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by James Scott

When it comes to food, it always comes down to taste, presentation, price and of course atmosphere plays a big role as well. So when I initially tried May's they were a Food stall like no other. They started at KISS Food Rompo Market across from Soi 5 on Jomtien 2nd road. They operated from a food cart, but it was clear they were different, with a full temporary kitchen set up behind the booth, proper chairs and tables, and an actual menu NOT in a plastic folder! Their presentation and food was above the street cart level for sure and was something you would expect to find in a much larger and expensive restaurant. Well, word spread quickly and they very quickly became the hot place to go. Now, obviously a street cart could hold them no longer so they opened a full size restaurant in November at Ratanakorn Market on Thepasit called MAY's Urban Thai Dine. Many people, even locals have no idea what is hidden inside this market ( See more in this months Location Feature), but their loyal customers and glowing trip advisor reviews have made this a place worth seeking out. With a modern minimal design take on the thatched roof outdoor restaurant look, MAY's is the perfect place to spend your evenings. Their menu focuses on Thai dishes with a modern slant. It is evident that May's history at 5 star restaurants internationally has influenced her to create amazing dishes that both Thai and foriegners alike will enjoy. Not to mention she brings boundless energy and a constant smile whether you are the first customer of the day or the last. When you first arrive you will notice a very relaxed atmosphere with antique style light bulbs and chilled lounge music. After choosing your table you will be greated with a welcome drink and often a appetizer sample. The menu has photographs for each item to wet your appetite and maybe even help you venture into dishes you wouldn't normally try. My personal favorites are the calamari, MAY's curry, and Fried Sea Bass with sweet chili. After some deliciously crispy spring rolls in a sweet spicy sauce, I decided on a prawn theme. I tried a classic Pad Thai which was anything but typical, presented in a omlette pouch and a big River Prawn perched atop of an omlette exploding with pad Thai noodles. This came with a full tray of assorted chilis, fish sauce, nuts, and sugar to mix to my taste. There is a reason Pad Thai is a classic, I never get tired of it and I will certainly be coming back here to eat it again. Next on the menu was Roasted Prawn in glass noodles with fresh herbs, I can never seem to get enough of these delicious noodles, they are so delicious and light and they soak up all the spices and flavored sauce they are cooked in. The four Giant grilled prawns defending the noodles where no match for this hungry diner and were quickly devoured. Finally I veered off the prawns slightly with the Black Pepper and Garlic Crab, this dish was presented more like art than food. The large cracked pepper and chunky garlic loaded the already delicious crab with a crunchy zing, and yes it tasted as good as it looked. Absolutely stuffed, we decided to relax and enjoy the atmosphere with virgin Mojitoes, a dinner well done. Whether you are looking for a chilled restaurant to eat before a night at the clubs, or a place to meet some friends for cocktails and dinner stop by at MAY's Urban Thai Dine on Thepasit Road in Ratanakorn Market next to the Colosseum Cabaret Show. Open Monday to Saturday 5pm to 7pm Call for reservations at 098-374-0063 or visit MAYSURBANTHAIDINE on Facebook