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Madame Mews Thai Cafe was originally located at the indoor market on Union Street/Market Street and was one of the staple food destinations in the Market for years. Unfortunately, the Aberdeen Market closed at the beginning of the pandemic and we soon heard that it was not to reopen as the owners had gone into liquidation, which left a lot of people wondering what would happen to all of the hidden gems and great food places that as a city, we had come to love.
The market itself was a very divisive place and any Aberdeen local will know what I mean by that. It was run down, it had some horribly sad and bad press over the years and it wasn’t a very nice place to visit overall but when Madame Mews opened, it became a real turnaround point and suddenly people actively wanted to visit and eat in the market again. People were raving about its authentic Thai food and it really helped to turn and change the reputation of the market and I believe it also encouraged other business’ to set up eateries and restaurants and play their part in making the Aberdeen Market a desirable and more affordable place to grab breakfast and lunch.
If you never had the chance to visit, the market reminded me of areas like Boxpark if you are at all familiar with London. Lots of street food pop-ups and food startups from different countries and cuisine specialities and all in one convenient place, from pasta to sushi to Thai and more. It was a great way to create some diversity and try out some new and different world foods and this is something that I am really disappointed that Aberdeen is losing and something that I really hope will happen again at some point in the future.
This leads me back to my original wondering about Madame Mews and the other Aberdeen restaurants and what was to become of them, so I am really happy to hear that Madame Mews Restaurant and Bar have relocated to a property on Summer Street towards the west end of Union Street.
In honour of their reopening, I wanted to offer a roundup review of my visits to Madame Mews over the years. If you don’t yet know anything of Madame Mews, it originates from Bangkok and serves a huge selection of authentic Thai foods using fresh local produce.
The Madame Mews menu is very extensive and offers a number of starters, mains, desserts and drinks options and while you may find that much of the menu is simply referenced by the dish names with no descriptions, they are often accompanied by pictures which have a corresponding number. I believe that vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are also available but be sure to ask prior to ordering.
The staff are really friendly and happy to help so if there is anything that you aren’t sure of, they will be sure to guide you.
Alternatively, if you aren’t sure what is what because I know that sometimes it’s a little overwhelming and awkward to ask lots of questions in a new environment, I have been known to check on Google prior to ordering!
From the menu, you can expect a lot of the popular Thai dishes with starters like salads, soups and spring rolls. For main you can expect to find dishes like Pad Thai, Kuay-Tiao Tom Yum, Panaeng, Kai Phad Med Ma Mung and much more, while for dessert it’s mainly coconut and banana flavoured cakes and jellies but there may be more that I just haven’t seen.
When it comes to dining out, I think I can be a creature of habit once I find a dish that I like, it’s terrible, especially for someone that enjoys reviewing food and although I do try to have some variety, admittedly, there are dishes that I always come back to.
At Madame Mews, I love the spring rolls (Pow Pia Tod) which come with a side of sweet chilli. To be honest, spring rolls are a dish that I really love and I am always keen to order when I see them on a menu but more often than not, they can be quite disappointing so, when you find good ones, it’s a whole other ball game. And the spring rolls at Madame Mews are very good.
For the main, I am a big fan of the Pad Thai because I am a sucker for noodles. Sometimes I will get the chicken but I’m not a huge meat eater so I don’t tend to eat much of it even when I do order it, which I think is a waste, so I would probably prefer the veg alternative. Whatever you order, the portions are absolutely massive and can be a real struggle to finish. I don’t have the biggest appetite but even with Peter, who can eat considerably more, he struggles to finish the portions of food given and considering the costs are around £7.50 for a main, there is absolutely nothing to scoff at in terms of value but beware, do not snack before visiting if you really want to savour the food!
Peter loves the Red/Green Thai Curry and that is something he is always, very easily swayed towards when he sees it on a menu. He is definitely not a big fan of spicy foods and he feels that it has a little bit of a kick but it’s manageable. We like to order some of the Thai Prawn Crackers because I love the flavour of these and they just compliment meals really nicely.
I do also love some of the other meals with a sweet, sticky chicken and rice or meals with more of a vegetable base but I don’t want to get too far into it as I can’t advise names!
For drinks, we usually order a soft drink but we sometimes order another drink to share and I have particularly enjoyed the iced tea but also the Longan Fruit drink which was new to me, it’s almost like lychee and is very sweet but a really nice treat to have and something a little bit different.
The food and the service at Madame Mews have always been great as far as I am concerned and it’s somewhere that I am always happy to return to and I can’t wait to see what they do with the new premises!