Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant Tasting Session

November 03, 2017 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant Tasting Session
5 Jalan Legundi

9 Tan Quee Lan Street


Opening Hours:
Daily: 11am - 2:30pm (Lunch), 6pm - 10:30pm (Dinner)



http://www.sawadee-cuisine.com/


This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, and Epicurious Caniggia.



Hor Mok Talay Khanom Krok / Thai Style Otah On Clay Plate (SGD $10 for 4 pieces / $16 for 7 pieces)



Delicious, Excellent Royal Thai Dishes

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 9
Value for Money: 8
Budget about SGD $32 per person.


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Established in November 2001 in the Sembawang area, Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant moved to its present location in the Bugis area in December 2013. Originally a casual family restaurant, Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant has since rebranded itself to a mid-range restaurant proper, though they still serve up delicious Thai royal cuisine, which is notable for being less spicy than regular Thai cuisine. As such, Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant has gained quite a following, from corporates who frequently place large orders, to expats who want accessible Thai dishes.

Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant Exterior
Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant Exterior


Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant Interior
Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant Interior



Ambience at Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant is inspired by the traditional Sbai / Sabai, and exudes an elegant Asian sophistication. The warmly lit place has gorgeous golden drapes cascading in languid waves across the ceiling, traditional ornaments lining the walls, and stylized Thai inscriptions on the pillars. The sturdy and comfortable wooden furniture is neatly lined against dark cushioned booths, but spaced rather close together. Gentle rhythms of piped-in Thai jazz music play in the background, lending to the relaxed atmosphere. On a subsequent visit, I realised the place can get slightly stuffy and warm when the place is crowded.

Decor


Decor



Service at Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant is similar to those of fine dining restaurants. Staff are friendly and professional, courteous and efficient, ensuring diners are comfortable and well taken care of. They display decent product knowledge, able to briefly describe the components of dishes. I like that they proactively offer to clear away empty / dirty plates throughout the meal, as well as offer to top up / get more drinks. The level of attention staff accords to each table feels personalised, and I feel it's a strong reason why so many guests return to dine here again.

Table Setting


Serving
Serving



Food at Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant is tasty, hearty, and freshly prepared to order. While familiar favourites from Thai cuisine feature on the menu, they specialise in Thai royal cuisine, which means dishes are beautifully presented, yet are usually less spicy or sour, and more sweet, savoury, or salty in flavour. They insist on using only quality imported ingredients from Thailand, so each dish is a work of art, both for the eyes, and on the palate. Portions are sized for small group communal dining, and should be shared. Prices are mid-range, but good value for money for the excellent quality. Budget about SGD $32 per person for a meal here.

Range Of Desserts



The Thai Milk Tea (SGD $5.50) has a milky, creamy texture, with bold flavours of earthy black tea and light milk. A tad sweeter in flavour than other versions elsewhere, but it's undeniably tasty.

Thai Milk Tea
Thai Milk Tea (SGD $5.50)



The Thai Green Milk Tea (SGD $5.50) replaces the black tea with green tea, and has a slight infusion of pandan / screwpine leaf, giving it a more floral aroma. Good!

Thai Green Milk Tea
Thai Green Milk Tea (SGD $5.50)



The Butterfly Pea Flower Tea (SGD $5.50) is a vibrant, elegant beverage, infused with the essence of butterfly pea flowers. It's light on taste, which is why a shot of lime juice is provided on the side, to give it a zesty sour taste profile. Pour it in, and watch the colour change!

Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
Butterfly Pea Flower Tea (SGD $5.50)



The basic Khao Hom Mali / Steamed Thai Jasmine Rice (SGD $1) is well executed, soft and slightly sticky in texture, with a delicate grainy flavour. It makes a good staple to pair with curries here.

Khao Hom Mali / Steamed Thai Jasmine Rice
Khao Hom Mali / Steamed Thai Jasmine Rice (SGD $1)



It's rare to see the Miang Kham / Betel Leaf Wrap (SGD $12 / $18) appetizer being served, because it's an uneconomical dish for many restaurants, requiring a lot of time and skill to prepare, yet has low profit margin and not much appeal to diners. This popular Thai street food features a wrap of betel leaves, filled with hand grated and toasted coconut, lime cubes, red onions, ginger, unsalted roasted peanuts, dried shrimp, and bird's eye chili. It's dressed in a sauce made from dried shrimp paste, corn syrup, shredded coconut, sugar, light soy sauce, fish sauce, galangal, and tamarind juice. The overall flavour profile is zesty, sour, sweet, savoury, salty, bitter, earthy, herbal, spicy, with textures of crunchy, juicy, creamy, grainy, chewy. I personally like this.

Miang Kham
Miang Kham / Betel Leaf Wrap (SGD $12 / $18)


Betel Leaf Wrap
Miang Kham / Betel Leaf Wrap



The Yam Som O / Pomelo Salad (SGD $12 / $18) is a unique take, with chunks of juicy sweet sour pomelo, tossed with fresh meaty sweet river prawns, savoury minced pork, and crunchy roasted peanuts. Garnished with spring onions, this non-spicy take on the dish has a beautiful contrast of flavours, yet it works very well in harmony. Good!

Pomelo Salad
Yam Som O / Pomelo Salad (SGD $12 / $18)


Yam Som O
Yam Som O / Pomelo Salad



The Yam Ma Muang / Green Mango Salad (SGD $12 / $18) resembles the classic Thai version, except it's less spicy, so the sour flavours are more pronounced. The crunchy strips of shredded green mango, mixed with dried shrimp and chili, are refreshing on the palate. There is still a slight bit of heat here, just about tickling the tastebuds. Nice.

Yam Ma Muang
Yam Ma Muang / Green Mango Salad (SGD $12 / $18)


Green Mango Salad
Yam Ma Muang / Green Mango Salad



The Hor Mok Talay Khanom Krok / Thai Style Otah On Clay Plate (SGD $10 for 4 pieces / $16 for 7 pieces) is hand made here, using fresh mackerel fish and cuttlefish, mashed into a smooth, bouncy seafood paste. Flavoured with chili and herbs, it has a savoury fishy herbal spicy taste. I love the presentation on the earthenware clay plates, which has been hand crafted by traditional artisans. Understand it's difficult to find such plates these days, because it's a dying trade, and shops in Thailand are switching to aluminium versions instead. This dish is excellent. Highly recommended!

Thai Style Otah On Clay Plate
Hor Mok Talay Khanom Krok / Thai Style Otah On Clay Plate (SGD $10 for 4 pieces / $16 for 7 pieces)


Hor Mok Talay Khanom Krok
Hor Mok Talay Khanom Krok / Thai Style Otah On Clay Plate



The Khor Moo Kurobuta Yang / Grilled Kurobuta Pork Collar (SGD $22) features tender, moist, savoury strips of grilled kurobuta pork collar, meaty with a slight chew. Lovely hint of smoky aroma, and I like the little bits of fat within the meat. Served with a sweet spicy dipping sauce for flavour. Having tried this twice, I realised I received a lean cut of pork on the 1st visit, but got a more fatty cut on the 2nd visit, which made the meat more succulent.

Khor Moo Kurobuta Yang
Khor Moo Kurobuta Yang / Grilled Kurobuta Pork Collar (SGD $22) - 1st Visit


Grilled Kurobuta Pork Collar
Khor Moo Kurobuta Yang / Grilled Kurobuta Pork Collar - 1st Visit


Khor Moo Kurobuta Yang / Grilled Kurobuta Pork Collar - 2nd Visit


Khor Moo Kurobuta Yang / Grilled Kurobuta Pork Collar - 2nd Visit



While I felt the Por Pea Poo / Crab Spring Rolls (SGD $10 / $15) could have been less greasy, the flavours of the fresh mackerel fish, squid, and prawns / shrimp, stuffed within the crisp spring roll rice paper wrapper is spot on. Nicely sweet savoury, the fragile wrapper crunches satisfiyingly, and the Thai sweet chili dipping sauce complements it.

Crab Spring Rolls
Por Pea Poo / Crab Spring Rolls (SGD $10 / $15)


Por Pea Poo
Por Pea Poo / Crab Spring Rolls


Por Pea Poo / Crab Spring Rolls



The Gaeng Phed Ped Yang / Panaeng Red Curry Roast Duck (SGD $17) features a creamy, rich red curry gravy, with tender roasted duck, pineapples, and lychees. The obvious difference with Royal Thai cuisine shows here, the taste of the red curry gravy is sweet instead of spicy. The duck lends a savoury contrast, while the fruity sweet lychee and sweet sour pineapple lend layers of taste. Personally, I prefer this to be savoury spicy instead, but as is, the dish is not too bad at all. It's tasty, and pairs well with rice.

Panaeng Red Curry Roast Duck
Gaeng Phed Ped Yang / Panaeng Red Curry Roast Duck (SGD $17)


Gaeng Phed Ped Yang
Gaeng Phed Ped Yang / Panaeng Red Curry Roast Duck



Among our favourite dishes was the Kra Por Pla Phad Hang / Fried Fish Maw With Bean Sprouts (SGD $14 / $20), a Thai Chinese fusion dish. Bright and crunchy bean sprouts, carrying a smoky aroma and vegetal sweet flavour, stir-fried with spongy fish maw and eggs. Bold flavours of sweet savoury eggy on the palate, completely delicious. Pure comfort food. Highly recommended!

Kra Por Pla Phad Hang
Kra Por Pla Phad Hang / Fried Fish Maw With Bean Sprouts (SGD $14 / $20)


Fried Fish Maw With Bean Sprouts
Kra Por Pla Phad Hang / Fried Fish Maw With Bean Sprouts



The Neau Ribeye Black Angus Yang / Pan-Seared Black Angus Beef Ribeye (SGD $32) is their take on the Thai dish of Crying Tiger / Weeping Tiger. A 220g of black angus beef ribeye is seared to a medium-rare doneness, sprinkled with salt and served with an unusual side of green curry dipping sauce. The beef is nicely tender, juicy, and savoury salty, and you can taste the smoky aroma on the meat. The green curry dipping sauce is done Royal Thai style, and is actually pretty sweet. On its own, each component is tasty and well executed. However, I personally felt that the taste conflicted if both were paired together, though I understand there seems to be many who prefer it this way.

Neau Ribeye Black Angus Yang
Neau Ribeye Black Angus Yang / Pan-Seared Black Angus Beef Ribeye (SGD $32)


Neau Ribeye Black Angus Yang / Pan-Seared Black Angus Beef Ribeye


Pan-Seared Black Angus Beef Ribeye
Neau Ribeye Black Angus Yang / Pan-Seared Black Angus Beef Ribeye



The Pla Nueng Manau / Spicy Steamed Sea Bass Fish (SGD $32) features a large, fresh whole sea bass fish, steamed and so full of its natural juice. Lovely delicate sweet savoury flavour, the fish meat is moist and tender, coming easily off the bone. Served in a home made, sour spicy gravy, fragrant with garlic and spring onions, which complements the natural taste of the fish. However, in a line-up of stellar dishes, the majority of which are unique or outstanding, this comes in somewhere near the bottom. In any other place, this would have been a good dish. But here, it just feels underwhelming, not as special as the other dishes.

Spicy Steamed Sea Bass Fish
Pla Nueng Manau / Spicy Steamed Sea Bass Fish (SGD $32)


Pla Nueng Manau
Pla Nueng Manau / Spicy Steamed Sea Bass Fish


Pla Nueng Manau / Spicy Steamed Sea Bass Fish



Loved the Peek Kai Sord Sai / Stuffed Chicken Wings (SGD $12 / $18), where the chicken wings were deboned, mixed with corn or string beans (depends on availability), straw mushrooms, herbs, then formed back into its original shape and deep-fried. Piping hot, incredibly juicy, nicely savoury salty earthy in taste. Good enough on its own, it's served with a sweet chili dipping sauce on the side. Highly recommended!

Peek Kai Sord Sai
Peek Kai Sord Sai / Stuffed Chicken Wings (SGD $12 / $18)


Stuffed Chicken Wings
Peek Kai Sord Sai / Stuffed Chicken Wings


Peek Kai Sord Sai / Stuffed Chicken Wings



The Khao Phad Nam Liap / Sawadee Olive Fried Rice (SGD $14 / $20) is a complete meal on its own. The smoky olive fried rice is earthy savoury in flavour, decently executed though some bits were clumpy. Served with a garnish of dried shrimp, lime cubes, bird's eye chili, and stir-fried chicken strips, which had a moist interior with bold savoury flavour, and a slightly crisp exterior. Mix everything together for a balanced mouthful. Worth ordering!

Sawadee Olive Fried Rice
Khao Phad Nam Liap / Sawadee Olive Fried Rice (SGD $14 / $20)


Khao Phad Nam Liap
Khao Phad Nam Liap / Sawadee Olive Fried Rice



The Khao Phad Talay / Superior Seafood Fried Rice (SGD $18 / $28) is a premium Thai Chinese fusion dish, with white rice stir-fried alongside fresh deshelled crab meat, meaty sweet prawns, and conpoy. Lovely savoury sweet flavours, a crisp garnish lends a nice crunchy contrast to texture. I did feel the smoky wok hei / breath of the wok was underwhelming though. Personally, I thought this was the weakest dish here.

Khao Phad Talay
Khao Phad Talay / Superior Seafood Fried Rice (SGD $18 / $28)


Superior Seafood Fried Rice
Khao Phad Talay / Superior Seafood Fried Rice



Made the mistake of eating the Khao Neow Turian / Mao Shan Wang Durian Sticky Rice (SGD $12) first, and was blown away by the intense taste. The premium Mao Shan Wang / Cat Mountain King durian puree is rich, creamy, sweet, pungent, incredibly tasty. The nicely chewy sticky glutinous rice has a light sweet flavour, and a garnish of sesame seeds lends some crunch to texture.

Mao Shan Wang Durian Sticky Rice
Khao Neow Turian / Mao Shan Wang Durian Sticky Rice (SGD $12)


Khao Neow Turian
Khao Neow Turian / Mao Shan Wang Durian Sticky Rice



The Tup Tim Krob / Red Ruby (SGD $6) is served chilled in a rich, fragrant coconut milk broth. Within, the crunchy water chestnuts, tender coconut strips, and pliant jackfruit all contribute a fruity earthy sweet flavour. A delightful dessert. Choose to add-on a large scoop of creamy coconut ice cream for more enjoyment.

Tup Tim Krob
Tup Tim Krob / Red Ruby (SGD $6)


Red Ruby
Tup Tim Krob / Red Ruby


Tup Tim Krob / Red Ruby, With Coconut Ice Cream (SGD $9.50)


Tup Tim Krob / Red Ruby, With Coconut Ice Cream



The Khao Neow Ma Muang / Mango Sticky Rice (SGD $7) is a classic dessert, given a fashionable makeover, with the sticky chewy glutinous rice infused with butterfly pea flower, imparting a vibrant colour. Large cubes of fresh juicy sweet mango are generously heaped over, along with a coat of crisp roasted mung beans, which lend a nice crunch. Absolutely loved this dessert. Highly recommended!

Mango Sticky Rice
Khao Neow Ma Muang / Mango Sticky Rice (SGD $7)


Khao Neow Ma Muang
Khao Neow Ma Muang / Mango Sticky Rice



Loved the overall dining experience at Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant, with its relaxing ambience, good service, and delicious Thai royal food. Great for communal dining, though the mid-range prices means it's better value for weekly meals or special occasions. I've since returned to Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant for more.


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Reserve a table now @ Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant









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