Chef Saipin Chutima and husband Bill Chutima took over the Lotus of Siam in 1999 and quickly became the reigning authority of Thai food in Las Vegas. Not just ordinary Thai food though, but Northern style which has been passed down through multiple generations. It was about a 25 minute cab drive from the main strip and our driver knew instantly where it was. He was full of positive endorsements and suggested that we order from the back of the menu where the ‘authentic’ Northern Thai dishes were. That we did.
Soft shell crab salad $22.95 was a palate awakener, full of savoury fish sauce notes, sweetness, bitter shredded cabbage and that textural crunch from the roasted nuts and crispy crab. It packed a punch too from the chillis.
Khao Soi – crispy duck served on a bed of egg noodles with Northern Thai curry sauce, came with a side garnish of red onions, lime and pickled mustard greens. This was one of their signatures, and I get it as it was delicious. Rich from the coconut cream, punchy from the aromatic spices and satisfying, especially with those ribbons of thick liquid absorbing egg noodles.
Another signature is their ‘Garlic Prawns’ $27.95 – which are deep fried in a secret coating. Trust me, I asked what was in it but I got nothing back. I don’t blame them. The crispy, umami, gnarly looking things were gobbled up, shells and all until they were all gone.
Sarm Rod Sauce $40 was a deep fried snapper that came with a pot of sweet, sour hot sauce. Deep fried whole fish can only be a good thing as you can crunch on the bones and fins which carry a lot of flavour. At $40 a pop it was flippin’ expensive though!
When did I go? January 2016
The damage: Expect to pay $40-$60 with wine (£30-£50) per head
The good: If you want to get away from the bright lights and often mediocre food along the strip then come here for what many say ‘authentic’ Northern Thai food. Coming here was as much as an education as a really enjoyable meal. The flavours are full bodied as are the spices, so be warned!
The bad: That snapper at $40 was day light robbery!
Would I go again? If in Vegas – YES!
Address: 953 E. Sahara Ave. Ste A5, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104 – currently under renovation due to flood damage but they do have a new opening 3 miles away.
Phone: +1 702 735 3033