Race To The Greyhound in Swindon For Authentic Thai Cuisine

Head-chef-Mee-and-his-team
Head chef Mee and his team at Sommai Thai

Lovers of Thai food in Sedgley will already be familiar with the outstanding cuisine served up at the Bull’s Head in Bilston Street, where head chef Mee built up a reputation for perfectly balanced dishes bursting with authentic flavours and fresh ingredients.

 

And now, feeling the need to stay ahead of the pack, Mee has decided to branch out and bring the true flavours of Thailand to nearby Swindon, where the lounge of The Greyhound pub has been transformed into an exciting new restaurant with the same incredible tastes.

The new venture, Sommai Thai, opened its doors on Saturday, June 29th, with Mee and co-owner, Sommai Sin Pra Yakul, hoping to build on the success already achieved at their former venue.

And, having been invited to a preview evening, we at Sedgleyscene were delighted to accept.

Sommai-Thai-platter
The Sommai Thai platter includes a range of delicious authentic dishes

Authentic Thai Ingredients and a Warm Welcome

On entering this restaurant, the first thing visitors will notice is the 7ft tall statue welcoming them into a relaxed atmosphere, where the historic pub’s dark wooden beams blend effortlessly with lavish wooden sculptures flown in from Thailand. And, when ordering a drink from the bar, it’s impossible to miss the painstakingly-carved watermelons which decorate each table.

This sense of authenticity is reflected in the menu, which features a wide variety of dishes to cater for all tastes – each lovingly prepared using locally-sourced ingredients and genuine Thai flavours by Mee and his team.

We started with the Sommai Thai platter – a mouth-watering combination of Thai prawn toast, chicken and prawn spring rolls, red chicken wings and deep-fried tiger prawns, accompanied by a range of sauces and dips.

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One of the authentic curry dishes at Sommai Thai

Next to arrive were two of our favourite Thai dishes – a sweet green curry and a peanut curry. Both were bursting with flavour and served in authentic porcelain bowls.

These delicacies were soon joined by an amazing salad, where finely sliced beef was combined with chilli and a liberal sprinkling of coriander to create a sublimely fresh combination.

A sizzling spicy duck stir-fry completed our feast, with bowls of sticky rice and soft noodles the perfect complement to the aromatic spices, lemongrass and lime leaves which infuse each dish.

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Yum Neua – a delicious Thai salad with beef, chilli and coriander

Although our meal consisted largely of meat and seafood dishes, vegetarians are well catered for, with spicy tofu stir-fry being just one of several tasty meat-free options.

We could only manage fresh slices of chilled watermelon for dessert, but diners with a sweet tooth (and larger appetites!) can enjoy Thai pancakes with ice cream, banana fritters and mor gaeng – a delicious Thai custard with a flan-like consistency.

From sampling the menu at Sommai Thai, it’s clear that chef Mee has lost none of his passion for creating amazing dishes. Visit www.sommaithai.co.uk or call 01384 380062 to discover why The Greyhound in Swindon is set to become one of the leading Thai restaurants and takeaways in the Black Country.

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Head chef Mee, manager Pattra and owner Sommai
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Friendly staff at Sommai Thai are on hand to ensure a great dining experience
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Authentic wooden sculptures at Sommai Thai help complete the experience

 

 

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Stagecoach Inns to Indian Cuisine – a Tasty History of Dining Out in Wolverhampton

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Tandoori chicken is now an essential dish of the menus of many local restaurants

Sedgley residents can get their teeth into a fascinating talk on how eating out locally has changed over the years at the next meeting of Sedgley Local History Society.

The talk, Stagecoach Inns to Indian Cuisine, will take place on Thursday, May 9, at 7:30 pm in St. Andrew’s Church, Bilston Street, Sedgley after a brief Annual General Meeting.

Samantha Badger, winner of the 2012 Wolverhampton Local History Symposium, aims to tickle the tastebuds with her presentation tracing the history of eating out and takeaways in Wolverhampton. Her diligent research has unearthed great stories from 1800 to 1970, so on the way, expect to hear about Black Country favourites such as pies, fish and chips and the advent of more exotic foods.

During the talk, Sam will be serving up a feast of historical titbits (sorry no food!) in what promises to be a most enjoyable evening.

As usual visitors are invited to come along.  Individual talks cost £1.

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St John’s Church, Kates Hill, Dudley

Sedgley Local History Society June Visit

Thursday, June 13 will see Sedgley Local History Society embark on an  evening visit to St. John’s Church in Kates Hill, guided by this historic landmark’s  preservation group.

As previously mentioned on this site, St John’s is a building of huge historical significance which dates back to 1840. Professor Carl Chinn, MBE, is patron of the preservation group, which works hard to raise awareness and generate support for this worthy local campaign.

This event will be starting at 7pm from the adjacent car park in St. John’s Road, access from Waddam’s Pool.  Coffee/tea and biscuits will be provided.

Anyone wishing to visit St. John’s should contact Sedgley Local History Society’s George Blackham via email as this will help them organise the evening.

Ann’s Finest Foods helps spice up shopping in Sedgley

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The shelves at Ann’s are stocked with authentic ingredients

While some larger town centres are struggling to offer shoppers a wide range of choice, one new food store in Sedgley is defying the odds and helping keep the village a bustling retail centre.

Mee’s Thai at the Bull’s Head in Bilston Street is already one of Sedgley’s most popular restaurants, so when owner, Ann, decided to open up a store selling fresh Thai produce, she knew there’d be a healthy demand among locals and visitors from across the West Midlands.

She explains: “Before our shop was launched, it was quite difficult to obtain a decent selection of necessary Thai ingredients in most of the West Midlands. Even in Birmingham, with a diverse Asian population, most of the Asian supermarkets offer products at relatively high prices with dates of manufacture going back 1-2, even 3 years.

“Since opening Ann’s Finest Foods, we’ve been serving not only the local community who have developed a taste for Thai cuisine, but also immigrant Asian customers who are pleased to know they can order a large selection of fresh, quality products at prices lower than the larger stores can offer.”

Authentic Thai ingredients instore or online

Anyone who loves the fresh tastes and aromas of authentic Thai cuisine will be impressed at the range of authentic produce stocked in Ann’s shop. Exotic fresh ingredients such as Thai mushrooms, lychees, galangal, lemongrass and Thai coriander line the shelves, while there is a huge range of oils, sauces, noodles, rice and frozen delicacies to choose from.

Because she’s committed to only selling authentic Thai ingredients, Ann doesn’t stock any of the brands that might be found on the shelves of a supermarket. She explains: “There are a few companies that offer pre-made, relatively expensive, packaged ‘Thai’ soups and sauces with adjusted flavors that aren’t genuine. We try to avoid selling these as a matter of principle. Everything found in our store is something you’d find in a kitchen in Thailand.”

Ann’s Finest Foods is open all week and is located at 20, High Street. Alternatively, visit the website here, which has lots of useful information and recipes for anyone who loves real Thai food.

 

 

 

A very vine season for Halfpenny Green

The levels of sugar in this year's grape harvest are the highest since 1983

Local wine lovers are in for a treat this year, as the owner of one vineyard near Sedgley has reported the highest levels of sugar in the grape harvest since his business began.

Martin Vickers, owner of Halfpenny Green Vineyard, near Bobbington, South Staffordshire, says an early winter followed by an early spring, a mainly dry summer and the current Indian summer has had a “cumulative” influence on the crop.

And, as a result, the award-winning vineyard could soon be producing full-bodied wines with an alcohol level as high as 15 per cent, meaning local grape gurus could soon be enjoying a red wine comparable with some of the best European varieties.

Martin, who has owned Halfpenny Green Vineyard since 1983, explains: “At 15 per cent, we hope we have the intensity and colour of a full-bodied red wine which seemed beyond us in other seasons.”

English wine has come a long way from its previously questionable reputation and is now becoming increasingly popular, especially after winning international competitions against its French rivals.

Martin also feels increased demand for local produce has also been a strong factor in the continued success of his wines, which include dry whites such as Tom Hill and Long Acre, the medium dry white Penny Black and its darker counterpart, Penny Red, along with Black Country Gold and a refreshing Red Sparkling.

Visit the Halfpenny Green Vineyard website or call 01384 221122 for more information.

No Bull, just great Thai cuisine

Ann, chef Mee and his wife, Tar, help create a unique dining experience

It’s not immediately visible from the street and many Sedgley residents don’t know it exists.

Yet, situated at the rear of the Bull’s Head pub, on Bilston Street, is one of Sedgley’s hidden gems and one of the best restaurants in the Black Country.

Mee’s Thai restaurant has only been open for nine months, but, in this short space of time, has built up an excellent reputation among those in the know.

Forget ready-meals and microwaves. This is authentic Thai cuisine, prepared by an expert chef using the finest ingredients.

“When we first opened, we sometimes found it difficult to buy Thai vegetables and other ingredients such as pandan leaves,” says restaurant owner Ann, who, along with chef Mee and John, landlord of the Bull’s Head, has transformed the pub’s former games area into a stylish place to eat and relax.

“Now, however, we get fresh, authentic ingredients delivered to our door.”

And it certainly shows in the cooking. A typical starter, such as Thai mixed platter, is an explosion of colour and taste. Enjoy succulent prawn and chicken toast, king prawn and vegetable spring rolls, chicken wrapped in pandan leaf and chicken satay skewers, all garnished lovingly with expertly carved raw vegetables and salad leaves.

For the main course, choose from a wide range of sizzling stir-fries, delve into the magnificent, lemongrass-infused flavours of a Thai curry (completely different to the Indian or Chinese versions) or plunge into a sumptuous seafood dish.

Sedgleyscene opted for sea bass, cooked to perfection and served with finely chopped red, green and yellow pepper, garlic, coriander, lime and chilli. The aroma was so appealing that a large group of friends drinking in the pub’s bar decided to eat here as well.

Accompanying this fine dish, we also tucked into stir-fried duck with slivers of ginger, sweet and sour chicken in tempura batter and two rice dishes – all were excellent and the best we had sampled in the region.

For dessert, there is a selection of authentic homemade treats to choose from – a refreshing change from the usual array of frozen ice-cream on offer in many other restaurants.

Although feeling somewhat full by this stage, we at Sedgleyscene managed to make room for coconut pancake roll (a delicious confection coloured with pandan leaf) and mhor-keang – Thai custard, baked and served with ice-cream. Both were a suitably lavish way to end a superb meal.

Our fellow diners were similarly impressed, saying that, although they had no idea the Bull’s Head was home to a Thai restaurant, they would definitely be back soon.

And that’s exactly what Ann hopes for too, saying: “We’re dedicated to serving the best in Thai cuisine and making sure our customers are happy and want to come back.”

Sedgleyscene will certainly be coming back and, if you’ve yet to discover this gem of a restaurant, we suggest you make the first of what will doubtless be many visits.

Mee’s Thai is located in the Bull’s Head pub, 27 Bilston Street, Sedgley, DY3 1JA. Call 01902 661676 or visit their website for more details and to view their menus.

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Serving up the best in Sedgley

Feeling peckish?

Sedgley is well-served by restaurants, with a variety of cuisines on offer to cater for all tastes.

In the centre itself, diners can choose from Indian, Chinese, Thai or traditional English pub grub – all at reasonable prices.

Local resident, Richard Smith, particularly recommends Indian restaurant Sedgley Spice in Bilston Steet, saying: “What a fantastic meal I had at Sedgley Spice – they even gave my brother a free birthday cake. Top service!”

And, just a few doors down from here is one of the village’s best-kept secrets – Mee’s Thai Restaurant, located at the back of the Bull’s Head pub.

Here diners can choose from a delicious array of Thai cuisine made using authentic ingredients and served in a relaxing atmosphere.

Although it’s only been open six months, this latest addition to Sedgley’s dining scene has already built up an excellent reputation among residents, thanks to excellent customer service, reasonable prices and perfectly-

Diners in Sedgley can choose from a wide range of cuisines, including Italian, Thai, Chinese, Indian or traditional

prepared dishes. Booking is a must, as Mee’s is always bustling.

For lovers of Italian food, a visit to Cafe Casita in Clarence Street, Upper Gornal, is essential. Managers Anna and Erminio pride themselves on creating a welcoming atmosphere, accompanied by authentic cuisine.

Choose from a menu bursting with freshly-prepared dishes, such as slithers of salmon served on a bed of lettuce drizzled with balsamic to start, followed by chicken breast, cooked in red wine with tomatoes, peppers, onions and herbs.

And, moving on to Lower Gornal, a visit to The Fountain is always a memorable experience, with a huge range of locally-sourced sausage and mash combinations to choose from, along with a menu featuring Black Country specialities and pub grub favourites. Sunday lunches here are always hugely popular, with a regular choice of three roast meats.

Have you been to one of Sedgley’s superb restaurants recently? We’d love to hear your reviews. Get in touch with us here at Sedgleyscene or via our Twitter feed.