I had wanted to visit Sabai Sabai Kitchen and Bar for the longest time but never had a chance to until now. It was ML’s “farewell good-bye” party since she was leaving the country to pursue her dreams — what an amazing, ambitious, and brave woman! She booked this restaurant for dinner to see all of her friends again before she departed. I was very excited to try this Thai restaurant out and to see her and some familiar faces again.
The dinner reservation was booked at 8:30 p.m. and several of us showed up before that to get settled in. It was actually so nice to see some faces that I hadn’t seen in over five or six years. It was really nice to catch up and also to meet some new friends. 🙂 Thank you for organizing this, ML!
Since Sabai Sabai Kitchen and Bar is a tapas restaurant where most of the dishes are meant to be shared, our table decided to order an assortment of Thai dishes to try. That was definitely my favourite way to dine out! I actually thought that Sabai Sabai was an all-you-can-eat restaurant before; my mistake! Since ML had booked out so many tables that night — I believe there were 35 of us — the server came over to our tables to inform us that they would be separating the bills per table of four, which would make it a lot easier when it came to bill time.
(I tried a sip of the Thai Iced Coffee that Grace ordered and enjoyed it.)
For our table, we ended up ordering a lot of food! We ordered the Freshly Grated Squash Fritters, Khao Soi (one beef, one chicken), Panang Curry, Northern Thai Pork Skewers, and Grilled Satay Chicken from the regular menu; Spicy Coconut Noodles ‘Mee Kati’ and House-Made Spicy Lao Sausage from the Specials Menu.
Considering that we were such a large group and everyone ordered at the same time, I was a little fearful that the food would take a long time to come out of the kitchen (as that is what usually happens with large groups), but amazingly, the food came out in a short period of time! After we ordered, the food didn’t take long to arrive to our tables at all! This was very nice. 🙂
The Freshly Grated Squash Fritters arrived on a wide wooden board with some tamarind dip. This was really good! Any Thai restaurant for me will always remind me of my visit to Khao San Road where I had this similar dish. The one here at Sabai Sabai was quite delicious; especially the tamarind dip! The squash fritters were deep fried nicely and crispy too!
The Panang Curry (we chose it to come with chicken) contained red chili, lime leaf, and coconut cream. This was quite a small portion actually. We also ordered two bowls of brown rice to go with this curry. When the server asked us how many bowls of rice and what kind of rice we wanted (we could choose between white, brown, or sticky), she told us that each bowl of rice was quite small so we ordered two bowls. However, the bowl of rice actually turned out to be quite large! All four of us could have shared one bowl of rice since we had ordered so many other dishes anyway. Each bowl of rice turned out to be $3 which we thought was quite expensive…
The Panang Curry was delicious though! It was so creamy and smooth. The coconut cream really brought out the smoothness of the curry and it wasn’t too spicy either. It was a perfect fit with the brown rice! Yum. :9
The House-Made Spicy Lao Sausage was a pork belly sausage seasoned with fresh lemongrass, galangal, lime leaf, shallots, and spices. I thought this was delicious!! I am a huge fan of pork sausages and since this was made with a pork belly, this was a little fatty — but which made it so juicy as well. I really enjoyed it. It arrived freshly made to the table so it was quite hot when eating it. The sauce that it arrived with also brought a light and refreshing taste to the sausage. Yum!
The Spicy Coconut Noodles ‘Mee Kati’ were a surprise favourite to me. Half of our table didn’t like this dish but I actually loved it! There were thin rice noodles in this dish stir-fried with a spicy coconut milk sauce, ground chicken, and garnished with egg threads. The thin rice noodles in this dish were so thin that it blended perfectly with the ground chicken and egg threads. The rice noodles were so soft as well. All the flavours just blended together so well that it was so easy to eat. It reminded me of a bowl of comfort food. I ended up finishing the rest of this dish since no one else at the table enjoyed it as much as I did. 😛
The Northern Thai Pork Skewers came with a sweet and sour chili dip. (I thought that the containers for the dips could have contained more dip; many times I dipped the food into the container but didn’t get much dip on my food… Just look at the picture! How can anyone dip anything in something that shallow?) There were three skewers in this dish. The pork skewers were big and chunky. It reminded all of us of Chinese barbecued pork except that this one was bigger and meatier. It was not bad though.
The Khao Soi arrived with the well-known crispy egg noodles on top with the coconut milk and egg noodles in the broth. For this one, we chose to get one bowl with chicken and one bowl with beef (in hindsight, we should have ordered shrimp or fish instead of so much chicken and beef). The egg noodles were firm and the coconut milk broth was fairly good. However, I still have to say that the Khao Soi at Khao San Road still makes the best Khao Soi I’ve had thus far.
Lastly, the Grilled Satay Chicken arrived. It arrived with a peanut satay sauce and cucumber vinaigrette. The chicken meat was firm and not chewy or rough. It was pretty decent! The peanut satay sauce went well with the chicken as well. There were five skewers of chicken in this dish.
Our table was full by this point. It was good that some of the dishes overlapped on top of each other to fit at the table. We were all very full but managed to finish most of everything. If I were to visit Sabai Sabai Kitchen and Bar again, I would order more of their seafood dishes to try and more of their other dishes too.
Sabai Sabai Kitchen and Bar reminds me of a more cost-friendly Khao San Road where you get a lot of authentic Thai dishes. However, their quality was not as top notch as the former restaurant (in terms of taste). Also however, I appreciate the tapas style of eating so that you can definitely share a lot of great Thai dishes together with friends. They are a great place to host a party since there is a lot of space for you to go from table to table and the vibe is very energetic and fun. I also appreciated the server’s professionalism in dealing with our large party and how fast the food came out.
Have you been to Sabai Sabai Kitchen and Bar before? What was your experience like? 🙂