Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: Food Review: Siam Terrance (Urbana, IL)

12.05.2009

Food Review: Siam Terrance (Urbana, IL)

Thanks to cut hours at Meijer, I was able to take a quick vacation to visit an old friend in Urbana, IL who is attending medical school at the University of Illinois. Of course, this was also a perfect opportunity for me and Matt to jump on the motorcycles and finally get our odometers ticked over to 80,000 miles each, which I hit somewhere en route to Indianapolis, IN and he upon reaching IL during this 600-mile round trip tour. Although the interstates were clear, the weather was quite nippy (averaging 35-37 degrees heading west and 25-27 heading home to be exact). I'll be addressing my first experience in extreme cold weather riding in another post. Now, on to the food. (There, Susy, you happy now?)

So Susy, Matt, and I traveled to Downtown Urbana, a hop from the University of IL campus, to try out Siam Terrace, a restaurant that specializes in Thai cuisine and...sushi? Yeah, you heard me, it's a restaurant that serves Asian food items from two separate regions but it's not a weird fusion concept place. With our group of hungry testers, both sides of the menu were going to be put to the test.

In terms of the inside appearance of Siam Terrance, it is simple with an eatery feel. It has an open seating area and a sit-down sushi bar toward the back of the room so it would be more like a place to bring friends for a casual dining experience.

As standard practice for me at any Thai restaurant, I ordered Thai Tea as my drink. It was made to Thai specs, mixed well and very creamy. With the food, there was quite a bit more customizing involved. Since Thai food is notorious for its levels of spice, Siam Terrance makes guessing your torture preferences easier using a spicy scale of 1-4, one standing for "spicy as a chewing a burlap sack" from four for "true Thai or sadist." Matt went for the level four on his Spicy Fried Rice while Susy and I went for absolute zero whimp status spice for our plates of Pad See Eew (a favorite I inherited from my old coworker), done with chicken and beef, respectively. In addition, we ordered another plate of Thai shrimp fried rice to share around.

Overall, the Thai food was delicious and authentic. The Pad See Eew had a just enough sweetness to complement the meat and thick, yet tender, rice noodles. Both this stir-fried pasta and the shrimp fried rice were full of flavor and not greasy at all with just the right amount of onions, carrots, and other various veggies to add color and texture. The "full" feeling we got was not from heavy amounts of oil but rather from the fact that our plates were completely empty because we couldn't stop eating! Matt inhaled his Spicy Fried Rice without sipping a single drop of water; I refused his offer to kiss me afterward and took his word for the food's hot factor. To put the level of his rice's spicy in perspective, I tried half a teaspoon of rice from his plate and still felt its effects even after several sips of water and trying to chew it off with the broccoli from my own noodles. Yeah that stuff is spicy, yet happily approved by a person who can eat habanero peppers without crying.

After finishing our Thai dishes, we ordered one of their cooked sushi rolls, the "New York," to split between the three of us. This roll consisted of shrimp tempura, cream cheese, imitation crab, asparagus, masago and topped with avocado slices, tempura crunch, and a sweet/spicy sauce. The presentation was beautiful and made the roll even more tantalizing to eat. It looked a little something like this...

The final verdict? This restaurant still upholds its case for having a multiple personality disorder. Once again, here's another sushi place that upstages any sushi I've had near the Pacific Ocean and we're located more than half a day from the East Coast.

We were stuffed, so dessert didn't make it to the menu, although it would be nice to take a shot of the Fried Banana with Honey on a return trip.

If you're stopping in Urbana, IL, I'd definitely recommend this place to get a Thai food and sushi fix. It is nice to know that there are good Asian restaurants in these parts of the Midwest; it really does take a little of the homesickness away...although a little bit of pad see ew and Thai Tea from The Original Thai BBQ Restaurant in CA with friends would be nice as well. Those are memories I'd like to keep.

 Siam Terrace on Urbanspoon