“She’s even worn lingerie,” says Russel Mills, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Noon, the restaurant’s chef. Without cracking a smile, he adds, “It’s too cold for that this time of year.”
Noon Mills laughs. Today Monique has on Mardi Gras beads, “for the Saints,” Noon Mills explains, referring to New Orleans’ recent Super Bowl win.
Next to Monique is a ceramic lime-green Buddha with a grin as wide as Noon’s. He matches the color of the top half of the restaurant’s walls perfectly, in contrast to the orange below and the purple tablecloths. His presence foreshadows what customers can expect to find at Siam Off the Square — it’s “full of happy energy,” Noon Mills said.
Finding the restaurant isn’t easy if you don’t know where to look. Its physical address is Hickory Street, but it’s actually on the corner of Cedar and Walnut streets. The space was once part of Russell’s Department Store and has been home to several restaurants, including the original Hannah’s Off the Square, hence the similar name.
While Hannah’s expanded when it moved to Mulberry Street, Siam Off the Square downsized from its 17-year home in Carriage Square.
“We love our new location,” Noon Mills said. “The Square is a community within a community.”
Russel Mills said businesses on the Square have supported them.
“We brought our clientele with us, which in turn supports other businesses on the Square,” he said.
Customers will find the same quality food at the new location as they did the old. The menu includes a variety of appetizers, curries, stir-fry dishes and pad thai. Noon Mills’ mother, from Phuket Island in southern Thailand, provides the curry paste. She is an important influence on her daughter’s cooking, as is Noon Mill’s Chinese heritage.
“Not all dishes are spicy,” she said, “but you can expect them to be tasty.”
The menu changes with the seasons. The Millses buy locally and use fresh ingredients as much as possible. Their daily specials feature what is plentiful. They love their restaurant and customers, many of whom have become friends over the years.
“Come out and see us,” said Russel Mills. His wife added, “We love to make people happy.”
Siam Off the Square Thai Restaurant
209 W. Hickory Street, Suite 104.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday,
and 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Originally published in Denton Record-Chronicle, February 18, 2010