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Siam Thai Restaurant , Maritim Royal Peninsula Hotel, Airport to Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, Sinai, Egypt

Tel +20-069 ??- fax +20-069-??

Debates continue in Sharm as to which is the best restaurant in town. Well there’s a new Thai contender on the block.

Only open for three months, the Siam Thai Restaurant - in the Maritim Royal Peninsula Hotel - is very, very good. It’s a short taxi ride out of Naama Bay next to the International Conference Centre on the way to the airport.

I’ve been to quite a few great Thai restaurants in both London and Thailand itself and this ranks near the top.


The soups are full of great, well-sourced ingredients, prawn and chicken with that fantastic aroma that only fresh lemon grass, chilli and galangal can bring.

For anyone who remembers the impressive Thai restaurant at the Sharm Holiday Hotel - that closed a few years ago - this is much better.

We had a real feast of it with four courses – unnecessary, but it’s the kind of place where you know that pretty much anything on the menu will be great.

Again the salads were clever mixtures of sharply contrasting tastes that are associated with Thai cooking; hot, sour, sweet, bitter and salty.

 
 
 

The menu, unusually for Sharm, is both simple and written in good clear English. Thai names are followed by sensible descriptions of the menu items.

For the main course I had a Panaeng Gai (chicken in thick red curry sauce with peanuts) and like everything else it was superbly cooked – nothing was dried out by overcooking.

We were lucky, as it was a quiet night the chef came over to join us. Namor Phutthayasit has a passion for his cooking that is obvious to all who meet him. He refuses to take his Sundays off in case standards drop.

He explained to us the four styles of Thai cooking; Bangkok street food (which can be great); normal restaurant cooking; hotel cooking; and Royal Cuisine. He cooks the last!


He grew up in Phuket in southern Thailand, an area that is renowned for spicy cooking. Of course if you ask they will happily turn down the heat in dishes. I always think the sign of a good restaurant is that you don’t need to touch the salt and pepper – in this restaurant I’m not even sure they were on the table.

The only drawback to the restaurant is one often associated with hotel restaurants in Sharm; the very polite security guards at the entrance to the hotel were totally unaware of the restaurant’s existence and seemed surprised by out-of-hotel clientele. But once you’re in, the Siam Restaurant is great.

 

 

The food and cocktails are well priced, local wine is available and the service was perfect. This place will succeed.

Sometimes the hard thing in Sharm is how to keep the good chefs in town. We need to start a campaign to keep Namor in town now - My name is on the petition already.

 
   
   

 

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