Our first time in Manchester’s Chinatown

Okay yes, so that’s a big lie.

This wasn’t our first time visiting Chinatown (and if you follow me on Instagram you already know that), but it was our first time dining in Chinatown so that has to count for something, right?

Anyway, the story for how we got here is actually really funny. One of G’s friends recommended him this really nice Thai place last Friday, so when I got home he told me we should definitely try it, since we’ve never had Thai food before (at least not in Manchester).

Yes, not so funny yet. The thing is that when he told me the name of the place, I thought he had said Try Thai, so that’s what I googled, and told him “Got the address, let’s go!”. He followed me because he trusts me with addresses (and also because I was using google maps on my phone) and when we got there he said “are you sure this is the place?”. Yes folks, turns out I actually didn’t get the name right and we ended up going to a completely different restaurant.

I was way too hungry to walk to the other place (and we all know I get angry when I’m hungry), so we decided to eat here and try the other place next time we were in the mood for Thai.

Now, let me tell you something, when we went up the stairs and got to the ‘wait here to be seated’ sign, there wasn’t a single soul (apart from the staff) in that place, so I started doubting if we had made the right decision by staying here. The hostess asked us if we had a reservation which made me go “huh? you do know this place is empty, right?“, but I just decided to smile and say “no, sorry. We didn’t make one”. She smiled back, made a call, and gave us a little ticket that had a number and said “go upstairs and give this number to your waitress”, and by this moment  I had absolutely no idea on what was going on.

Turns out the actual restaurant is located upstairs and what we saw is a little lounge where you can get some drinks while you wait to be seated if the place is full, which makes complete sense, but those of you who know me know that I don’t think clearly when I’m hungry.

Once we got to our table, the first thing I saw was the menu that read “There is no sincerer love than the love of food” and I just thought same. We instantly knew we were on the right path.

Also, fun fact: I usually take way too long to decide when we go out to eat, except for those days when I’m getting hangry, so we actually decided in less than five minutes, which is a personal record, hooray!

Pan fried battered scallops: Thai style scallops coated with tapioca batter, pan fried served with beansprouts and chilli sauce.

Vegetable Tempura: Crispy mix vegetables in tempura batter served with sweet chilli dip.

We ordered two staters because hello, we were really hungry, and they came out in almost no time, so they get extra points for that.

Now, let’s talk about the food.

You know I like to be really honest with everything I try and post, and this time it’s not going to be any different. Surprisingly enough, the scallops weren’t my favorite. As much as I love battered food (specially beer battered food), I felt these scallops to be too much on the oily/greasy side for my taste, and that didn’t let me get a real taste of the scallops. I do need to say that the chilli sauce was really good, and I couldn’t stop eating the beansprouts!

On the other hand, the vegetable tempura was as good as you could expect it to be! Crispy on the outside and paired perfectly with the sweet chilli dip. I really love the fact that both the chilli sauce and sweet chilli dip weren’t spicy by any means, and yet you could still taste the chilli behind it, if that makes any sense.

Soft Shell Crab with Chilli and Holy Basil: Crispy soft shell crab in Thailand’s most popular and spicy stir fry with chillies and holy basil.

Soft shell crab with Jasmin rice.

You guys should already know that G was the one who ordered this, but as per usual, we decided to share everything we had so we both could get a taste of all the food. However, based on the description of this dish and the fact that it had FOUR chilies next to it on the menu, I was really scared to try this soft shell crab because I’m not the biggest fan of super spicy food.

I was feeling really adventurous (and hungry), tho, so I decided to give it a go.

It was mind blowing. No, really. I was expecting something so spicy that I was going to need like three glasses of water, and that wasn’t the case, which made me super happy.

Taking into consideration this dish and the chili sauce from the scallops, I can tell that even though these dishes are definitely spicy, they’re not the kind of spice that overpowers the rest of the flavors. Instead, the chili somehow brings out the best in every other ingredient in each dish, which to me is absolutely amazing.

Also, we both were the biggest fans of the soft shell crab because we love seafood and crispy food, and this was the perfect mixture between those two things!

My recommendation? Don’t be afraid of chili. At least not on Try Thai.

Garlic and Pepper Chicken: A classic stir fry bringing out the perfect balance between fresh garlic and pepper, topped with crispy garlic bits.

Garlic and pepper chicken with egg rice.

What I loved the most about this second dish was that it’s pretty customizable, since everyone can pick the protein they want to have with their dish. You can choose from chicken or pork, to prawn or even duck. There’s something for everyone on Try Thai!

Although it might sound too ‘garlicky’ by the description, it was just as with the chili dishes. The stir fry does bring the perfect balance between the garlic and pepper, without being too strong. This chicken was seasoned to perfection, but it’s definitely a garlic and pepper dish, so if you don’t like any of those two in your food, you might want to skip this one.

Overall, it was incredibly savory and I cannot really pick just one favorite between the two we had. They were both amazing and delicious in their own way.

We had a really good time, and we didn’t really need to wait much between the starters and the main dishes, which is always a big plus (specially if you’re getting hangry). The menu is really long because there’s something for everyone, but having some pictures makes the whole decision process easier and a little less overwhelming (and this is coming from someone who has a hard time deciding absolutely everything in life, ok?), so don’t let the long list scare you!

I’d definitely recommend Try Thai to anyone who wants a foodventure full of spice, flavor and interesting combinations, you won’t be disappointed!


That’s it for this dinner, mates. Thank you for reading me a don’t forget to subscribe (fill the box in the bottom right of this page) and follow me on Instagram (@michellelovestoeat) for more foodventures, yummy pictures, and food recommendations.

Talk to you on Thursday!