Ann’s Finest Foods helps spice up shopping in Sedgley

Authentic-thai-ingredients
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.

 

 

 

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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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