Do we expect a table without a reservation on a busy Friday night? Nope. That’s why we settled eating at Sabai Sabai’s bar which was a refreshing change. The restaurant, located by Church and Dundas, is an intimate Thai restaurant featuring tapas sized dishes to share. The bartender, Jason, was good company as he mixed us a tasty Tropical White Wine Sangria to start ($30). While we were happily sipping and browsing the menu, we took notice of the lively atmosphere and charming decor. Lanterns hang from the ceilings while complementing the wooden interior and vintage posters on the walls.
Our first dish was the Crispy Fish ($8) with a house made sweet and tangy tamarind sauce. Most chefs overcook fish in the fryer. Chef Nuit gets it just right with sea flavour still in tact. Tim and I enjoyed the meaty portions served inside the light crisp batter but agreed that more sauce would’ve done the plate a favour.
Then came the grilled chicken wings in a spicy house marinade ($7). The dish tasted like it came straight off a well charcoaled barbecue! The wings were huge too. If you’re looking to switch up your regular wing routine with authentic Asian flavours, then this is for you.
Next is one of my favourites, the deep fried squash fritters ($7). This dish was something new and fun to eat! Since the squash is grated, and not sliced, we were happily peeling a part the fritters like string cheese and nibbling away at this sweet and savoury dish. Mildly sweet with a hint of potato flavour to them. The tamarind sauce served on the side complemented the dish well. It had a sweet and sour base with hints of ginger, lemongrass and red curry.
Jason tells us that the Khao Soi Curry is a crowd pleaser with options of chicken ($8), beef ($9) or shrimp ($9). It’s a perfect, melt in your mouth, dish with hints of rich coconut milk and curry spices. Usually, curry is served with rice but this bowl carried a flat and wide egg noodle. I was pleasantly surprised by its ability to absorb the flavours of the soup. The crispy garnish adds a nice crunch with each bite.
At this point, we are so full! The huge sangria pitcher did a nice job of filling us up. We still have one more plate to go. The Northern Thai Pork Skewers ($8) came with what was said to be a spicy Nam Chim dip. It wasn’t spicy though. The pork was fatty and juicy which can be a good or bad thing depending on preference. Tim enjoyed the skewers but I was indifferent. I would’ve been very content ending the meal off with the Khao Soi Curry.
When our bill came we noted that we had to come back again! Sabai Sabai is an intimate spot to get together with friends and experience new flavours together.
Sabai Sabai Kitchen and Bar
225 Church Street