Ruby of Siam Skokie

January 26 2009 - 7:44 AM

The only thing harder than collectively deciding on what movie to see at Old Orchard on a Saturday night was what restaurant to go to first for dinner.  The mall does provide a convenient yet extremely unappealing variety of chain restaurants to choose from like The Corner Bakery, Johnny Rockets and the Cheesecake Factory.  Although we were all willing to compromise on the movie we weren’t ready to compromise our food choices and decided there just has to be something worthwhile to eat close by that wasn’t a chain.

We came across a Thai place on-line and although it was unknown to us, Ruby of Siam has been around for some time and has two other locations (Evanston and downtown) in addition to Skokie.  The reviews of the food were encouraging but the reviews of the service were poor.  We decided to give it a shot anyway due to its proximity to the theater.   It is also located in a strip mall but has an inviting atmosphere inside.

The place was full on a Saturday, which I think is always a good sign, but not too full that we had to wait for a table without a reservation.  The menu is extensive and had a nice variety of standards as well as dishes that were new to us. We had ordered the satay as our appetizer that came with gonfiabili per bambini skewers of grilled marinated chicken served with a peanut sauce and a cucumber salad that was better than average.  While we were enjoying our satay we realized that literally everyone in the room had ordered the lime chicken appetizer that is one of the house specialties, with good reason.  Juicy pieces of white meat were encased in a thick fried crust covered in a sweet lime sauce and served on a bed of thin, fried greens that the waiter said was Chinese broccoli.  It was unique and delicious.  I even took part of it home and reheated in my toaster oven.  It was just a good the second time around.

We also started with the Nua Nam Tok, which is a cold salad of sliced beef, onion, dried chili, rice powder and lime juice.  The beef was served too warm for our liking however, I brought the leftovers home and after a night in the fridge the cold beef was amazingly good.  Entree portion sizes were big enough for 3 to 4 people to share and the dishes had a very authentic but mellow fish sauce flavor that elevated the sauces compared to other Thai places.  The Pad See Eiw with beef, noodles, broccoli, egg and sweetened soy sauce was great.  The Pad Thai was also a hit with shrimp, stir-fried noodles, bean sprout, egg, green onion and crushed peanuts.

We didn’t have any issues with the service, even on a Saturday night.  Prices were reasonable and because the portions were so large I had leftovers for two nights. I will definitely try it again next time I go to Old Orchard for a movie.

Ruby of Siam
9420 Skokie Blvd.
Skokie, IL 60077