Address: 477 Malvern Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: (03) 9826 2888
Trading hours: Wed-Sat: 12pm-3pm (lunch), Tue-Sat: 5pm-11pm (dinner), Sun-Mon: closed
A modern take on traditional Thai food is what Sabai is all about. The husband and wife duo have innovated a new and creative menu that excites. The food is bold, balanced and presented with style. And did I mention totally delicious?
In Thai, Sabai means to be chill. And the relaxed atmosphere supports that vibe where you can pop in to eat for a little or a long time. You can spend time with your loved ones eating and relaxing. In fact this has now sparked my new mantra. Eat and be chill. Yep I like it.
The soft shell sliders were super cute. The mini buns were filled with crispy soft shell crab and a fresh apple slaw. I was worried I might get full on these because bread, but luckily the buns were fairly light so it wasn’t too filling. A great start to the meal. The only issue was deciding who got to eat the third slider out of the two of us.
Slow cooking does wonderful things to meat, which is why the pork baby back ribs were melt-in-your-mouth and were falling of the bone. The ribs were covered in a tasty red curry glaze, which was amazing with the pork. It was absolutely delicious.
When the duck salad came out I was in awe of its beauty. It was a colourful rainbow garden of deliciousness. The slices of duck were tender, the vegies were crisp and the herbs were fresh. The sauce had a lovely savoury zing and then there was the caramel popcorn. What? Yes you read correctly, caramel popcorn. It totally worked because it allowed me to add a bit of sweetness as I pleased. Granted I initially want to just eat all of the caramel popcorn on its own, but I found that throughout the dish I could add a pop of sweetness to enhance the flavour. It was awesome.
The barramundi was cut into bitesized chunks, battered and fried. It was accompanied with a fresh herb and apple salad and a sweet and sour dressing with chilli and lemongrass. There were lots of punchy flavours; a great balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy.
We were impressed when the lamb massaman hit the table. There was a big slow braised lamb shank sitting in the middle. The meat was soft and juicy and the curry was full of flavour. It had potatoes and cashews and a calming cinnamon flavour. It was delish. I liked that it had bold flavours but was light and not overly creamy or sweet. It came steamed rice and roti. Yum.
Now onto dessert. They make their own coconut ice-cream in-house and it’s super smooth and taste like fresh coconut. It’s served with a tropical assortment of jackfruit, lychee jelly and red syrup soaked water chestnuts.
The Thai tea panna cotta had that lovely sweet condensed milk tea flavour and was balanced with the tartness of the crushed frozen berries, fresh coconut and a little sprig of mint.
The affogato was unlike any affogato I had seen before. Instead of a scoop of ice-cream, there was a mini Magnum almond sitting in my Kahlua spiked espresso topped with toasted coconut. When you first pick up the mini magnum the chocolate is all melted and it is so good.
Each dish had a modern twist on Thai cuisine but the traditional Thai flavours were all there. It was full of flavour and presented with style.
I heart Sabai!
Sabai Thai Restaurant
Address: 460 Church St, Richmond VIC 3121
Phone: 03 8528 6884
Trading Hours: Mon-Fri: 11.30am-9.30pm Sat-Sun: 4pm-9.30pm
Son in law is a Thai restaurant in Collingwood that serves traditional Thai dishes with a modern twist. They have some creative fusion dishes like soft-shell crab green curry and fish patty sliders but they also have the more traditional dishes like tom yum and pad thai. We walked in hungry and left with big smiles on our faces. The food was amazing. And those son in law eggs….yum!
Drinks in jars. Love it.
Roti with satay sauce, always a good starter or side.
The fried chicken ribs were super crunchy and were topped with fresh chilli and spring onions. They came with a side of tangy nam jim jaew for dipping.
The tamarind salad was sweet, salty, sour and crunchy. It had green apple and pickled carrot and crispy noodles, crunchy been shoots and sweet toasted coconut. The combination of flavours totally worked.
The son in law eggs were my fave. It is said that a mother in law would serve these eggs to her son in law if she felt he needed to treat her daughter better. Without the exchange of words, this dish expresses to the son in law that he needs to pull his socks up. Pretty funny because my mum ordered two serves. And also they are so yum, so if i was the son in law i would act up all the time just so i can keep eating son in law eggs. These were sensational with the creamy yolk, sour tamarind sauce, heat from the fresh chilli and the freshness from the onions and micro herbs. Absolutely delish! Loved them.
The lamb massaman curry looked amazing. It came out with a big lamb shank topped with a stick of cinnamon, a star of aniseed and roasted cashews. The meat was tender it tore apart effortlessly and sweet potato was a twist to the classic massaman. The flavours complimented the lamb beautifully.
The soft-shell crab green curry was just as impressive. The crispy, battered, deep-fried soft-shell crab was placed upright, vertically emerging from a sea of green curry. The spicy, coconut, and thai basil flavours went perfectly with the soft-shell crab and I loved that it was unique.
The tempura broccoli and cauliflower was nice.
The vegetarian spring rolls were nice and crunchy and came with a sweet chilli sauce.
The grilled chicken skewers were marinated with a sweet smokey Thai sauce and topped with fresh chillies and spring onions.
The tofu betel leaf bites were cute. They had strips of tofu, peanuts, mint, lime, roasted coconut and tamarind sauce.
The vegetarian pad thai noodles were tasty in a well balanced spicy sauce.
The twice cooked pork belly was thinly sliced and covered in a sweet, and sticky chilli jam with green beans, been shoots and kaffir lime leaves.
For dessert they had these deep-fried puff pastries filled with Nutella and a bit of melted marshmallow. OMG they were amaze! They were like Thai curry puffs but instead of a savoury filling, they were filled with sweet justice with a scoop of hazelnut ice-cream on the side. I was met with the conflicting thoughts of wanting to eat it all myself, or share the enjoyment with my loved ones. This confusion was quickly resolved by ordering an additional serve. Crisis averted.
The steamed coconut pandan puddings were warm, sweet, creamy, and glutinous with a lovely coconut flavour. They were a nice little treat.
We also had the green tea ice cream and coconut sorbet which was refreshing.
Son in law is a great Thai restaurant that has a modern twist on traditional Thai dishes. The food is super tasty and has a good kick of flavour and freshness.
I heart Son In Law!
Son In Law
Address: 56 Johnston St, Collingwood VIC 3066
Phone: 03 9410 0399
Trading Hours: Fri-Sat: 12pm-4.30pm (lunch), Mon-Sun: 5.30pm-11.30 (dinner)
Kwan’s table is a Thai inspired café and patisserie that recently opened on Inkerman Street in St Kilda.You can visit Kwans for a savoury meal and stay for the sweets, which is what we did on this fine morning. They do modern Thai inspired meals like soft-shell crab in a brioche burger and deep-fried pork belly with an apple salad. Their desserts are inspired by French technique but incorporate Thai flavours like lychee, coconut, pandan and kaya. They only opened about 6 weeks ago but are already making a good impression around town.
It’s a cute little cafe. And the staff are lovely.
The pandan custard toast was insanely delicious. One mouthful and I was in love. The super thick toast was lathered in a warm smooth creamy pandan wonderland of deliciousness. A generous amount of custard was spread over the toast with toasted coconut sprinkled on top and was cut into bite size squares so it was easy to eat. Loved it. They also have a kaya (coconut jam) custard toast for those who love kaya.
The pork belly salad was lovely and fresh. The pork belly pieces were lightly battered and deep fried. The fresh salad had red cabbage, carrot, lettuce, spinach, slithers of apple, coriander and chopped peanuts in a sweet tangy dressing., which was just what I needed on this warm summer day.
We tried the oh-so-cheesy chilli cheese soldiers which was thick toast soldiers with cheese in the middle and cheese on top. It also had sliced red chilli, red onion and coriander scattered over the top. A tasty snack.
The lychee and raspberry charlotte had a beautiful raspberry and lychee mousse inside and was encased in a circular fence of mini sponge fingers. It was topped with fresh lychee and raspberries.
The mango and sticky rice macaron was great. Mango and sticky rice is a traditional Thai dessert but I certainly hadn’t had it inside a macaron before. It was a large sized macaron filled with layered mango and sticky rice bits. It think it had like a mango and sticky rice custard in there too. I know my mum would have loved this one.
And to top off a great brunch date, the coffee was awesome too. They use 5 senses and had bonsoy yay! And also I know I already mentioned this but the pandan toast was bom! I can foresee myself making regular stops to Kwan’s for coffee and pandan toast. In conclusion you need to mosey on down to Kwan’s table for a modern Thai adventure.
I heart Kwan’s Table!
Address: 7 Inkerman St, St Kilda VIC 3182
Phone: 03 9939 3153
Trading Hours: Tue-Sat: 11am-10pm, Sun: 10am-5pm, (closed on Mondays)
I remember the first time I went to Patee Thai. My friend and I stumbled upon the Brunswick street store and were taken to a world of Thai culture that we were not then familiar with. Years later, after multiple visits to Thailand, I realised why this particular restaurant stood out. It was authentic and gave us a peek into Thailand’s beautiful culture by exhibiting humble food made with care which was affordably priced. After the great success of the Fitzroy restaurant, one was also opened on Chapel street in Prahran. It has the same vibe as the first venue and the same awesome food, the only difference for me is that it’s a little closer to home (same same, but different). This is one of my favourite Thai restaurants and everything I’ve tried on the menu is mouth-wateringly delicious (literally salivating as I write this).
You can choose to be seated at a table with boring chairs or you can get right in, take your shoes off and sit on the floor. If you choose the floor option, there are cute cushions to sit on with triangular backrests to ensure a comfy stay. The only issue is that if you are like my bf (taller than the average bear) you may need to sit opposite a shorter person like me so you can stretch your legs out. Also, it’s probably not a good idea to wear your favourite shoes because you don’t want to spend your night entertaining the idea that someone might accidentally leave with them (negative thoughts clouding your subconscious can ruin your meal).
If you’re wondering what to order for the entrée you can always go the easy route and get the ‘mixed entrée’ where you get to try a variety of entrees. I adore the little ‘veg green curry puffs’ the pastry is really light and the filling is really tasty. Great starter. My friends think the vegetarian spring rolls are pretty awesome. The ‘garlic chive dumpling’ is yum, it’s sort of like a glutinous pancake with garlic chives served with a dark soy chili sauce. Yumm! And the satay skewers are good, partly because the satay sauce is amazing. The satay sauce goes with everything, with the skewers, with roti, with plain rice or even just by itself sluurrp. The roti is soft and subtly oily (which is part of its charm). It tastes even more delicious when eaten with copious amounts of the satay sauce.
Patee Thai make a good curry. The ‘chicken green curry’ and ‘lamb massaman’ are my favourites. The green curry has an incredible balance of flavour and is the perfect consistency not too thick, not too runny, it’s just right. The massaman is thick and moreish. It has an intense depth of flavour. The authentic flavours take you straight to Thailand with each mouthful.
The coconut rice is exactly the way I like it. It’s similar to plain steamed rice, just a little stickier with a sweet subtle taste of coconut. It taste delicious in its own right and it doesn’t take the spotlight off the main dishes. I always have to eat some just by itself om-nom-nom. It’s not milky or gooey like some coconut rice. It is a brilliant accompaniment to the flavoursome curries.
Patee Thai’s ‘pad thai noodles’ are the best and jam packed with flavour. I get the prawn pad thai noodles which have a few big juicy prawns, firm tofu pieces and crunchy peanuts with a squeeze of lemon to balance the flavours. It is absolutely delicious and completely authentic (except for when I get some cheeky broccoli added). Can’t go wrong with this dish, it’s remarkable every time.
Some of the other yummy menu options are the ‘grilled marinated chicken’ with turmeric, coriander and peanuts. It’s like bbq chicken pieces with the skin on. It has a delicious smoky barbequed flame-grilled flavour. The ‘fish fillet with kaffir lime leaf sauce’ is boneless lightly battered fish fillet bites drizzled with a sticky palm sugar sauce. The mango chicken is always a crowd pleaser. It’s battered chicken pieces with a sweet mango sauce. The ‘cashew prawns’ are big and juicy with a kick of chilli, served on a sizzling plate and the fried rice is a tasty accompaniment to any of the dishes. Patee Thai is one of those restaurants where everything on the menu is delicious.
If you’re a fan of the green leafies, the fresh ‘Asian greens with garlic and oyster sauce’ will be a hit. It’s fresh and full of flavour. It’s a good dish to share as a side or if you want to make this dish more substantial, ask them to add a protein like chicken or tofu.
My favourite dessert is the ‘Thai baked custard tart.’ The pastry is buttery and melts in your mouth and the custard is not too sweet. The Thai custard has a roasted coconut and palm sugar flavour, which is interesting and delectable. I appreciate the unpretentious plating, a simple slice of tart served with a scoop of ice-cream. Just like you’d serve it at home. And then sometimes you get a yummy after dinner chocolate mint with your bill.
I recommend to eat-in or pick up your take-away order especially on a busy Saturday night, because in the past I have had a few unhappy delivery moments. But the food has never disappointed. It always hits the mark. The food is reliable and always tastes the same. Delicious!
The theme of the restaurant is traditional Thai, which is represented through not only the food but also the décor and the staff’s attire. I totally dig their gold puffy pants. The dim lights provide a calming atmosphere and when that is coupled with a full tummy it can make you feel very sleepy zzzzz. Patee Thai comprises the essence of what Thailand is to me. Good food, polite people and a calm atmosphere.
I heart Patee Thai!
Addres: 135 Chapel street, Prahran
Phone: 03 9510 3060
Trading Hours: Monday-Sunday(Everyday)-6pm-10.30pm
As you walk into Chin Chin the décor has a sophisticated feel with a strong arty presence. You can’t forget a gigantic bright pink neon light in the shape of a bunny on the wall. On top of their contemporary take on Bangkok street food they also showcase and support works from local, international, emerging and established artists. This place is all about fresh and well-balanced food. We ordered the chilli salt chicken wings with coriander and fresh lemon as an entree. The chicken on its own seemed like ordinary fried chicken but when drizzled with a bit of lemon and dipped in the sauce, the flavours came alive. I was surprised at how delicious it could be for such a simple dish. My taste buds were excited and my palette was ready for the next dish.
The barramundi and caramelized pork salad was to follow and was equally as delicious. On the odd occasion I do make friends with salad, and this was one of those times. Hmm it’s probably not the kind of salad that you can eat on a diet and be proud of yourself, it’s not all that healthy but it is that delicious! The saltiness from the crispy fried barra and the sweetness from the melt-in-your-mouth caramelized pork combo is a perfect balance of flavours. It mixes perfectly with the fresh herbs and apple salad topped with Thai dressing and peanuts for crunch. Dream!
The chicken green curry with salted duck egg and pea eggplant is delicious. It had special ingredients in the dish that made it stand out from other Thai green curries. Firstly the pea eggplants were adorable little baby eggplants that added flavor, secondly the salted duck eggs were so salty that they gave the curry that punch and thirdly the zucchinis were cooked in a way where they had crunch on the outside but were perfectly cooked in the center so the texture was like they exploded in your mouth as you bit into them. So good! The Massaman curry, Pad Thai Noodles and Tom Kha Soup were all yum but nothing out of the ordinary.
For dessert I had the coconut sago, it was like an adventure in each spoonful. It began with the rich coconut creamy sago paired with a scoop of corn ice-cream (with subtle bits of sweet corn pieces) then came the toffee crunch of the praline and the pop of the puffed rice. Absolutely delicious!
Chin Chin is always very busy during the evenings and there are no reservations (except if you book one table of 10-12 peeps). It’s a walk-in restaurant so you should either go while the sun is still out or be prepared to wait. During peak dinner times it is not uncommon to wait for an hour or two or even sometimes three hours eeek. But you can waste some time at the gogo bar in the hip and happening basement downstairs while you wait. Just leave your details upstairs and they call your mobile when your table’s ready. Note: You can’t have a person book the table while the others make their way to the restaurant. You all have to be present to join the queue to be seated. Drats! However if you’re eating as a pair you can be seated at the bar for dinner, less eating space but delicious none the less.
I heart Chin Chin!
Adress: 125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Phone: 03 8663 2000
Trading Hours: Monday – Sunday 11am ’til late (7 days)