Save Money When You Shop This Holiday Season

Here at Siam Garden, we’re here to give you a chance to relax with Thai food in New Jersey. And this time of year, we know you’ll need a chance to relax, because the holidays mean shopping, shopping, and more shopping!

We want you to be in a great frame of mind when you visit us, though, and we have the perfect way to do it: by helping make sure you save money this holiday season! Shopping during the holiday season can get pricey, but if you prepare ahead of time and do your homework you can save a lot. Try these tips and your wallet will thank you for it:

  • Use coupons! This is the easiest way to save money because most retail stores put out a lot of coupons during this holiday season. Also consider Groupon, which is a group coupon site that can generate great discounts for your holiday shopping.
  • Browse discount codes. There are tons of discount codes online if you search for them, but you have to look!
  • Try shopping apps on your smartphone. There are apps out there that will show you local sales and some where you can even purchase the gift right in the app!
  • Ask for a price match. If an item is on sale at a different store, bring proof and ask for a price match.
  • Stick to a budget. Make a budget before you go shopping and stick to it. When you start to waiver from your budget is when you start to spend money you shouldn’t.
  • Consider buying one or two extra generic gifts. If you get an unexpected gift or invited to a last minute party you might end up running out and getting something and spending too much money.
  • Buy discounted gift cards. When you buy online from places like giftcards.com you can save anywhere from 5%-30% off the face value of a gift card.
  • Use social media! You’ll find that a lot of retailers offer discounts on their Facebook or Twitter pages exclusively to their fans and followers.
  • Consider a secret snowflake or white elephant exchange. This will save you money because you’ll only have to buy one gift!
  • Make a shopping list and bring it with you. Cross off people as you go. This will help to avoid forgetting people and also forgetting you already bought a gift for someone.
  • Consider Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. While the idea of shopping on Black Friday can be overwhelming, you do save a lot of money with the sales that day. If shopping from home is more your style, you can get Cyber Monday deals shopping online!

There are so many ways to save money during the holiday season, as long as your do your homework ahead of time! And don’t forget, while you’re out there shopping you’ll need a break — and that’s what Siam Garden is here for! To give you an escape from the real world with our relaxing atmosphere and authentic Thai cuisine in NJ. Enjoy, and happy holidays!

A Brief History of Thai Food

Thai food may be associated with Thailand, but it is loved worldwide for being rich in history and flavor. The cuisine of Thailand is a merging of both Eastern and Western influences into something brand new, as you can see when you enjoy Thai food in New Jersey.

2013-South-Main1The origins of Thai food lie in the lifestyle of the Thai people, which was (and continues to be) closely to tied to the sea. Major ingredients included aquatic animals, plants and herbs, but large chunks of meat were rare, especially given the Buddhist influence on this cuisine. Generous portions of meat only came later as other influences contributed to the Thai food we know today.

Traditionally, Thai food was stewed, baked or grilled, but later Chinese influence introduced frying, stir-frying, and deep-frying. Starting around the 17th Century, Portuguese, Dutch, French and Japanese influence began to make its way into Thai dishes. Most notable was the introduction of chili peppers in the late 1600s by Portuguese missionaries who had acquired a taste for them while serving in South America. The Thai (then the Siamese) took these influences and put their own twist on them by changing cooking methods and substituting ingredients. For example, they replaced the ghee used in Indian cooking with coconut oil, and substituted other dairy products with coconut milk.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThai food is known to be spicy, but in fact the spicing is toned down with fresh herbs like lemongrass and galangal, which can both ease yet enhance the spiciness of a dish. That is why Thai curries burn intensely but only briefly, while other curries will burn for a longer period of time.

Through all these influences, the Thai grew adept at mixing and matching various types of food. Typical Thai meals include a soup, a curry dish, and more. For the Thai, it’s all about the harmony of taste and texture!

For more on the wonder of Thai food, visit Siam Garden on Facebook!

How To Plan A Perfect Date Night

Whether it’s your first date or your 50th anniversary, it’s easy to fall into a routine date night patterns. While the classic movie date can be great, it’s important to spice things up sometimes! With a little bit of time and thought, it’s easy to plan the perfect date night that is sure to impress.

The first thing to keep in mind is to plan in advance! While spontaneity can be fun in any relationship, the perfect date can be even better if you take the time to plan things. With extra planning time, you can be sure that your date is unique and memorable. Think about something you think your partner might really love and plan ahead to make the experience great for them.

sweet sour chicken phanaeng curry with chickenA great start to a date might be to show up with a bottle of their favorite wine (which you might have to do some detective work ahead of time to find out). Show that you’re interested in them!

It’s so easy to spice up a regular dinner date into something new and exciting. Try somewhere new! If you have a regular place you go to on date night, change it up with something different. For example, instead of a traditional American or Italian meal, consider going out to eat Thai food in New Jersey.

While you are busy planning, the element of surprise for your date can always be a great touch. Do something they don’t expect you to do. Men, this might mean surprising her with her favorite flowers or the movie you watched on your first date. Ladies, try surprising him with his favorite 6-pack and a shoulder rub after a long week at work. This shows your partner how much they mean to you, and sets the perfect mood for your date!

The main event of your date doesn’t have to be the last! Show your date some post-dinner fun with a stop for ice cream or coffee at your favorite coffee house. Showing your date how much you enjoy their company is flattering and a sure way to show your date you’re having a great time.

It’s easy to plan the perfect date night when you put a little extra time and thought into it. For a great date night location, don’t forget to check out Siam Garden restaurant! Make sure you ‘Like’ us on Facebook for information and specials.

How to Pair Wine with Your Meal

Wine can be an essential part of a meal, but how many of us really know how to pair wine and food? You might be surprised to know that learning how to perfectly pair wine with your meal is easier than you’d think! By following a few simple guidelines, anyone can discover matches made in taste heaven.

The most important tip is to keep an open mind. If you go into a pairing with the idea that the match won’t taste good, it probably won’t.

Red Bank Wine WalkAside from keeping an open mind, the most common tip is one you’ve heard before: white meat goes with white wine and red meat goes with red wine. It’s hard to go wrong with this simply idea! There is more to keep in mind, though. The way the food is cooked will also impact the wine pairing. Though chicken pairs best with white wine, grilled or roasted chicken will be best with Chardonnay and chicken with a rich sauce will be better with a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon.

In following this white/white, red/red guideline, you’ll find that there are a lot of traditional pairings. Beef or lamb goes well with a full-bodied red wine such as Barbera, Sangiovese, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Merlot or Pinot Noir. Tomato based meals, especially Italian dishes, will go best with Barbera, Sangiovese or a Zinfandel. Pinot Noir is also paired with a duck-based meal, making it a nice choice for Thai food in New Jersey. Fish and other seafood is commonly paired with white wine, most often a Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. However, flaky fish will taste its best with a dry Riesling or Chardonnay.

Speaking of Thai food, spicy foods should be paired with a sweet Riesling, as the sweet wine will offset the bold spices of the food. You should also try a sweet wine with dessert, as long as the dessert isn’t as sweet as the wine.

That said, while these are all great pairings, it is important to remember that this isn’t an exact science. In order to get the very best pairing for you, have fun and experiment!

How Siam Became Thailand

We are called Siam Garden. We serve Thai food and tout the cuisine of Thailand. Confused? Don’t be. Many Americans don’t realize that Siam and Thailand are simply two names for the same place. Siam is an older name for Thailand, a name the people there abandoned many decades ago for the name we now associate with this fine cuisine.

Here is how it happened.

Thailand Red SundayPeople have lived in what is now known as Thailand for at least 40,000 years. Many great kingdoms came and went, existing under a series of different names. The country’s rich history is worth exploring. By the 1600s, however, westerners began to call the country “Siam.” The name stuck.

Then came the Siamese Revolution of 1932. Through a series of political actions too complex to go into here, this military coup led to the country’s entry into World War II with the invasion of French Indochina, putting them in the Axis camp. Japan gave its assistance to Siam, and vice versa, but the alliance was an uneasy one. Neither side trusted the other. In fact, there was a strong anti-Japan movement within the country at the time, despite the military dictatorship Siam was then under, and later even the United States admitted that Siam was at least partially coerced into siding with the Japanese.

As early as 1939, the then dictatorship tried to change the country’s name to Thailand, which means “land of the free,” but the Allies of World War II refused to recognize the change.

It was not until Siam made peace with the Allies and renounced their ties with Japan that the Allies agreed to recognize the name. Finally, in 1948, the Siamese assembly voted to officially change the country’s name to Thailand – this time with no objection from the Allied powers.

And that is how Siam became Thailand.

For more glimpses into Thailand history and culture, be sure to follow Siam Garden on Facebook!

Where Does The Name “Red Bank” Come From?

Here are Siam Garden, we feel blessed to do business in the community we do. When we set out to offer authentic Thai food in New Jersey, we knew we wanted a community that would embrace ethnic cuisine. Red Bank was that community. The people here are wonderful, our patrons are great, and we love working with our fellow business owners.

We don’t just love being in Red Bank for what it is today, either. Our town has a very interesting history – including how it got its name!

The history of the name “Red Bank” dates to before the American Revolution. The earliest known use was in 1736, when a plot of land was referred to as “a lot of over three acres on the west side of the highway that goes to the red bank” during a real estate transaction between Thomas Morford and Joseph French.

Red Bank - Broad Street, 1890sIn other words, it was a simple description of the landscape.

The area now known as Red Bank was originally part of “Shrewsbury Towne,” and began to be built up in the mid 1800s. Through the middle decades of the 19th Century, blacksmiths, lumber yards and other industry contributed to growth in the area. The trains arrived in the 1860s, and Red Bank became a boom town – and that old description from 1736 stuck.

Finally, in 1908, Red Bank split from Shrewsbury and became a town of its own, still using the name attributed to it by Thomas Morford and Joseph French.

Well, maybe. The truth is, records from the early days of Red Bank are very sparse. The above explanation is really a best guess by local historians. We may never know the real truth of how Red Bank got its name. This story may be as close as we get!

For more on Red Bank and what’s happening in the community, follow Siam Garden on Facebook.

The Galleria Red Bank’s Amazing History

If you have been to Siam Garden, you know that we take our location and ambiance very seriously. That’s why we are pleased to be located in a beautiful, historic building that has come to be a true landmark for Red Bank, NJ.

Red Bank GalleriaWe are talking about The Galleria Red Bank, a structure with a rich history and an even better future.

Despite its modern amenities, the large, sprawling building has a rustic feel – and that is no surprise. The building is over 100 years old! Once called the Eisner Building, construction started in 1907 and took ten years to be completed. The name comes from Sigmund Eisner, a family whose legacy stretches far beyond Red Bank. His grandson, Michael Eisner, is the former Chairman of Walt Disney!

Even prior to the Disney connection, the Eisners and their historic local building made an impact on the world. Once its doors were opened, it was a fully-featured textile factory. There, laborers worked to create uniforms that were worn by American soldiers in World War I and World War II. It was also one of the largest manufacturers of uniforms for the National Park Service, as well as for Boy Scout uniforms. Many old uniforms still bear the “Eisner” label inside.

Over the years the textile industry left the building. In danger of falling into disrepair, the building was purchased in 1984 and transformed into what it is today – a lovely, modern facility with shops, offices, stores, and fine Thai food in New Jersey.

It’s hard to argue with the results. The more than 100,000 square feet of the building showcase gorgeous red brick, hardwood floors, vintage ceilings, and more.

If you would like to see the how the beauty of this building works with an excellent Thai atmosphere, visit Siam Garden in Red Bank, or follow us on Facebook!

The Importance of Ambiance

It is one thing to serve great food such as authentic Thai cuisine in New Jersey. That is something we have done for many years. It is our passion. It is our love.

Festival 02But many restaurants forget that to have a truly great establishment that people are excited to visit, having great food is only the start. You also have to provide an atmosphere that people enjoy.

Here are a few tips on how to create an atmosphere your customers will love.

Décor – It first begins with the décor. It is important to select décor that reflects the kind of atmosphere you want. Seafood restaurants will decorate their walls with vintage lobster nets and whaling spears. Italian restaurants will feature fine art or the homey, welcoming décor of Tuscany. For us, it is the fine art and beautiful wood carvings of Thailand that set the scene. Whatever your desired ambiance, ensure the décor reflects it.

Music – If you wish to have music at your establishment, ensure it fits the mood you want to establish. Simply putting on the local radio station will not do. Some restaurants are best served by light jazz. Others thrive with a steady diet of rock and roll. Still others would do best with energetic pop music. Choose carefully, because music is a major part of ambiance!

Jazz-KevinPeople – Talented and helpful servers are essential to any restaurant, but having great ambiance goes further than having good waiters and waitresses. They must embrace the overall atmosphere you want to provide and image you want to present. The importance of this cannot be understated!

All of this is something we have spent years perfecting, and we’re glad to share that hard-earned knowledge with others.

For more on what is taking place at Siam Garden, who provide Thai food in New Jersey, visit Siam Garden on Facebook.

Red Bank In The Summer

It is no secret that Red Bank is a beautiful community. Awash in history, gorgeous architecture, and things to do, it is a lovely place to live, a great place to visit, and a delightful place to do business.

Red Bank SunsetIt should come as no surprise that there are many things to do in Red Bank this summer. We love having visitors in town – we have served authentic Thai cuisine in Red Bank, NJ for many years and have enjoyed welcoming people to our community – so with that in mind we decided to take a few moments and share the exciting things happening in Red Bank this summer with you.

There are more than we could list, but here are the highlights:

Food & Wine Walks – Take in an array of food from the town’s fine restaurants (including our own Thai food) and sample many fine wines during this tour of town. The walks are held one Sunday each month. Find out more in our Red Bank Food & Wine Walk blog post!

Galleria Farmer’s Market – Every Sunday from 9am to 2pm, farmers from throughout the region gather at the historic Galleria Red Bank, home of Siam Garden, and sell the freshest food you can imagine. It’s a great way to spend your morning!

The Count Basie Theater – From music to comedy to theater and more, the world famous Count Basie Theater draws some of the top acts in the nation. We’re thrilled to have this landmark right around the corner. Dinner and a show is the perfect date!

And that is just a small sample of what Red Bank has to offer. We’re proud to work in this community, and you’ll be proud to visit it. We look forward to seeing you!

For more on what is happening at Siam Garden and in Red Bank, be sure to follow Siam Garden on Facebook.

Four Thai Food Blogs You MUST Follow!

If you eat at Siam Garden in Red Bank, then we know you have an appreciation for authentic Thai cuisine in New Jersey. Those with a taste for the authentic know there is nothing better than the real thing. Take-out places that add “Thai” sections to their menu just can’t match it.

So knowing you have an interest in real Thai food, we thought we’d share four of our favorite blogs devoted to this remarkable culinary art form. These exciting blogs will educate you, inform you, and most of all, will get you craving your next Thai meal!

Thai Green Curry Duck  Thai Food Master – This blog’s focus is on an area not many American Thai food blogs take: the traditional home kitchen. The author’s specialty is talking about those dishes that not even restaurants in Thailand serve but that remain important to households in Thailand.

She Shimmers – You’ll come to She Shimmers for her recipes, but you’ll stay for her deep knowledge of linguistics, Thai history, and more. One of the most informative blogs on the subject, you’ll be sure to bookmark this one.

Enjoy Thai Food – With hundreds of colorful pictures of dozens of authentic Thai dishes, often taken right on the streets of Thailand, this blog is a real treat for people who love to look at food almost as much as they love to eat it. Be sure to look at the “Thai Street Food” section, which features the author experimenting with trying an amazing array of dishes.

Bangkok Glutton – With plenty of humor and very entertaining rants, this blog author reviews street food, talks about Thai restaurants, and much more. This author is very passionate and it shows!

For highlights from these blogs and much more about Thai food in New Jersey and culture, be sure to follow Siam Garden on Facebook!

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