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Restaurant review: Siam Cottage’s Thai food continues to hit the mark in Aberdeen

Siam Cottage has been a staple of Aberdeen's dining scene for a long time. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson
Siam Cottage has been a staple of Aberdeen's dining scene for a long time. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

While you may struggle for choice when it comes to dining out in Chinese restaurants in Aberdeen, it’s certainly not the case for those who love Thai.

Nestled at the city’s Castlegate, Siam Cottage was the last Thai restaurant on my list I’d yet to pay a visit to.

I’ve heard rave reviews from many of my foodie friends so my hopes were high. “It’s the most authentic Thai restaurant in Aberdeen”, said one who lived in Asia for many years.

Outside Siam Cottage at Castlegate in Aberdeen. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Siam Cottage

Visiting for dinner between Christmas and New Year I wasn’t sure how busy the venue would be. This said night was to be their last dinner service before closing up for the month of January, hence why this review has been published a little later than usual.

The bright green external sign can’t be missed from the cobbled area it lies just off Union Street, and with an illuminated “open” sign hanging in the window, we were in luck.

Inside the restaurant. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

I’d booked a table for our prime time sitting on the off chance the place was packed, but on arrival just a few other tables were in.

Our welcome was friendly, with beaming smiles coming from staff throughout the long, narrow venue. The restaurant’s décor is quite plain.

Gold booth seating and black chairs line the dining room and there’s prints of places of interest from across Thailand hung on the walls. The textured and patterned wallpaper is subtle and the paper tablecloths add a rustic feel to the place.

The golden booths line one side of the restaurant. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

You couldn’t deny though that the smells coming from the kitchen were mouth-watering.

We were handed a large menu each with plenty of options hidden within. What I really loved was their attention to detail around allergies, with every dish pinpointing which of the 14 most common ingredients associated with allergies may be present in them.

Ing, our server for the night, gave us a few moments to decide on our drinks. I’d spied the Thai iced tea so ordered one of those. It appeared in a mason jar-esque glass with a big straw. The milky tea had a soft sweetness it and almost tasted like rice pudding, so I drank it sparingly throughout our meal. My partner stuck to his usual Diet Coke.

The Thai iced tea. The milk version on the left and the lemon flavour on the right. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

The food

We couldn’t pick just two starters so opted for moo ping, homemade won tons and king prawn delight, because surely with a name like that it was going to be delightful.

The garnish for each was identical. A slice of cucumber and half a cherry tomato on every plain white dish.

Moo ping grilled pork starter. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

The moo ping was delicious. The pork had a sweet glaze over it and also had a slight pepperiness to it. The four skewers of meat had been cooked on the grill and captured some of the smokiness of it, which I adored.

Chilli oil was served on the side of the six homemade steamed won tons which were all uniform.

I was impressed as each hand been made by hand and sat perfectly on the plate. The pork and veggie filling was packed in the casing and dipped into the sauce made for an excellent mouthful.

The handmade steamed won tons. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

As for the delight that was the fried king prawns, it was the sauce – the delight – which made this dish. The five butterflied lightly battered prawns (which still had their tail on) were soft and succulent. My boyfriend adored this dish, even though he’d turned his nose up to it in the beginning.

King prawn delight went down a treat. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

Creamy, savoury and a little nutty, it was buttery in texture and very, very tasty. Other starters I’d eyed up included soups, dumplings and the Thai fish cakes.

We were lucky that the starters weren’t too filling as we’d ordered a main dish each and the Thai spice steamed sea bass.

I’d seen a picture of the fish dish online, so I knew what to expect. But if I had known I’d be fishing bones out of my mouth most of the night, I’d maybe have passed up the opportunity.

The Thai spicy sea bass. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

That said, the fish was beautifully cooked and was kept on top of a burner that kept the dish (shaped like a fish) warm. I loved the flavours of the sauce that the fish was swimming in and it was dressed with slices of lemon and fresh herbs. Tiny pieces of chopped chilli topped it, and while I thought it was going to burn my mouth off, it actually wasn’t that spicy.

My boyfriend had ordered the Pad Krapow with chicken and a side of noodles with beansprouts and carrots throughout.

The chicken was very tender and had chillies, onion, runner beans and bamboo shoots. All of the veg was a little al dente too which added texture, and while the chilli and garlic sauce was quite spicy I loved the hot meets sweet flavours of it.

For those that like spice pick the Pad Krapow with chicken. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

My beef massaman curry was equally as good. Some pieces of the beef were incredibly tender, and while just a few were a little chewier, there was plenty meat.

The sauce was nutty because of the peanuts, which also provided a welcome crunch, and the savoury curry boasted a sweet earthiness thanks to the varying spices in it. Pieces of soft boiled potato were hidden within.

There’s this obsession with anything salt and pepper just now and so we “had” to order the salt and peppery hot chips according to my boyfriend.

The Massaman beef curry. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson
The Massaman beef curry. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

The chips were cooked nicely and it was a big portion with plenty chopped fried chillies, spring onion and onion included in the mix. The tattie was fluffy on the inside and crisp on the out, and we genuinely couldn’t get enough of them.

We were done in and politely declined dessert. Ing had been incredibly attentive throughout the night and had been a great guide in helping us pick some stellar options including the king prawn delight.

The verdict

Siam Cottage has been around for some time in Aberdeen and it’s clear why. Good food, attentive service and a location in the city centre – it has all the right things in place to be a success.

I loved the flavours coming from the dishes and it was great to see the restaurant get  busier as the night progressed.

Having only had takeaway from the venue before, it was nice to finally put a face to a name and it’s one I’d certainly like to become more familiar with.


Address: Siam Cottage, 13 Castle Street, Aberdeen AB11 5BQ

T: 01224 636888


Price: £92.45 for three starters, three mains, noodles and chips (extra £1 each) plus two Diet Cokes and a Thai ice tea


  • Food: 4/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Surroundings: 3.5/5