Before meeting up with my friend from work for a double date, Kevin and I decided to go to Sabai Sabai (225 Church Street) for some Thai tapas. Sabai Sabai, roughly meaning “peace, tranquility, and a sense of well being” according to the website, is owned by Chef Nuit and offers a more casual atmosphere than some of the other Thai places around Toronto. It was a Friday night and pretty packed. The host was really working to get people comfortable! We were hungry and decided to be seated at the bar rather than wait for a table to free up. I’m actually normally more okay with sitting at the bar, but it was a little cramped and we had our bags and jackets. :o Barstools also tend to be a little too high for me, haha. Anyway, our bartender/server welcomed us enthusiastically and Kevin and I got a drink to start:
spiced rum, fresh ginger, Thai basil, lime juice, coconut sugar syrup
It was quite nice! Kevin said it basically tasted like a spiked iced Thai soup, haha. An apt description. We then had three tapas dishes to share. Kevin has a nut allergy which can be difficult when getting Thai or Malay food. Our server informed us though that they keep a grid of items that do and don’t contain nuts, so that was helpful and appreciated.
SPICY TOM YUM SOUP
shrimp, tomato, lemongrass
I love tom yum soup and almost always order a bowl when I eat at a Thai restaurant. We shared a bowl and had it come with shrimp. Note that this portion is really meant for one person, especially if both people are really into their tom yum.
LAO MINCED PORK SALAD
lettuce wrapped ‘laap lao moo’, fresh herbs
Minced pork wrapped in lettuce leaves! I can see this being popular on presentation alone. I especially like how they used a lettuce bowl to hold all the porky contents! The lemongrass and lime were strong to the point that Kevin disliked it. It’s rare for him to eat less of a meat dish than me! I liked it but definitely would have enjoyed it more if the lemongrass was toned down some.
Thai basil, red pepper, shallot
We both like eggplant and can’t believe how tasty this was! Kevin usually likes to at least have some meat in his dish but wasn’t disappointed by this choice. The eggplant was soft and soaked up the flavours of all the juices so nicely. Highly recommend this one. We were talking about getting one more dish after this one before dessert, but this was actually enough to start making us feel satisfied.
FRIED BANANA ‘KLUAY TOD’
crispy fried banana served with pandan leaf infused coconut cream (3 pieces)
with vanilla or Thai milk iced tea ice cream
We had just a wee bit room left for dessert, and I’m glad we did! There’s one featured dessert special on the menu, and this week we were lucky enough to enjoy some fried banana. We went all out and even ordered an expensive scoop of Thai milk iced tea flavoured ice cream, which partnered so wonderfully with the fried banana. We went through the coconut cream really quickly, too. Ahh, definitely a great dessert! I was very satisfied with our food experience here! I’ll just know to make reservations for next time though – while our server/bartender was super nice, the bar was a little too cramped for me.