Location: Subiaco, Rokeby Road
I had last visited Sawadee Thai Restaurant when I was 11 and at the time, enjoyed the best fried rice I had ever eaten. I’ve eaten many a fried since then and used Sawadee’s as the benchmark. Obviously it’s stood the test of time as it’s still going a couple of decades later. They’re also featured in the Entertainment Book so one last chance to sneak in one more restaurant before the book’s offers expire. It’s been a long time since I last visited a Thai restaurant so I thought Thai would be a good choice for tonight’s venue. The restaurant is situated on Rokeby Road in Subiaco and the venue is based in a converted house. Walking in, I vaguely remember the rooms and it started to look familiar. After having a look at the menu, I thought it’s a good choice to go with a couple of typical Thai entrees and mains:
- Fish Patties (4 pcs) – Thai fish cakes served with cucumber salad (trace eggs)
- Siam Chicken – Thai style boned BBQ chicken served with sweet chilli sauce
- Beef and Potato Curry (Masaman Curry) – Beef and potato in mild curry sauce (trace peanuts)
- Chicken with Chilli and Basil – Chopped chicken thigh fillet stir-fried with chilli, mushroom, bean and basil (HOT)
- Thai Noodles – Popular noodles with peanuts, shrimp and chicken
- Fried Rice – Fried rice with shrimp and chicken
- Steamed Rice
- Sago Pudding
- Coconut Ice Cream
- Sticky Rice with Custard
Fish patties are a typically Thai dish so we thought that would be a good choice to order as one of our entrees. The fish patties were nice and moist and immediately had a sharp Thai basil flavour. The patties were served with sweet chilli sauce and a lettuce and shredded carrot salad. The fish patties were flavoursome and delicious.
For our other entree, we chose the Siam Chicken over the Satay Chicken. The chicken were cut into bite size pieces and contained a lovely flavour of the barbecue but the sweet chilli sauce was needed to provide a little extra punch. Pretty good.
On to the mains. It may have been many years, but this version of fried rice was delicious. Sawadee’s still has a unique way of reproducing an authentic fried rice which just oozes flavour. I can’t say this was as good as the first time but the fried rice was delicious. I have since had different and better version of fried rice, but this is still one of the best I’ve had in Perth.
I only just ate a delicious masaman curry for the first time at Plenty Thai on Shafto Lane before I flew off on my recent holiday to New Zealand and the east coast of Australia. Sawadee’s masaman curry with some steamed rice was delicious. Oozing a lovely creamy coconut flavour among the chunks of tender beef, each spoonful was so enjoyable. I love potatoes in a curry as they absorb the flavours like a sponge and there was no exception here. I thought this was the highlight of the meal.
While the menu does describe this dish as hot, it’s not, although some specs of red chilli are. The overall dish does have some spice and Thai basil flavour, but it’s not chilli hot and quite enjoyable. The spiciness of the dish provides a nice contrast to the fried rice, creamy masaman curry, and sweetish pad thai. The chicken has been cut into really tiny pieces but they are still tender and not tough.
While not immediately obvious from looking at the menu, Sawadee’s does serve pad thai, but it’s called Thai noodles. Unlike the version I had at Chin Chin’s in Melbourne recently, this version had the sweet element that was clearly lacking. Surprisingly there was no sour element, even a wedge of lemon, but the pad thai was delicious. Crunchy peanuts were also missing but the overall flavour of the dish was more than satisfactory. We were pretty full after eating all that food which turned out to be just the right amount. However, for the price of the dishes, I was disappointed with the serving size which is less generous than the decent serving I was expecting at a minimum.
There’s always room for dessert. I had a taste of the sago pudding which was served hot. I’ve not seen sago served in this manner, more used to the sago in a creamy coconut concoction one orders at dim sum from Chinese restaurants. The pudding was more liquidity but reasonably thick, though not solid. It had a nice sweetness and creamy coconut flavours and was tasty.
I also had a taste of the coconut ice cream which was refreshing. The ice cream was quite firm and contained a lovely strong coconut flavour.
I ordered the sticky rice with custard. I quite like sticky rice or even black rice pudding and find it slightly unusual how rice can be turned into a dessert given one typically eats it with curries in Indian cuisine which I’ve grown up on. I was pretty full after finishing off the remains of our mains so I was happy I didn’t get served a large portion of this dish. The rice was sticky, immerced in a lovely coconut creamy and the blobs of custard on top added another dimension to the dish. Really delicious, I had a very enjoyable meal.
Sawadee Food Review Summary
Verdict: I remember eating the best fried rice I’d ever eaten as a kid at Sawadee’s and while tonight’s dinner didn’t bring back the same memories, it still serves a very authentic fried rice which is among the best I’ve eaten in Perth. For entrees we enjoyed fish patties with a strong Thai basil flavour, and Siam Chicken which was mild and barbecued and required the sweet chilli sauce to provide some extra bang in flavour. The fried rice as mentioned was delicious, but the star of the meal was the masaman curry enjoyed with steamed rice. Lovely creamy coconut flavoured curry immersing chunks of tender beef and potatoes absorbing the flavours like a sponge, this dish was delicious. The pad thai was excellent too, a lovely sweet flavour was evident in the thin noodles enjoyed with chunks of chicken and prawns. The chicken with chilli and basil was not chilli hot but did carry some spiciness which contrasted nicely to the sweeter pad thai and creamy masaman curry. The tastes I had of the sago pudding and coconut ice cream were delicious, as too the sticky rice with custard in a not too sweet creamy coconut sauce. The flavours of the dishes were delicious and representative of Thai cuisine, but my only criticism would be the serving size which is more on the smaller size for what you’re paying. Hence, the dinner provides reasonable value but this becomes even better value if you have the Entertainment Book’s Gold Card which gives you 25% up to $30.
Value: Reasonable (25% off up to $30 in the Entertainment Book)
Sawadee Restaurant Details
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