Review of 'Aroi Thai'

Having not been terribly impressed so far with the restaurant scene in Nantwich, our new home, I was recently encouraged by my mother to try more places in the hope of finding something we like. In the spirit of this suggestion we booked Aroi Thai which is in the middle of town on Pillory Street, close to the Nantwich Museum.

The fairly large restaurant was moderately busy for a Saturday night but seems to do a bumper business with takeaway and delivery with numerous comings and goings while we were there. Our table was beside the small bar in one of the front windows. The interior is basically decorated but with wonderfully and elaborately carved dark brown wood tables and chairs. The dining tables are covered with a clear glass so you can appreciated the carving on the surface below. The view out the window was not great as it was onto a narrow street and of the busy pub opposite (with beer garden…yes, getting a bit rowdy).


The menu is a bit unusual in that it has a large “Aroi Thai Tapas” initial section (each with prices of £7 or £7.50) that I now realize was meant more like starters rather than as literally Spanish tapas where you would order a bunch of tapas for a meal…so we went and ordered a bunch from their tapas menu and got a bit of a raised eyebrow from our waitress. The rest of the menu was more conventional: Sharing Platters (two), Soups (three), Salads (one), Aroi Thai Mains – Curries, Stir Fry's, Sizzling Dishes, Chef Specials, Fish, Stir Fried Rice and Noodles, and Rice & Noodles, Aroi Thai Set Menus – Three options (menu A, B and C). All dishes helpfully included their spice level so you have a better idea of what to expect. With other restaurants I tend to look at the set menus to be able to sample a large variety of what the restaurant often considers to be their best dishes (or the most ordered) but in this case the options had nice starters but the main options were more Chinese than Thai – Mostly stir fry. So, as I said, we picked from the Tapas menu but also ordered a couple of soups.

Prawn Crackers

While we waited for our meal the obligatory Prawn Crackers (complementary!) arrived at the table with an absolutely wonderful dip that was not the expected sweet chilli but a rather more umami-rich dip that was quite delicious.

Tom Yum

Most of the food arrived at the same time but our soup was first on the table. We ordered the “Thai Soup” (“Tom Yam” rather than what most call it “Tom Yum”, “Hot and sour soup with mushrooms, chilli, and Thai herbs topped with chilli and corriander” £7.50 king prawns, £7 chicken and £6.50 vegetable). I had the prawn while my companion had the chicken. The soup was absolutely heavenly. The broth was incredibly flavoursome and there were a good number of prawns as well in the small bowl. The only complaint we really had was that there were tiny bits of lemon grass throughout that we had to spit out…otherwise, absolutely delicious and not too spicy.

Two Curries

As the tapas started arriving, they began to fill the table. First up were two curries: A personal favourite, “Massaman Curry” (“Gaeng Massaman”, “A mild creamy Thai curry made with potatoes, carrots and peanuts simmered in coconut milk topped with deep-fried onions with your choice of meat: chicken, beef, pork, squid or vegetables”, £7.50) – we ordered the beef, and “Green Curry” (“Gaeng Kiew Waan”, “Thai green curry cooked in coconut milk, bamboo shoots, fine beans and aubergines topped with Thai sweet basil and your choice of meat: chicken, beef, pork, squid or vegetables”, £7.50) – we ordered the pork.

Both curries were delicious and slightly sweet. None of the two were very spicy, which is fine as we did not want spicy. The meat was not overcooked and the sauce was full of flavour and very creamy, as promised. The portion size meant we were each able to have a couple of servings each.

Spring Rolls, Spicy Crispy Squid, and Fish Cakes

The rest of our chosen tapas were: “Fresh Spring Roll” (“Por Pia Sod”, “Cooked prawns stuffed with lettuce, carrot and cucumber wrapped in soft rice paper served with peanut sauce”, £7.50), “Spicy Crispy Squid” (“Plaa Muek Tord”, “Bite-sized tender pieces deep-fried in a spicy light batter coated in bread crumbs with Thai sweet chilli sauce”, £7.50), and finally the most disappointing dish of the night “Thai Fish Cakes” (“Tord Mon Plaa”, “Deep-fried Thai style fish cake served with Thai sweet chilli sauce topped with cucumber-carrot pickle and crushed peanuts”, £7.50).

The spring rolls were served cold and quite bland but for the incredibly tasty peanut sauce that accompanied them. The squid was absolutely amazing and incredibly tender with a light batter – Not at all greasy. The fish cakes were the most disappointing as they were flat, chewy rounds that had very little flavour – My companion called them “fishy hot dogs” and was not a fan, as you might be able to tell.

With all of the food and two drinks (a soft drink and a tea) the bill came to £61.35 (with no service charge) which was remarkably good value for the number of dishes we had. True, they were not full sized portions but that is fine by us as it allowed us to try a number of items from the menu. The service was friendly if a bit disjointed as often our waitress went back to the owner to confirm aspects of the menu as we ordered.

Really fresh, delicious, and full flavoured Thai food in Nantwich at a reasonable price. Definitely recommended if you are in the area.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2022-06-11

Cuisine: Thai

Address: 15 Pillory St, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5BZ ENGLAND

Location: Cheshire (England) - Nantwich



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Telephone: +44 (0) 1270 618885