Siamais, Brindleyplace

If I told you that Thai Edge has been reinvented and is now… er… a Thai restaurant you wouldn’t be bowled over. However, if I told you that skulls hang from the ceiling in delicate bird cages, steaming cocktails fill the air with exotic aromas and the food is tremendous you might sit up and take notice. (We liked Thai Edge by the way, so this is not a criticism of what was once there, it’s just so ridiculously unrecognisable).

Drinks are high on the agenda and have been given as much attention as the food we reckon. In fact there’s no real pressure to dine. If you just fancy a drink, there’s a dedicated bar area to while away the hours. A capsicum and ginger mocktail was nothing short of sensational. Spiced subtly with red chilli and properly hot with ginger, it was literally smokin’ with burning stick of cinnamon in the mix.

If you’re definitely not the designated driver and that’s important, you love rum and are in the mood for a bit of drama, go for the popular Bang Pai Falls. Finished at the table for the ultimate theatre and served in a skull receptacle emitting a steaming flock of aromatic locks, it packs a real rum punch with cherry and vanilla notes too. It’s strong people. The kids – welcome until 8pm – were spoken to like big people which is always appreciated and they enjoyed the theatre too.

We weren’t wildly adventurous with the menu but what we ordered was seriously good and authentic. If we list the dishes we sampled it sounds like your average Saturday night takeaway, but we promise you it wasn’t – crab cakes, chicken satay, golden bags, spring rolls, beef massaman, chicken with cashew nuts, chargrilled lamb, sweet and sour chicken. You see? The highlights were the chicken with cashew nuts peppered with roasted whole dried chilli giving it a serious kick and probably the fresh, zingy spring rolls stuffed with vermicelli and white cabbage. The massaman curry was pretty special too. And the golden bags filled with minced prawn, chicken and garlic served with a sticky plum sauce. That was awesome. Oh to hell with it. It was all worth a look. The only negative were the desserts. While tasty, the sweet stuff didn’t really fit with the rest of the menu or the vibe of the place and in truth we wouldn’t have tried one had it not been for the kids.

Speaking of which, I found their scrawl on my notes while writing this up. It read ‘mocktails + thai food = yum!’ We were all in agreement then apart from daddy who would change mocktails to cocktails.

Siamais, 6 Brindleyplace, 7 Oozells St, Birmingham B1 2HS. Tel: 0121 643 3993 siamais.co.uk