A year and a half on, and Sabai in Richmond is as glorious as ever. The restaurant continues to celebrate assertive Thai flavours with youthful vigour with an exemplary menu of classically-inspired and creative Thai cuisine that makes a statement.
With a firm grasp on the fine art of balancing Thai flavours of salinity, sweetness, heat and acidity, Sabai continues to draw in the crowds with its compelling proposition of beautiful and punchy food. Each visit has left us eagerly anticipating the next.
Epicure - The Age (Good Food)
The little clutch of shops next to East Richmond station would have once housed a shoe repair and key cut shop, a dry cleaner and newsagent – all the services a commuter needs on their way to or from work.
Today, the strip on Church Street is wall-to-wall restaurants – the food-service industry perhaps over-servicing Richmond's residents, designers, publishers and peddlers of fine furniture.
Sabai restaurant joined the fray around July this year, on the more discreet side of the street where small, owner-operated businesses face-off with some goliaths of the industry: Jimmy Grants, Public House and Richmond Oysters.
Gastronomical ramblingsFood adventure @ Sabai
The folks of Richmond are blessed with not one, but as I recently discovered, two superb Thai eateries. Fans of Thai cuisine will have no doubt made at least one visit to the ever so popular Jinda Thai (queues, all day erry day!). On the other end of Richmond, there’s Sabai; another must-visit for the fans of Thai cuisine out there. Steering slightly away from the traditional offerings of Thai cuisine, Sabai’s menu is very much old meets new without any compromise on the taste and core flavours that define Thai food.
A Chronicle Of Gastronomy
Taking over the site of the well-rated but now sadly closed Mamame, Sabai presents to us another Thai offering just off Swan St. Sumalee Sae-tang and Manpreet Singh are first-time restaurateurs, but experienced chefs. They’ve done much of the hard work for this massive undertaking themselves, designing the interior, creating the menu and running the kitchen.
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.
DAMMIT JANET I LOVE FOOD
The word ‘sabai’ means comfortable or relaxed in Thai, and this restaurant is certainly a place where you can kick back, relax and enjoy lots of great contemporary Thai food. Authentic Thai cuisine is based on the fusion of five primary flavours: sweet, salty, sour, spicy and bitter. These flavours are combined to produce dishes of amazing intensity, and this was definitely the case for many of the dishes we sampled. The somtum in particular was like a flavour punch in the face! (but in a good way.) A place worth visiting for well balanced Thai food and friendly service.
The slow braised lamb shank Massaman was a show stopper. The lamb was falling off the bone and was beautifully tender and succulent. Harmonising a perfect balance of spices and sweetness, the accompanying curry was one of the best examples of a massaman curry we have had. Together with steamed rice, the robust and fragrant dish was an addictive and comforting dish.
With owners and chefs, Manpreet and his wife’s collective 25 years of experience in the industry, the restaurant is in safe hands. The menu is, quite simply put, sensational, boasting classically-inspired and creative Thai cuisine that makes a statement.
The Great Aussie BiteThai, but not as you know it
Having opened just three months ago, Sabai is a fairly new addition to the Richmond food scene. And located just on the corner of Church and Swan, it’s in a pretty good location, too.
The dining room is warm and inviting, and has subtle Thai influences dotted around. There’s a fully stocked bar to the left, and the seating to the right – there’s also an upstairs area, which is used on busier nights or for functions.
One of the more recent establishments to open on Church St is Sabai. And whilst only being a recent entry to the Richmond food scene it is establishing itself as the go to Thai restaurant for Richmond locals.
The layout of Sabai is bright and welcoming with the seating available on both the first and second floor of the building. Run by a husband and wife team (both trained chef’s) the service at Sabai is very attentive and you can tell the produce used in all dishes is of a high quality.