Authentic, homely Thai menu at Sabai Sabai Thai Private Kitchen
The borders are opening up and a vaccinated travel lane to Thailand is in sight.
But if the urge to have a taste of the Land of Smiles is too strong to resist, you are in luck. We have many Thai options here in Singapore, with varying degrees of authenticity and for a variety of budgets.
Sabai Sabai Thai Private Kitchen - newly opened at Valley Point - is high on authenticity and middle on the budget scale. When you taste the food, that feeling of being transported is enhanced.
Innovation is hardly the foundation of head chef Sombunnok Thanabordee's menu, but who needs that when so many are hankering for that familiar comforting taste.
The restaurant is designed to look like you are dining in someone's home.
I guess that is a trick to really drive home the domestic and unpretentious feeling. It works because it is an ideal setting for a homely meal.
And just like eating at home, be sure to order rice because many of the dishes are perfect with it. This will be the time to pause carb counting.
Tom yum is something many of us associate with Thailand and there are so many versions of it. This sour tangy spicy soup makes or breaks a Thai meal.
Here, the Tom Yum Thick (Seafood) ($11.80) makes it.
The blend of flavours is enhanced by the aroma of the kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass, while the creaminess comes from evaporated milk.
The spice level is adjustable, but just remember the chef is from Chiang Mai so extra spicy may mean burning your lips.
Hands up those who have ordered steamed something in Thailand.
The Steamed Sotong ($19.80) is cooked till tender and chewy, and the sauce zings with a mix of brightness and spice. It is so addictive, I ended up spooning the sauce onto my rice.
The Claypot Jumbo Prawn and Crispy Pork Belly Vermicelli (from $26.80) is my favourite dish.
The glass noodles are imported from Thailand, flambeed in a wok then rested in a claypot with a gentle peppercorn sauce.
From the savoury umami sauce to the freshness of the prawns and coriander, every element of this soulful dish works. There is an option to order a larger portion - take it.
Another dish to try is the tender Grilled Pork Skewers ($7.80 for three pieces). It is an off-menu item but should be readily available.
The smokey sweet marinade makes it a winner, especially with rice.
While I am fond of many dishes at Sabai Sabai, the Homemade Thai Prawn Cake ($12.80) does not hit the mark.
I find it bland and dense, and there are better, cheaper versions at many other places.
With the variety available here, save your calories for more worthy bites.
Sabai Sabai Thai Private Kitchen
#01-07/08 Valley Point, Tel: 8823-5988
Opens noon to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm