Food & Drink | TOKYO FOOD FILE

Siam Shokudo: Honest Thai flavors on a busy downtown crossing

by Robbie Swinnerton

Special To The Japan Times

You can’t miss Siam Shokudo. It’s right above Yushima subway station looking out over a busy crossroad, with its front entirely open to the street whenever the weather is warm. From outside you might take it for just another bar in this old-school carousing district. But it’s not only bigger than you expect, extending up three floors, it’s also one of the best Thai eateries in the neighborhood.

If you’ve just dropped by for a Singha or two, there’s a good selection of light starters, including freshly made spring rolls with extra coriander, in deference to Japan’s current infatuation with the fragrant green herb. If you’re having dinner, you’ll find plenty of substantial dishes including stir-fries, gaiyang chicken, somtam (green papaya salad) and sticky rice. There’s even a Thai-style nabe hotpot with chicken and an abundance of spices, perfect for when the weather turns cold.

The cooking is honest, and almost everything is prepared to order by a kitchen crew who all hail from Thailand. While there are few surprises on the menu and heat levels are never ramped up too high, the flavors are always nice and robust. The Thai tricolor flag over the kitchen is not just for show.

In line with the nationwide state of emergency declared on April 16, the government is strongly requesting that residents stay at home whenever possible and refrain from visiting bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.
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