Sabai, Richmond

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MELBOURNE | Sabai Richmond is a Thai restaurant that serves up classically inspired, creative Thai food. It’s run by husband and wife duo Manpreet Singh and Sumalee Sae-tang. Manpreet runs front of house while Sumalee runs the kitchen. The space is simple and neat – wood floors and plastered walls with artwork and decorations dotted about. There’s a fully stocked bar downstairs along with seating and an upstairs area for functions and busy times.

The drinks menu contains a range of Australian and New Zealand wines along with a surprising whiskey and scotch list, which even includes a Thai whiskey “Mekhong”. Beers are the usual Thai suspects along with a few other local and imported options – unfortunately there’s only one craft beer, Boatrocker’s “Big Love Suburban Pale” on offer. There’s also a nice selection of tea, coffee and non-alcoholic drinks, including the always taste Thai milk tea.

The food menu is concise, offering dishes designed to share that range from the traditional to the more experimental. Customer favourites and dishes that the restaurant is particularly proud of are bordered on the menu for easy reference. You’ll be asked how you are with spicy food, and the kitchen is happy to adjust the spice level down for you but by default, the food here isn’t toned down and the Som Tum is a good example of this. It’s not blow your head off spicy, but it’s not toned down either. Speaking of Som Tum, the version at Sabai is the traditional classic done right – green papaya, carrots, snake beans, crispy shrimps, Thai chili, garlic, cashews, cherry tomatoes, lime & tamarind dressing. The lamb massaman is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes and hits all of the right notes. It relies on a fragrant array of spices (whole cinnamon quills, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and more) to tantalise the tastebuds, with the thick sauce clinging to the cashews, potatoes and slow cooked, fall of the bone lamb. It’s one of the tastiest, most comforting things you’ll eat all year. If it’s a lighter main dish you’re looking for try the deep fried crispy barramundi tossed amongst a fresh herb & apple salad chili with lemongrass & sweet sour dressing. It’s delicate and delicious.

The soft shell crab sliders with apple slaw are another crowd pleaser, yet one of the menu’s other real highlights comes from another light option. The wok tossed tofu, herbs, salted chili, fried shallots and poached prawn served on top a prawn cracker is fantastic. It’s flavour and textures are complex, and perfectly balanced.

Desserts are more than just an afterthought too. One of the best desserts we’ve eaten all year is the Thai tea pannacotta which is served in a glass and topped with a coconut crumble, shaved coconut and frozen berries which are brought in fresh during berry season and frozen at the restaurant. It’s unlike anything we’ve tried before and is the embodiment of what Sabai is all about – Thai flavours with a contemporary twist.

Sabai is well located on Church street, just up from East Richmond station, but this part of Richmond is full of competition with many high quality restaurants setting up shop here in recent times. Does Sabai do enough to stand out from the pack? The answer is yes.

Sabai

460 Church Street
Richmond
Victoria 3121
Australia

Telephone: (03) 8528 6884
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.sabairichmond.com.au/

Open
Mon – Fri: 11:30am to 9:30pm
Sat – Sun: 4:00pm to 9:30pm

Sabai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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