Sabai sabai…

(I’m taking a quick break from my Kuching posts today to blog about this new place in town that I went to last week – those will resume tomorrow…and incidentally, this is NOT a paid post.)

I love Thai cuisine and of course, I was excited when I heard that they were going to open another Thai place in town and if you’re wondering what the title of the post means, it is the title of a very popular Thai song and it means “happy, comfortable, feeling fine, take it easy.

It is in the midst of the new blocks of shops in the vicinity of Simpang Tiga, the junction of Jalan Kpg Hilir and Jalan Kpg Nangka and what formerly was known as Race Course Road, right beside this place that I do frequent quite regularly. If you are standing in the lane in between the two facing the shops, that one is to the right and this one…

Sakhon Thai Restaurant

…is to the left. For one thing, the signs are not all that prominent – there is this one…

Sakhon 1

…at the side of the building and this rather small one…

Sakhon 2

…in front.

There are two sections – the non-airconditioned one with these very nice and interesting caricatures…

Sakhon caricatures

…on the wall. You can take note of the GPS coordinates at the bottom (right), if you think you are going to need that. Oh? Mango sticky rice? Hmmmm…my favourite Thai dessert! I don’t think I saw that on their soft-opening menu though – will certainly have to put in a special request for that to be made available the next time I drop by. I was told that this would be their eat-and-go section for people stopping by briefly for say, a bowl of noodles and leaving as soon as they finish.

Well, I was there…

Sakhon aircon section

…last week upon the invitation of my friend and ex-student, an ex-blogger himself, Alex, brother of Andrew, to join him for the food tasting session that those people had arranged for him and he also invited my friend and ex-classmate, Robert and two others – five of us altogether.

As for the name of this place, it is actually the province in Thailand where their Thai chef and his wife came from. I hear there is another one coming once they’ve got the immigration matters settled so when that one gets here, there will be three of them altogether.

I don’t think this is on their soft-opening menu (Well, it wasn’t then, at the time of writing, but according to their Facebook page, it is now!), their mieng kham or the Thai leaf-wrapped snack…

Sakhon Mieng Kham

I’ve seen people blogging about it like it is something really special, a must-try and I sure was glad to be given the chance. You take the betel leaf (daun kadok/kaduk) and put a bit of each condiment in it – the thinly-sliced serai (lemon grass) and little cubes of lime, the ginger and garlic bits, the peanuts and udang kering (dried prawns), the sliced shallots and the cili padi…and then, you add the sambal dip to it, wrap it all up and eat. Frankly, looking at all those, I did not expect it to be anything to get excited about but it was love at first bite! The combination tasted so good and I sure would love to have that again. I certainly hope they will put it down as a permanent feature in their menu (It sure looks like they have done just that now!)

The yum woon sen (glass noodle salad)…

Sakhon glass noodle salad
*My friend, Robert’s photo on Facebook*

…and the som tam (green papaya salad)…

Sakhon som tam

…were both very good but do watch out for the bits of cili padi if you are not into things extremely spicy. Should you bite into those, you would be calling for glass after glass of water, I’m sure…but I loved it! The chili and the sourish taste, the peanuts, the lemon grass and so on are among those unmistakable features of Thai cuisine without which it will not be the same, not at all.

We tried a bowl of the celebrated boat noodles (beef)…

Sakhon boat noodles

…but no, we did not think it was anything that we would want to have bowl after bowl after bowl of it and pile them all sky high like what I had seen in some blogs…and horror of horrors, some of those bowls at some outlets in KL were (badly) chipped!!! Tsk! Tsk! I am not surprised though considering that they have hundreds, maybe thousands, of bowls to wash each day. To me, it was some kind of trend, a passing phase – I do not hear of nor read about it anymore these days, so that obviously speaks volumes.

The green curry was very nice…

Sakhon green curry

…and I was enjoying a lot of that until Alex noticed that there were slices of bamboo shoots in it and he started eating and enjoying them. Oh? That was it – I didn’t have any more of it after that for fear of a gout attack and thankfully, I was all right the next day. I guess it all depends on one’s state of health at any point in time.

The massaman beef curry…

Sakhon massaman curry
*Another one of my friend, Robert’s photos on Facebook*

…was really good too and since I was staying away from the green curry, I indulged in this one, drowning my rice with the lovely gravy and yes, the chunks of meat were very nicely done too, very tender indeed.

This dish of stuffed sotong (squid)…

Sakhon stuffed sotong

…was good as well, a little milder in taste compared to the curries and a little sourish and yes, I did like it very much too…and yes, we all liked the tom yam

Sakhon tom yam

…too.

The Thai fried chicken wings…

Thai fried chicken wings

…was…like fried chicken. After all those strong flavours in the preceding dishes, I could not taste anything much, Thai or otherwise, in the seasoning prior to the frying – I did not try eating it with the dip though so maybe I would like it a lot more if I had done that. Having said that, I would say that it would be a good dish to keep on the menu as there may be people coming with children and they will not be able to handle all the spicy stuff and as we all know, kids all love chicken wings!

According to Andrew, Alex’s brother, these salt and pepper shrimps…

Sakhon salt and pepper shrimps

…were supposed to be served as appetisers for people to munch while waiting for their orders but that night, they came last so of course, they paled in comparison to all that came before. Besides, the shrimps were kind of small and tasted rather bland, none of the sweetness and taste of fresh prawns.

I did not get to try their pandan chicken and I noticed that they did not have pad Thai nor pineapple fried rice on their soft-opening menu…and neither did they have those lovely Thai fish cakes either. They are still working on it though – what to add and what to drop from their menu.

If you are so into Thai cuisine like me, do drop by this newbie in town – the Sakhon Thai Restaurant and give it a try. Thanks to Alex for the invitation and the people concerned for arranging the food tasting session. I did enjoy most of what we had and yes, I would be coming back, that’s for sure.

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Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

16 thoughts on “Sabai sabai…”

  1. Im the first commenter! LOL…
    The place looks so nice and new! And , clean too, with nice environment and ambiance. wow…love all the thai food here! I love thai food though I don’t take too much as my stomach cannot tahan the spices and fried stuffs.

    I guess that is why you always go for the very much milder Japanese food. I did not use to take anything spicy till I was in Singapore in the 70’s, hanging out with my friend from Penang and going to the nasi Padang places…and my missus cannot survive without chili so now I am more or less like that too. That is why I prefer ASEAN cuisines more than all the rest, stronger tastes and extra hot.

  2. The Thai food sure looks good though I would make a special request for them not to put in any chili padi into any of the dishes if I were to order them. I have eaten mieng kham and love it. There is a Thai restaurant here with the name Sabye Sabye.

    Is this place pork free since you all tried the beef boat noodles instead of pork boat noodles?

    Yes, it’s a Muslim-owned place. I know one of the owners’ grandma used to own a very popular Malay/nyonya restaurant here in the 60’s or 70’s. Runs in the family, I guess.

    Gee! Superstitious folks would not call their place bye-bye, I’m sure. Watch out for one in Kuching, Wang Full – that is more like it. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Cili padi is an integral part of Thai cuisine – would not be the same without it, a missing link. My missus eats it all the time so I am fine with it but it only has that vicious kick – I still prefer the taste and fragrance of regular chili.

  3. The food looked good. Nicely presented.

    Suddenly few Thai restaurants open in Sibu???

    Pretty good, sure wouldn’t mind dropping by again. Yes, for so long, no Thai places here – then one no good one, one that did not last very long – no publicity, and now we have two worth checking out.

  4. All looks good but unfortunately, this typical cina not really into Thai food. Am not much into hot & spicy stuff.

    You’re sure you’re not Foochow? From Sibu? πŸ˜›

  5. How nice, another Thai restaurant! I love Thai food. I have never tried the mieng kham. Quite a combination of flavors there. And I see those sliced cili padi. Though I love chilies and generally can tolerate the heat, I surrender if the cili padi is too hot. There is a red variety that is super hot.

    We have the lantern ones here, reputed to be the hottest chilies in the world. I would not dare try. These cili padi, I am fine with them but I only put two or three bits in my mieng kham, very nice – my missus would definitely put more. She likes it extra hot.

  6. Bit weird to see the tiny shrimps so late in the post, also the GPS coordinate won’t route me there!

    No? Is there some problem with that? I dunno this GPS thing, me – dinosaur but I googled and this was what I got – the exact location: 2.308124, 111.820579, pretty close. That would be Latitude 2.308124 and Longitude 111.820579, I suppose? .

    Ya, if those shrimps were meant to be appetisers, then they should come first…not last and anyway, they were small…and bland, none of the sweetness of prawns – not anything I would want to order. They might as well give fried ikan bilis with sliced Bombay onions and a squeeze of lime instead.

  7. Omigosh it’s like you guys devoured the entire menu here! πŸ˜‰ everything looks tasty but the love-at-first-bite item for me would be the massaman … That’s actually my favourite thai curry. I love its creamy nuttiness, and it’s not too spicy, heh πŸ˜‰

    Yes, my first time eating that and yes, it was so good. I so loved it! For sure I would order that the next time I drop by here. I hear they have duck in KL, massaman duck curry. Dunno if there is any halal duck around here – perhaps I can get my friend, Mary, at the other Thai place in town to cook that. I love duck, would love to try it done this way.

    There are a few more things on their menu, though not a really elaborate one – they said it was their soft opening menu…but somebody said that they have drawn up their actual menu already by now.

  8. W0w..so many choices of Thai food! I love Thai anytime… food and the country too! There is a shop in Ipoh called Sabai, the owner married a Thai lady and I love to go there for dinner… Yummsssss!!

    Oh? You do? I thought the cili padi would make you run a mile away! But actually, if you do not bite into those, it is not hot – like the salads, sour and nice…and if you avoid the sprinkling of cili padi, you are safe. The curries are not hot, and they are so flavourful, so tasty. I would go for Thai anytime…over Korean or Japanese or any western cuisine.

  9. Food looks good but how is it price wise? I love Thai cuisine and yes, mango sticky rice is my fav too.

    I did catch a glimpse of the total for everything on the cashier’s screen “by accident”, rice and drinks inclusive and it was only around RM150.00 for 5 persons. Not too bad, eh?

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