Photos by Chad Mario

In our latest installment of Dinner and a Show, we check out Siam, a Thai restaurant located downtown (1946 Hamilton Street), and the Globe Theatre’s main stage production of Romeo and Juliet.

Siam is one of my favourite places to eat in the city, but I somehow forget about it for long stretches of time. When I remember, it’s like reuniting with an old friend. This time, I was reminded by an article listing the top ten restaurants in Regina.  I can understand why Siam made the list. In reviews, it’s been compared favourably to restaurants in larger cities like Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.

For years, Regina people have made the trek out to Moose Jaw to Nit’s Thai Food for authentic Thai food, and while I would recommend that journey, there is no need to leave the city for a taste of Thailand.

Because it’s authentic, prepare to be a little bit adventurous when you go. We like to live on the edge, so we started with the Wrapped Leaf: shredded, toasted fresh coconut, fresh ginger, red onion, Thai chili, lime, cashews and dried shrimp in bok choy leaves, served with plum sugar sauce. It sounds like an odd mix, but it works. It’s the perfect marriage of sweet, sour and savoury and tastes different every time you take a bite, due to the different combinations of flavours. I’ve had this dish at another restaurant and I like Siam’s take on it better – the chili gives it a nice spark, while the lime wedge puts out the fire. And the plum sauce was so good, I was tempted to eat it with a spoon. (Okay, I did.)

menu Wrapped Leaf

Our next appetizer was something I had never tried before: Steam Roll, which is steamed wheat pastry rolls stuffed with shrimp, pork sausage, tofu, egg, cucumber and bean sprouts, topped with sweet tamarind sauce and fish meat. I was a little nervous about this one, because, again, it sounds like an odd combination. But the sauce surprised us with its cinnamon flavour, which worked very nicely with the cornucopia of fillings.

For the main event, we picked two of our favourite Thai standbys: Green Curry Chicken and Pad Thai Koong with shrimp. The chicken was simmered with Thai green curry paste, coconut milk, zucchini and fresh Thai basil. We ordered it medium hot, so it had a nice kick to it. (I admit I was sweating a bit.) The zucchini was cooked perfectly – not too firm or too soft – and the coconut milk gave it a sweetness that offset the spice. The Pad Thai – stir-fried rice noodles, tofu, bean sprouts, egg and shrimp in Pad Thai sauce – was served with crushed chili peppers on the side so you could control how hot you wanted it. We liked that the serving size was reasonable – loads of leftovers are not wanted when you’re on your way to the theatre after supper!

Green Curry Chicken Pad Thai

A tip: it wouldn’t hurt to make a reservation for supper. The restaurant is intimate, with limited seating, and very popular.  If you want to check out their weekday lunch buffet (highly recommended), show up early or you will leave disappointed.

Happy and full of yummy food, we headed to the Globe Theatre’s production of Romeo and Juliet.

It’s difficult to breathe new life into a play that has been done countless times over more than four centuries. However, the Globe’s version is unique, particularly due to its use of the stage. During longer scenes, such as the famous balcony scene between Romeo and Juliet, the actors physically rotate the stage so that everyone in the audience can see the action from all angles. I also enjoyed the scene changes, which were done by the ensemble rather than the backstage crew, and often involved singing and playing instruments.

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The show is a very physical one, with dancing, sword fighting, and scenes taking place in the aisles, among the audience. The cast is exceptional, with a number of them playing multiple characters. Some of my favourites were Elinor Holt as the Nurse, Tawiah Ben M’Carthy as Mercutio, and Alan Zinyk as Friar Laurence. All three brought much-needed humour to the play. I appreciated that director Anita Rochon took out some of Shakespeare’s dated jokes and replaced them with modern ones, including a nod to the 1990s shock comedian Andrew Dice Clay. I also enjoyed local actor Lucy Hill as Juliet. I saw her first play at the Globe a number of years ago, and it’s wonderful to watch her grow and mature as an artist.

Romeo and Juliet plays at the Globe Theatre until May 1, 2016. Tickets are available here or by calling the Globe’s box office at 306-525-6400.