My first authentic tasting of Thai food was more than thirty years ago in Thailand at a little town called Satun and the experience was memorable for a few reasons.
I’d been holidaying in Pulau Langkawi just over the border in Malaysia and was told I could take a long boat direct to Satun from the island, which would save hours compared to the long overland journey to the main entry spot on the other side of Malaysia.
So I set off on a longboat, skippered by a few locals carrying sacks of stuff and after an hour and a half we surfed our way onto a small beach, which I assumed was in Thailand. Couldn’t see a sign, or anything that resembled a building let alone a customs office.
I had just landed in Thailand without any registered Visa!
No matter. Lots of pointing and shouting from our Thai skipper and some fisherman standing on poles catching their dinner directed me to follow the others towards a large dump truck, partially obscured by plumes of black smoke, and home to 20 or so people carrying various fruits and vegetables. They were waiting for me – I clambered up on board.
An hour later, after lots of grinning, head nodding and hand-signalling at smiling faces constantly staring at me the truck stopped on a dusty street, in a dusty town.
Again, lots of pointing directed me to the Customs office to officially register my arrival. The officers were none to pleased on my arrival, suspicious somewhat of my intentions taking this obscure and not so-well travelled route.
It wasn’t long before I noticed that fragrant smell, that mixture of lemongrass, coconut milk, chilli and fish sauce billowing into the office. It was like magnets pulling me into the shop next door.
I tried it and almost immediately tears came out of my eyes. It was superb, delicious, and somewhat nuclear hot, creating havoc with the nasal passages, but addictive – and I’ve been in love with it since.
So imagine my surprise when I went to dine at Seremban’s Siam Siam Boat Noodles at Gateway Seremban and tucked into some awesome authentic Thai food that brought back those very same memories and experiences, this was not “dumbed down food”, it’s the real thing.
Perhaps it is because staff from the restaurant are regularly sent to Thailand to hone their culinary skills that they can nail that delicate Thai balance.
And balance is how the original Boat Noodles came about in Thailand during the early 1940’s when a lone cook was on his boat cooking whilst paddling the canals of Bangkok looking for customers. As a normal bowl was far too big to pass over to the customer without spilling a smaller bowl was devised to house the delicate noodle dish.
So what’s on offer, where do I start? May as well start at the beginning.
With four different types of noodles including Bihun, Yellow Noodle, Loh She Fun and Kuey Teow to choose from you can also elect which of the four different soups you desire. You can try the dry curried, the popular Tom Yam, chicken or spicy soup, it is entirely up to you. They all taste delicious. Each bowl comes with a minced chicken topping, a fishball and some spring onions.
Next on my taste test was the BBQ chicken wings that were perhaps the biggest wings I have ever eaten, they were eagle sized! And they were the least oiliest chicken I have ever tasted, due to their being cooked in a specially designed fryer, imported from the US. Juicy, flavoursome chicken.
Possibly my favourite was the next dish, the simple Kra Pow chicken rice. Nice and spicy hot stewed minced chicken, mixed with chilli, onion and basil served with white rice and an egg on top. So simple and so delicious.
A close second for me was the the spicy Gai Tod which is marinated chicken fried in shredded lemongrass and served with a curry gravy and some turmeric rice.
One salad you must try is one of their signature meals, the Papaya salad which was a great side dish for all the rice meals.
Wash all that food down with a creamy Thai aromatic tea or coffee, close your eyes, and you would swear you were relaxing on a beach at Pattaya or Phi Phi.
Ooops, I forgot desserts.
All of them were simply delicious, Mango pudding with ice cream, Caramel ice cream in crushed ice, and then some Grass jelly with sago on crushed ice.
Well, I was lucky enough, (read greedy enough!), to try a little bit of them all and they all pass my yum test with the winner for me being the fresh Mango.
But as they say the choice is yours, so one day choose Siam Siam Boat Noodles, a taste of Thailand in Seremban.
Siam Siam Boat Noodles
No. 5-L1, Seremban Gateway, Off Jalan Sungai Ujong, Seremban
Operation hours: 11am – 10pm (closed on Mondays except Public Holidays)
Contact No. : 012-601 3908