Siam Spice, a new Thai restaurant in Toms River is a destination I think you should consider getting to. Located in a small strip mall, it can unfortunately be missed amongst drivers. Take notice though, the BYO establishment will satisfy your desire for something different for the New Year.
The seating is limited and can get quite drafty by the door; however the staff is there to answer questions you have or let you linger for hours. Prices are very reasonable and a dinner out for two can surprisingly be kept under forty dollars. The food is vibrant and fresh. The chef seems to put much thought and time into recipes and dishes.
Starters for our table included the vegetarian spring rolls (4 pcs, $5), steamed dumplings (4 pcs, $6), fried calamari ($5), and edamame ($4). The spring rolls were tightly wrapped and fried to a golden crisp. Inside was a delicate filling that contrasted the crunch of the outer shell perfectly. Rolls were accompanied by plum and sweet Thai chile sauces. The sweet Thai chili sauce left us dipping for more, the sauce nicely went from sweet to heat in a matter of seconds. The steamed dumplings were presented beautifully within their almost see-through wrapper. The entire pillow of dumpling, filled with pork and shrimp pieces, was moist and paired well with the dark soy and scallion sauce. As an avid eater of calamari, I am always hard to impress in this department. This dish here though is a must have. Each ring was fried for the right amount of time, leaving the squid juicy and the coating crunchy. The coating was seasoned well and was fine to eat by itself. The sweet Thai chili sauce was used here again and seemed to elevate the calamari even more. Last by not least, the edamame, was enjoyed by all. Salty and steamy, it made for a great conversation piece.
As for dinners, I highly recommend the Pad Kea Mow ($10). The wide rice noodles soaked up the spicy-sweet sauce almost entirely and leave you wanting more. The eggs, tomatoes, and peppers were tossed within and made for a deeper level of flavors. Another notable dish was the pineapple fried rice ($9). Cashew nuts and raisins were the highlight of the dish when forked with the juicy pineapple pieces. Heat was definitely apparent in that meal and a glass of water nearby is recommended. Listed on the Seafood Specialty section of the menu was the basil combination seafood with tamarind sauce ($15). Shrimp, calamari, and mussels were abundant in this rich and developed dish. Jasmine rice came with and joined the dish welcomingly.
All in all, it seems that Siam Spice has a great thing going in this shore town. Prices reasonable, flavors consistent, staff friendly, food impressive and worth coming back for. Siam Spice can be found at 1174 Fischer Blvd, Toms River, 08753.
Total score 22/25
Final Grade: A
A: 21-25 B: 16-20 C: 11-15 D: 6-10 F: 0-5
Bland, boring, overcooked, underdone
Very little flavor, not much aroma
Flavors apparent, basic ability to please palates
Flavor worth discussing, chef’s use of ingredients impressive
Great flavor, taste lingers and leaves diner wanting more
Inattentive staff, no regard for wait time
Staff average in helpfulness, timing alright, either more/less needed
Staff knowledgeable and attentive to needs without asking, timing very well executed
Remarkable and noteworthy, service so good you forget it is ever an issue elsewhere
Cover it up please
Sloppy and the eater can tell little thought went into it
Descent presentation: looks alright, not worth a picture but enough to make you hungry
Admirable, it is apparent the chef plated with a consideration for presentation
Presentational talents are here. Looks beautiful and too good to dig in
Prices match quality
Prices are too high for quality
Prices are still too high but not outrageously
Some items are priced accordingly but not all
Most items are priced accordingly
All items are matched accordingly
Would I go back?
Not a chance ever
Looking forward to it
What time should I arrive?!?