Siam Hibachi – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series
Never met a curry we didn’t like.
Tucked in between a City BBQ and a Cricket Mobile, Siam Hibachi sits in a small plaza off Stringtown Road. As of this writing, we’ve officially reviewed 67 locations in and around Columbus, but hadn’t shown any love to Grove City. Coming highly recommended, Siam Hibachi seemed like a good fit. We’ve had luck with Thai dishes before (Thai Grille and Bamboo Thai Kitchen sit in our top 30) and what’s better than some curry on a hot summer night? There still seems to be some broad debate over which is spicier in general between green and red curries, but we’ve made the decision to choose the green pill and go that route from here on out.
The inside of Siam Hibachi is warm and inviting and in non-COVID times I imagine it’s a nice little spot to dine in, with room for roughly twenty patrons. They have the floors well-marked for six feet of separation and keep their pens in a nice sanitized manner, asking you to drop the used pen into a separate bucket. Ordering online has become the new norm and not everyone does it well, but Siam Hibachi’s system is insanely easy and ensures you have the ability to set the proper spice level (0-5), very important for the spicy seekers.
With many Asian restaurants, we don’t start with the spiciest pieces. We go for the things with crunch, like crab rangoon and any sort of roll on the menu. Siam Hibachi folds their crab rangoon in the second-most unique fashion, tucking the broad corners back into the underside of the middle of the crab-filled pouch. Most interesting award still sits with Simply Thai in Elon, NC for their money bag folding technique.
As with most good crunchy starters, you get a little vat of dipping sauce. This particular dipper is a sweet chili sauce that brings more sweet than heat, but is just enough of a zip to pair well with the army of rangoon men. From the above, you can see some pepper flakes and even a seed, accentuating the visible spiciness that mild tolerance folks may view to be too much to handle.
I was lucky to get a photo of this when I did because you do not want to stand in the way of The Lady of the Farm and her Massaman curry. Loaded up with extra broccoli, Siam Hibachi’s massaman curry is heavy on the cinnamon, adding a bit of intrigue to the savory curry. On the spice scale, The Lady of the Farm went with a 2, feeling like that was a safe bet. Sensible chuckle. As I prepared my Green Curry, I heard a shout from across the room, “HOW IS THIS A TWO?!” The shout came closer as she ran for a drink and let out an exasperated gasp. She was only a few bites in, but the Massaman was already starting to clear out her sinuses. Between sniffles she asked “have you tried it yet?” hoping that the Massaman was like lava and this was some cosmic joke played on her. I sampled a spoonful, no veggies or beef included to get the full effect. Thick and heavy, the curry definitely packs a punch and I can agree a 2 will be too spicy for some. As we’ve said before, the thickness of a spicy sauce tends to increase the feeling of dread as you consume it and this curry definitely checks those boxes. Even with the heat still rising, The Lady of Farm made her way through the dish, a smile of pride (or spicy euphoria) visible when she finished. “If this is a 2 I can’t wait to see you eat this 5.”
Is green curry or red curry spicier? Again, we’d likely have to try both from every spot in Columbus to get to some non-scientific conclusion, but for the purposes of this series, we will continue with green. Coming in at a 5 spice-level, the Green Curry is not spicy on smell alone. You get a major hit of the basil that is classic to green curries and a tiny vegetal whiff of the chilies used within. The Lady of the Farm watched from the other room, eyes barely creeping above the back of the couch as I prepped the dish. Carrots, onions, broccoli and chunks of chicken bathe in the curry, soaking up some of the flavors, while the rest got soaked up by the rice.
Once mixed with the rice, it was time to see where Level 5 stood. The eyes from the couch widened as I took the first bite, wondering what spicy drama was about to unfold. From the first forkful, the basil blasts its way ahead of everything else. Big leaves spread throughout the dish bring their flavor to the forefront, making way for the ginger and chiles that lie beneath. Pushing past the basil, the heat is almost immediately apparent. Different from a high-SHU pepper, this dish gets its punch from the pepper density. The heat rises right away, slapping your tongue and cheeks awake and then fades as you finish your bite. A few more bites in, the snot-works apparatus began firing at half capacity, letting out a few sniffles here and there, forcing a tissue break halfway through the dish. It’s a unique heat, because again, it’s noticeable right away, but then fades off quickly. It’s like one of those half dreams where something is coming straight at your face and you jolt awake to realize it’s not there at all. Continuing through the dish it was more of the same, a quick rise of heat, then a sharp drop off the capsaicin cliff.
Disappointed, The Lady of the Farm sat back down on the couch, miffed that her 2 had been so hot and the 5 hadn’t gotten the reaction she was hoping for. Don’t get me wrong, the Level 5 is going to overpower some curry consumers and is definitely spicier than the Level 2, but it’s a comfortable heat. Linger is something we take into serious account on these dishes, and there isn’t any in the Green Curry. As quickly as it builds it disappears, lowering it’s ranking on our list.
That in mind, we’re placing the Level 5 Green Curry from Siam Hibachi at #32, just behind Bru Burger’s Melt Your Face Burger and just ahead of Meshikou’s Spicy Mala Ramen. Definitely worth trying the Level 5 on some of the other options like the Red Curry, Thai Peanut Sauce, Massaman Curry, or Thai Basil. Until then the decision has been made and our first Grove City spicy dish is on the map.
You can find Siam Hibachi at 2257 Stringtown Road, Grove City, OH 43123.
Look below for more in our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!
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