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On a quiet and rainy Friday evening in Wolverhampton, my partner and I visited one of the city’s most popular restaurants, Made In Thai.
Located in the city centre on Darlington Street, the restaurant boasts a stand-out red-and-black frontage with a traditional Thai interior - think elephant statues, dark wood tables & chairs and green plants aplenty. Forget Wolverhampton; you’ve been transported straight to Bangkok!
Choosing from an appetisers menu including Hoy Obb - steamed mussels with sweet basil leaves and Thai herbs - Toong Tong - Thai golden bags with minced pork and prawn - and Taylay Tord - deep-fried seafood and vegetables served with sweet chilli sauce - we shared the Made In Thai platter - chicken satay, fish cake, vegetable spring rolls, prawn toast and chicken wings in a red wine sauce. The wings weren’t anything to shout out about, but the other items were genuinely among the most delicious I’ve tried. The prawn toast provided a melt-in-the-mouth sensation and boasted a substantial prawn layering, something you rarely see. It was the best prawn toast I've eaten by some considerable distance. The satay and the fish cake both followed suit and were also the nicest I've enjoyed to date - and I’ve visited Thailand! The fishcake was soft and bursting with stunning and complementary Thai flavours, while the satay was just heavenly.
We also ordered a soup each. My partner went for the chicken & mushroom Tom Yum soup and I opted for a prawn Tom Khar - a spicy soup in coconut milk with lemongrass and galangal (a plant from the ginger family). It was stunning - not the most aesthetically pleasing of dishes but rich and flavoursome all the same. I was too busy enjoying my soup to try the Tom Yum, but I was told it was also of an exceptionally high quality.
Towards the end of the menu, there’s a Chef’s Special section which features more traditional Thai dishes such as Chu-Che Geoong - king prawns topped with light curry sauce, coconut milk and lime leaves - Pla Nueng - steamed sea bass with lemongrass, lime juice, Thai herbs and chilli - Pra Rama Loong Soang - spicy nutty chicken with coconut in a creamy peanut and coriander sauce - and Chilli Lamb - stir-fried lamb with chilli and Thai herbs. The Chef’s Special dishes are more expensive but sounded more appealing to both my partner and I, so we chose our main courses from this section.
After much deliberation - the menu is so extensive and everything sounded so delicious - we opted for a beef massaman curry and, mainly due to the fact that we were both so intrigued, deep-fried scallops served with crispy chilli, mushroom and garlic. I’ve never seen deep-fried scallops on a menu before.
A firm favourite, the massaman curry was extremely tasty and showcased strong roasted peanut and tamarind flavours. The beef was cooked perfectly and there was plenty of it, which is always a plus. I’m sure I speak for many when I say that I'm always extremely disappointed when there isn’t enough of the main ingredient in the dish in question.
The next dish was presented beautifully and featured three shells, each filled with a king scallop, some mushrooms, garlic and crispy chilli. The scallops were really tasty. However, they were also pan-fried, not deep-fried as per the menu. I was imagining a plate of tempura scallops or something similar. Perhaps the wording needs to be changed on the menu, as I'm sure I won’t be the only one left feeling a little disappointed. All in all it was a lovely dish, just not quite what I was expecting.
To accompany the mains, we ordered a side of sticky rice and a Made In Thai noodle dish comprising yellow noodles with curry powder and mixed vegetables. I feel the £7.95 price tag for this is a bit steep, considering you could order a chicken Pad Thai and a chicken special fried rice for the same price. Flavour-wise, however, there were no complaints.
To end our debut Made In Thai experience, we enjoyed a portion of deep-fried ice cream. Made from a breaded scoop of ice cream that’s quickly deep-fried, creating a warm, crispy shell, it provided a tasty and enjoyable finale.
If you like Thai cuisine, I thoroughly recommend visiting Made In Thai. From the polite service to the authentic decor and food, it is, without doubt, one of Wolverhampton’s best restaurants - and one that I’ll certainly be visiting again in the future.
**** Lauren Foster
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