Siam Square, Southsea: Portsmouth restaurateur opens new Thai restaurant in Osborne Road
A THAI restaurant with a tempting menu has opened in Southsea headed by an experienced Portsmouth restaurateur.
Siam Square in Osborne Road has been opened by owner Mo Khan, 26, who has followed his dream to run a restaurant in his hometown.
Mo is particularly proud of the signature lamb shank curry and jumbo king prawns in garlic pepper sauce, made by a head chef with years of experience.
He said: ‘We are the only Thai restaurant on the road.
‘I think we’ve got good chefs, and the food really sets us apart .
‘The lamb shank has received so many compliments and we’ve had a lot of customers say they’ve been to other Thai restaurants but the food here is really really good.
‘If I can look after my customers, give them good service and great food, then we’ll be fine.
‘We try our best to make sure our customers leave with a smile on their face.’
Mo, who grew up in Hilsea, has a wealth of experience in running restaurants and is a firm fixture in the industry.
He and his family previously ran The Lemongrass restaurant in Worthing, while also having branches in Fareham and Haywards Heath.
These restaurants were popular, but the family struggled with the devastating financial impact Covid-19 had on the business, as well as the three-hour daily commutes to Haywards Heath.
Mo saw a gap in the market for Thai food in Portsmouth, so the Lemongrass restaurants were sold – and Siam Square was born when the Southsea location was secured in February 2021.
He said: ‘I’ve always wanted to do a restaurant here, it was just about finding the right location.
‘Portsmouth is my hometown and it’s such a vibrant city, relocating here was always at the back of my mind.
‘Ideally, I wanted it to be where there were other nice restaurants and by the beach.
‘When I came across the spot in 2019, it was the one.
‘Finding a place was the hard bit, but the journey has been more than worth it so far.’
He added: ‘The restaurant has been open for five weeks or so, and we’ve seen many regular faces so far which is great.’
Despite great feedback from customers, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the new restaurant.
The business has faced front of house staff shortages, which Mo said is caused by people moving back to Thailand during to the pandemic and not returning – a problem felt by Thai restaurants across the country.
As a result, Siam Square has had to close for lunch and on Mondays.
But despite these setbacks, diners have flocked to the tables on weekends.
Mo said once the full team is assembled, the hours will go back to normal, and he is confident the food and great service will keep the business on track.
A streamlined but sumptuous menu has been made to tempt diners, featuring a slow cooked lamb shank curry, and jumbo king prawns in garlic pepper sauces, as well as Thai classic such as king prawn pad Thai.
An accomplished kitchen team includes vastly experienced head chef Sayan Wongcharre, who worked at the prestigious Hyatt Thai restaurant in Dubai for 15 years.
Talking about his new role at Siam Square, Sayan said: ‘It’s really exciting and I’m really looking forward to making customers in this area happy.
‘They are more than welcome to come and try our Thai food.’