Sawasdee kha! Last week my sister and I were invited to the Zomato April meetup and it was in this Thai place, Sawadee.
Sawadee was custom built to reflect the architecture of Thailand. Stepping into Sawadee through its Ponsonby Road entrance, we were greeted by friendly staff and a kind of mystical atmosphere. I love the incredible attention to detail in everything. Christienne thought that the beads and drapes, gold, royal blues and warm browns reminded her of what Peter Pan and the Lost Boys would have had if only they paid more attention to detail and they had a taste for Thai aesthetics. Just near the entrance is a traditional seating area that’s so beautifully presented (it’s been modified with space underneath the table so you don’t have to cross your legs and get cramps if you’re not used to it haha).
We were the first ones to arrive (we’re keenbeans like that) and our table was placed at the very end of the restaurant so we had time to wander a bit and appreciate the place.
My favourite thing ever was our table’s centrepiece, a carved watermelon. Did you know fruit and vegetable carving began 700 years ago in Sukothai, what is now known as the north of central Thailand? Awesome. Did you know the chef took only 20 minutes to make the centrepiece? Double awesomesauce. Still cannot get over it.
In a few minutes Yatchi and Tamara from Zomato arrived and our other companions streamed into the restaurant. It was pretty fun to meet the other bloggers/Zomato reviewers. It’s interesting to meet people you’ve only ‘met’ in the comments section (holla at Mina Ross especially haha). Obviously, I was slightly nervous because that’s just how I am with meeting people. We had a few drinks at the bar where I met the friendly owner (who told me something in Filipino which I didn’t understand…after which I don’t know how my awkward self continued – PS. the Philippines have a LOT of dialects, probably why I didn’t know what she said. But still. Awkward turtle time.)
It was a feast.
Starting with the entrees.
Gari Puff (left) which is Minced chicken with onion and Kumara in puff pastry and Toong Thong (middle and right) which are Money bags with a mix of prawns, chicken and Thai herbs. The pastry on the Gari Puff was crumbly and wonderful.
One of our favourite entrees, Sam Choy, which is brie deep fried in wonton pastry with Thai Herbs. The pastry was nicely done – not oily nor dry. The Thai herb-mixed brie was liquid heaven. We were happy to eat many of these. Lovely ~
The satay, grilled chicken with the peanut sauce. The chicken was nicely tender with wonderful texture that my sister referred to as ‘cuddly as a baby’ (gasp!). Babies aside, I am soooooo in love with the peanut sauce. There were other sauces you could experiment the chicken on (they tasted great too) but the peanut sauce was the bomb, slightly sweet nuttiness.
Onto the mains! We were served a generous amount of Jasmine rice on our plates when these came in.
I was pretty happy to eat with the spoon and fork. I didn’t realise Filipinos and Thais use them in the same way as main eating utensils. So ready to tuck in.
“It’s duck in a duck!”, my sister said. No. We all concluded it was a turkey. Haha. Cute plating aside, spicy stuff is what made me hesitant to eat lots of Thai food in the past. This Thai spicy duck salad (Larb Phed Lers Ros) rewarded me for trying out more spicy stuff. The heat was there enough to give a kick and a half but it’s not overwhelming. The lime based dressing gives good balance.
The prawn showdown.
Sweet and sour prawns – Goong Priew Wan (left) VS Goong Pad Phed – the marinated king prawns in curry sauce. First off, the massive prawns were just irresistible to begin and cooked perfectly. But in this showdown, as far as our side of the table was concerned, the Goong Pad Phed wins. That curry sauce is a winner.
Thai Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang Phu Torn) which is De-boned whole chicken leg with garlic, black pepper, coriander root and spicy tamarind sauce
on the side. Lovely tender chicken.
Sawadee’s most popular dish, Gai Sam Ros, stir fried chicken with a sweet chili paste and cashew nuts.
Beef! For some reason, we all got excited with beef but we were so stuffed at this point I don’t think we appreciated the California Beef well enough. I do remember enjoying the sauce on this dish.
That was a lot of food.
But we’re not forgetting the drinks.
Mmm the non-alcoholic drinks AKA mocktails. My sister had the fruit punch (right) she says that it’s nice and cold and looked a lot like Tequila Sunrise because of the grenadine. Highly recommended for sober drivers who want a non-alcoholic drink that is reminiscent of a very alcoholic one. I had the Bangkok punch (middle) that tasted like being on a tropical beach. Errr…I don’t remember what the other drink was (someone else’s haha).
The cocktails. I had the Japanese slipper. A cocktail of midori, cointreau and lime. The occasional drinker that I am nursed this cocktail for a long time it tasted like lime candy (that makes you feel funny) to me. Haha. I was about to get the long island iced tea(left) but it had four or five different liquers. Thank you to my fellow Zomato reviewers for saving me from a bad choice haha.
Fruits for desert!
That’s it for our big Sawadee feast.
Auckland bloggers/Zomato reviewers:
My Dining Journey/My Dining Journey
Mina Ross/Mina Ross
This is Meagan Kerr/This is Meagan Kerr
Move Love Eat/Move Love Eat
Nom Nom Panda/Nom Nom Panda
PS. Check me Sweets and Brains on Zomato