Signs had been up on the window of what used to be The Chill Out Cafe for a month or two, informing passers by that the Siam Angel Cafe would be ‘opening early September’. Working just a few doors down the road, I pass the place every morning and evening and have been watching the place take shape. The new cafe finally opened on September 21st – a little behind schedule, but I hadn’t realised how much work, time and movement had gone into the venture…
Proprietors Lee and Tony first met in Birmingham two years ago. Lee worked for a fish company at The Birmingham Wholesale Markets, selling to trade customers. One such customer was The Oriental restaurant in Birmingham’s city centre, specialising in dishes from Thailand, Japan, Malaysia and China, and where Tony was manager.
With both working twelve hour days, six days a week, the decision was made to start up their own cafe that not only offered breakfasts and sandwiches, but also dishes with a Thai twist. Within days of coming up with the idea, they saw the premises advertised on Gumtree, made a call and came down to view the cafe. Lee handed in his notice on his return to Birmingham and headed to Bristol in mid-August, completing the refurb by himself and even sleeping on-site while the work was being done. Tony joined a few weeks later, and the cafe finally opened on a sunny Wednesday in mid-September.
The refurb is certainly impressive. No longer a grotty cafe, it’s smartly decorated with themes of purple running through the cafe: blocks of colour on some walls, swirls of cream and purple on others, chandelier-style lights on the ceiling, purple spotted cushions on the black leather sofas.
What did surprise me was the prices: a range of basic sandwiches (egg mayonnaise, tuna and sweetcorn, cheese and onion and the like) to take away or eat in for under £2, coffees (also available to take away) for under £1.20 to £1.60, and breakfast options ranging from 25p for a slice of toast to £4 for a large full English.
We decided to try a couple of items from the Thai menu – again very competitively priced.
Our prawn spring rolls (£2.99) were a winner, crunchy flaky pastry and succulent prawns, and the sweet chilli dipping sauce was full of flavour and not the standard luminous red stuff that you find in a lot of places.
We also had a bowl of chicken tom yum soup each (also £2.99) – I think I’ve made my addiction to tom yum pretty clear since starting the blog! The chicken in the soup was beautifully moist and the soup itself very creamy. It could have done with a little more heat, from our point of view, but was delicious nonetheless.
My colleague bought herself a blueberry cupcake (£1.50) to take away from the cake counter, which also featured generous slices of carrot cake, coffee and walnut cake and a sinful-looking chocolate and orange option.
The atmosphere, the prices and the evident dedication of the owners mean that we’ll both be heading back on a fairly regular basis. The only problem is that the temptation of mid-afternoon coffees is now going to be far greater than before…
Siam Angel Cafe
Address: 15 St Georges Road, Bristol, BS1 5UU
Telephone: 07941 302615