What denotes a good takeaway? Is it its freshness? Its flavour? The quality ingredients prepared by skilled chefs? Or is it that we can order it on our smartphones without having to leave the couch?
Technology has taken the stress out of ordering takeaway. The horror of speaking to a stranger whose first language isn’t English? Not any more. Just because we’re paying someone to make our dinner doesn’t mean we have to get pally with them. No thanks. We’ll leave the interaction to our smartphones, the sentries that ward off unnecessary human contact.
If you’re looking to order takeaway from Ruan Siam, the bad news is you’re gonna have to pick up the phone. (Unless your smartphone wants to try its luck on the order page of the desktop site.) The good news is they’ll take care of the rest. And in this case, taking care of it doesn’t involve squeezing an industrial-sized bag of pre-made sauce into a foil carton and defrosting some chicken. Place an order with Ruan Siam and they’ll pull out all the stops by cooking the meal you’ve requested.
What’s so special about that you may be wondering. Isn’t that what restaurants are supposed to do? Yes, it is.
Sadly, freshly cooked takeaway is becoming increasingly rare. Pizza? The dough’s been frozen and the pepperoni kicked around the chiller by the delivery boy. Indian? Greasy and recooked. Fish & chips? Don’t start. Chinese? Shockingly average and yet perennially popular.
The Scots will fry anything. The Chinese will eat anything. It’s no wonder that Chinese food – fried Chinese food – is so adored on these shores.
Thai me up
Thai is the more sophisticated sister of Chinese. While the latter is salty, glutinous and instantly satisfying, Thai is all about dichotomous flavours: creamy coconut laced with fiery red chilli; fragrant herbs married with crunchy vegetables and chewy beef.
Thai is Chinese for grownups. It’s food for people who like the idea of stir fry but are sick of ordering stodgy, defrosted, refried MSG-laden fare that’s as stale as a can of pemmican.
Takeaway, Stockbridge style
Tucked away down a flight of stairs, Ruan Siam is coy about its existence. It’s happy to be here amidst the old money of Royal Circus; it just doesn’t want to make a song and dance about it. You’re not going to be handed a Ruan Siam menu by a man in a panda suit. Tacky marketing gimmicks just aren’t their style. There’s little point when the food can do the talking for you. It’s takeaway that’s good enough to pass the second day test – if only there were any left to test.
Ruan Siam isn’t the cheapest takeaway in town – or even in Stockbridge for that matter – but to coin a frighteningly new phrase, you get what you pay for.
Want a greasy carton filled with curry paste and apathy? Order a £7 takeaway. Want food you could plate up and pass off to your new beau as home cooked? You’re gonna have to pay extra.
As a nation, we don’t order takeaways because they’re better than anything we could rustle up in the kitchen. We order in because it’s quicker and easier.
If your favourite takeaways do taste better than your own cooking, it’s no wonder you order so many of them, cos your cooking must be shocking.
This might be the first takeaway review to omit all mention of the food and yet you know all you need to know about Ruan Siam.
It’s better than cooking and it’s better than takeaway. How the hell does that work?
Don’t ask. Just eat.
Tel: 0131 226 3675 / Website