes. Naturally, Mrs. RJG is dark haired with brown eyes, so usually on first visits she gets the hotter plate, even though I ask for it spicier than her. Preconceived notions? You bet your sweet biscuits on it! Perhaps it's because Jam ran a restaurant in southern California, but right away when I asked for it hot, I got it HOT. Thai hot - and I don't mean the menu Thai Hot, but what the locals consider as such. It doesn't take long for Mr. RJG to hear that the only other person who eats it as hot as he, is the cook himself. Yes, it makes me proud! And Mrs. RJG is no wimp either, as she's right behind me on the heat scale, maybe one or 2 notches less.
Thai basil chicken is my standard fare. It's a core Thai dish, and I could eat it every night. I prefer ground chicken, to really accentuate the Thai authenticity, but most Thai places don't have it. Sea Siam doesn't either, but they always cut the chicken very fine (on my request), thus allowing the spices to penetrate the meat better. Mrs. RJG loves her vegetables with her chicken, and her dishes are loaded with the greens. The other barometer is the rice, which many local Thai restaurants think should be mushy. Wrong! Mrs. RJG will quit going to a Thai place on the spot if they offer mushy rice. Sea Siam always has firm and fluffy rice!
We've tried many of their appetizers and they're all uniformly great. Mrs. RJG has had the Pad Thai on many occasion, and she says it's the best she's had. Prices are insanely cheap (not to mention the extra savings with it being BYOB), and the ambiance is perfect for the setting. Best of all, maybe, is that Jam and Eddie are great folks, who have a lot of fun. It reminds me of the good old days when customer service was authentic and an essential part of the business.
If you live anywhere in the DFW area, and love Thai food, make a beeline to Sea Siam. You won't regret the trip I assure you.
With a few edits, that more or less was the original review. And now to fill in the other buckets...
Drink: As mentioned above, it's BYOB, so a great opportunity to save there. They provide chilled glasses for wine, and an opener if you need it (we always bring our own - it's easier!). If for whatever reason you forgot to bring your own bottle or cans of beer, you can always go to the Kroger next door and load up! For you non borrachos, there's the usual Thai coffees and teas, as well as "fizzy drinks" as the Brits like to say.
Location: Sea Siam sits peacefully in a strip center location anchored by a Kroger grocery store at the southwest corner of Keller Parkway and Rufe Snow. The decor is cordial. It's not a big restaurant, and it fills up quickly - especially on Friday and Saturday! (they are closed Sunday). They took over a former home cooking place (that came and went so fast, we never tried it). Prior to that there was a Wings-N-Things, that was pretty good actually!
Notes: Jam and Eddie are veterans of the restaurant industry. For years they had a similarly named restaurant in Huntington Beach, California (and, would you believe it, Mrs. RJG and I tried it while there in May of 2008! It clearly wasn't as good as our Sea Siam). Relocating to the Keller area, they brought their expertise in Thai cooking right here to Northeast Tarrant, and I think the local denizens have benefited ever since from that decision. In addition to the restaurant, Sea Siam now have their own line of product that you can buy at the grocery store! They started with their famous Peanut Sauce, and I believe they have introduced (or will soon) their Green Curry sauce. These are distributed at Central Markets in both the DFW and Houston areas!
Rating: 5.0. The best Thai in DFW? It's in the conversation at least.