This little gem is an absolute must-visit if you’re in Manchester and you’re into Thai food. It’s authentic in all senses of the word – you’re pretty much transported to the little street cafes of Bangkok or Chiangmai – where everything’s a little bit make-shift, except for the food.
Siam Smiles have become one of the best ‘cheap eats’ in Manchester, ever since their early days when they were housed inside a Thai supermarket in China Town. They took a break (I think due to rent being too high) but came back with a bang in 2018 – and now they call this cosy little spot in the Great Northern Warehouse home.
Great Thai food served with a smile
Siam Smiles oozes friendly, lovable charm as the mother and daughter team work tirelessly to keep guests happy.
When I first visited their new location, the toilets were out of action, so a bar on the same row were kindly sharing their facilities with Siam Smiles customers. When nature called, I was unsure of where to go, so the older Thai lady took me by the arm and walked directly to the bar – despite the pouring rain. She then announced – across the entire bar – that I needed the toilet and the bar man just smiled, shrugged and pointed me in the right direction. How can you not adore the Siam Smile ladies?! A welcome addition to The Great Northern complex, if you ask me!!!
But I know you’re here for the food so here’s a few highlights. I can’t wait to go back for more…
Pork belly, garlic, chilli & Thai basil
One of my favourite dishes in Thailand was pork with Holy basil and hot red chillies. This version uses pork belly instead of mince and is absolutely divine. So good with white rice to soak up the chilli and garlic juices!
Roast duck noodle soup
I first ate this dish in Vang Vieng, Laos. We stayed in a backpackers hostel and right across the road was a place we called King of Noodles as that’s what it said on the little stall outside. It was actually called Roasted Pork Rice Noodles but they served up an array of dim sum, wonton noodle soup, crispy duck and roasted pork. It was glorious.
Slurping the roast duck noodle soup at Siam Smiles takes me right back to those backpacking days in SE Asia, so make sure you give this a try if you visit!
Crispy fried squid with chilli sauce
Hot, crispy and salty – the fried squid is the perfect little side dish. I’m not sure where they source their seafood from but it tasted fresh and hit the spot in between bites and slurps of the other dishes.
The best Thai food in Manchester?
It’s up there. Stunning, fresh and fast food in a no frills setting. Authentic Thai dishes are literally flying out of their tiny little kitchen so go and get your fill and let me know what you think!
Next time I’ll be ordering their pad Thai, massaman and the Thai green curry.
How to find them
You can find Siam Smiles just off Deansgate here: goo.gl/maps/G81FXXt2oGPjZqeh8. From the Hilton, walk along Deansgate towards Spinningfields. Walk past Santander on the opposite side of the road and you’ll see an opening on the right-hand side with some steps. Walk up the steps and at the top, turn right, and the restaurant is just there on the right-hand side.
Siam Smiles – Unit G, Deansgate Mews
Great Northern Warehouse