The popular eatery which has its own cult following will open its new premises in the heart of Aberdeen.
A Thai street food restaurant which was a vendor in the liquidated Aberdeen Market and left homeless when the venue shut down, will open in a new location today.
Mew Garthley will relaunch her food offering in her new premises Madame Mews Thai Restaurant & Bar on Summer Street, formerly home to cheese restaurant Flippin Cheese.
The 70-seater restaurant will be stripped back to seat 45 to 50 covers due to one-metre social distancing rules.
Open seven days a week from 10am to 8pm, Angus Kerr, operations director of the business and Mew’s fiancee, says he and Mew have taken months to find a new home suitable for the business.
He said: “Mew moved into the Aberdeen Market in 2013/2014. The market closed initially and then went into administration which meant we couldn’t get our equipment out for ages. We didn’t have a premises so we have been trying to find somewhere we could call home for a while.
“We were actually starting to potentially look for a second place before the market closed. In the market we were restricted to closing at 5pm and we couldn’t serve alcohol. We were considering keeping it as a cafe and then opening a restaurant elsewhere as it was always really busy at lunchtime and weekends. Circumstances changed and we hit lockdown.
“We had looked at a premises on Shiprow but then we looked at another premises which we had to walk away from. Then this one came up and the landlord was just brilliant. We’ve turned it all around in three weeks.”
Loyal cult following
A popular haunt in the market, Angus is looking forward to welcoming loyal clientele to the new venue, and says it has been great to also bring on new staff, too, especially during these challenging times for hospitality.
He said: “We have no idea what it is going to be like – we’ve never seen so many bookings come in within 24 hours of announcing on social media. People have clearly been waiting to come.
“Some of the staff who were working in the market will be working here, and we’ve also employed some new staff, too. I think we’ll have around 12 to 14 members of staff. We had a capacity of around 55 in the market, but we wouldn’t have had that with Covid-19, so to have 45-50 just now is great, and once things go back to normal the capacity will be 70. We’re also looking to get an alcohol licence so we’re in the process of organising all of that.”
What’s on the menu?
While the food offering will be similar to choices offered at the market, Angus promises that once the first few months are under their belt, the menu will be reworked after the New Year, adding a range of new dishes .
He added: “For the opening we’re keeping the same menu we had in the market and the same prices – but we’ll revamp everything after the New Year. With everything that’s going on we’ve decided to stick with what we know initially, and then we’ll expand. It’s what out customers know too.
“Traditional Thai street food is what we really do. There’s the salads, chicken, pork and beef starters which are popular. Mew’s Pad Thai is probably one of the best sellers and I think the Tom Yum soup is also a big hit. The typical Thai curries like Massaman and red curry are the main popular ones. Spring rolls and other starters are also in demand. Everything is freshly cooked and it is mainly a lunchtime or evening offering.”
And for those still not confident in venturing out to restaurants, Madame Mews will be offering orders for collection to take away, and is looking to partner with local food delivery businesses.
“We’ll offer collection for takeaway initially, and we’re in talks with the likes of Just Eat and Deliveroo and other delivery services to be able to offer delivery as well. We will also be able to offer online booking soon, too,” said Angus.
“For the moment customers have to book by telephone but we’re hoping to get this sorted out for next week.
“It is nice to be able to open again after seven months of being closed. We’ve not been able to do anything for a long time, so it will be nice to get customers into the new venue and welcome regulars and new faces, too.”