Dao Siam, Charles Street, Wrexham Tel: 01978 351071
First impressions are important but it’s what’s inside that counts.
At first sight the Dao Siam, in Charles Street, Wrexham, may not have the wow factor but the meal I enjoyed there was wonderful.
The mock Tudor exterior which previously housed the Elephant And Castle pub is not at all in keeping with the extravagance of ornate Thai architecture.
But once you step inside you forget that and, with a bit of help from colourful wall
hangings, portraits of Thai dignitaries past and present and a relaxed soundtrack, the experience becomes more authentic.
The first thing that hit my boyfriend Mike and I was the delicious smells seeping out of the kitchen.
The next was the polite and courteous service, followed closely by the huge selection of food on the menu.
Our inability to choose from the delicious selection of starters prompted us to split Dao’s Classic Selection, which is basically a little of everything you could
want from a starter: spring rolls, chicken satay, prawn toast, prawn in blankets and fish cakes.
I’ll admit none of these are exclusively Thai but they are tasty!
And the difference was everything was much lighter and less greasy and seemed to have been prepared fresh, in contrast to many Chinese restaurants in which the same dish would be dripping in fat and leave you thinking it had come out of a
freezer bag from the wholesaler.
You could even see whole prawns in the ‘blankets’ and identify the vegetables used in the spring rolls.
The trio of dipping sauces were lovely as well, with an old favourite of sweet chilli sauce and a new favourite, sweet and sour oil, which I’d never had before.
For mains Mike had a traditional Thai green chicken curry, claiming “if a place gets its Thai green curry right, then it doesn’t get much wrong”.
He wasn’t disappointed.
The sauce was quite spicy but flavoursome and went beautifully with the sticky rice and the bowl was full to the brim with succulent pieces of chicken.
I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty my king prawns with ginger, spring onion and red chillies was and it was a much healthier option than the other dish I had my eye on.
Again the portion was more than generous and I had to put the bowl out of sight to make sure I had room for a pud.
I don’t usually think to have a dessert in Asian or Indian restaurants but neither of us could resist the temptation of the ice creams on offer.
Mike went for a very grown up bowl of ginger and vanilla ice creams, which were amazingly creamy and full of flavour.
And I became a kid again by ordering deep-fried iced cream!
I just had to find out what it was like – kind of a cross between a profiterole and a doughnut filled with ice cream instead of jam.
What I really wanted to know was how you make it but it was just as much fun eating it.
All in all the meal was a real success and I would urge anyone who walks past and wonders what it’s like to give it a go.
The experience inside is much better than you might expect from the outside.
Starter: Dao’s Classic Selection £10.95
Mains: Kaeng keow wan gair/spicy green chicken curry £10.50
Gung phad khing/king prawn with ginger, spring onion and red chilli £11.95
Khao Suay/Thai fragrant rice £1.95 per portion
Desserts: Two scoops of vanilla and ginger ice cream £3.50
Deep fried ice cream £3.95
Total (including drinks) £58.75