A couple of weeks back we decided to visit Banbury’s first night market. We had seen it advertised in Facebook and on Twitter by @visitbanbury who is doing a fabulous job promoting the town and what it has to offer.
The market was in the usual market square but with the car park remaining open it meant that the Night Market was a little small of the amount of visitors who had turned up. There were plenty of stalls some with food to buy and eat there, some with foods to take away, a bar, a live band and some stalls selling bags, accessories, homewares etc, there were even chess boards set out in case you fancied a quick game. There were stilt walkers and fire eaters, a puppeteer and a magician to keep everyone entertained. Some of the food stalls had been so successful that by the time we arrived, around 7.30pm, they were packing up having sold out of all of their food!
The queues were huge so instead of eating at the market we decided to try Siam House (48 Parsons Street, Banbury). I can’t remember the last time we ate out in Banbury on an evening. In fact, I can, it was about two years ago when we had a a rather disappointing meal at Pinto Lounge for a friends birthday.
Anyway, we had a quick scan of the menu outside Siam House and all looked good so we too a chance and asked for a table. We were lucky, we were seated immediately downstairs. The restaurant itself looks quite dated, not plush and welcoming and not very well laid out, the bar/reception is at the back of the ground floor so you have to walk through the other diners to check if they have availability and there is nowhere to wait for a table. The staff were really friendly and showed us to our table, which was a little cramped but we were just grateful to have a table at all! Before we had even had our starter the place was so full that they were having to turn people away!
There was a decent amount of choice on the menu, in fact I found it difficult to decide what to have. We plumped for the mixed starter to share, the Gin Whispere went for the Pad See Ew which he liked so much in Thailand, and I decided on Duck in Tamarind sauce with some sticky rice.
The starter consisted of spring rolls, sesame prawn toast, ribs, breaded prawns and chicken satay and was accompanied by dips. I’m not sure that any of the starters were freshly made, they all tasted pretty standard to me. There was plenty for the two of us. Next up came the duck and the Pad See Ew. The noodles looked a little small to me so we ended up sharing the sticky rice as I was pretty full from the starter. The Gin Whisperer really enjoyed the Pad See Ew. I love tamarind, it reminds me of sweets my dad used to bring home when I was a kid and while I did enjoy the duck I felt that the sauce was a bit too wet and sweet for me. Sticky rice was very good.
We were both far too full to manage a dessert. Altogether we paid less than £40 for two courses and two beer each. I’m sure it won’t be another two years until we have another dinner in Banbury.