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Eat My Words: We review the Thai Sabai in Newark

Having been craving Asian food for over a week, I decided to listen to my cravings and eat some, but was it spring rolls or cabbage I asked for?

So we paid a visit to Thai Sabai on Stodman Street, Newark, a contemporary Thai restaurant that specialises in authentic Thai cuisine, or should I call it white-washed Thai cuisine?

From noodles and ramen to curry, spring rolls and prawns, I wanted the whole deal and they had it all on the menu, but was it enough to satisfy my craving?

Radu Secareanu and Lucas Sampaio at Thai Sabai
Radu Secareanu and Lucas Sampaio at Thai Sabai

I had heard several compliments about the restaurant before I went in, to some their favourite restaurant, to others a great recommendation to feed the soul.

When I first entered the restaurant I was immediately surprised with the beautiful decoration and the perfect background music, bringing alive the culture and practices of Thailand.

For a starter, we ordered Goong Hom Pha, which are deep fried marinated king prawns wrapped in wonton pastry served with sweet plum sauce and some Por Pea Pak Tod, spring rolls served with vegetables and glass noodles, once again with sweet plum sauce.

Starters - Goong Hom Pha and Por Pea Pak Tod and Thai Soup - Tom Kai Goong
Starters - Goong Hom Pha and Por Pea Pak Tod and Thai Soup - Tom Kai Goong

Let me start by saying, that it all tasted great. However, half the plate was what I asked for and the other half was filled with cabbage, which was not what I was expecting or wanted.

About the flavour, I cannot complain but if the cabbage was there for the beautiful presentation, it did not do it for me. I didn’t want to eat it and it didn’t look nice.

Following the starters, the curiosity came with a traditional Thai soup — Tom Kai Goong — a traditional coconut soup flavoured with lemon grass, lime leaves, fresh chilli, coriander, mushroom and lime juice.

This one was the real deal and definitely the one that would make me return to the restaurant. There was no cabbage, just a perfect mixture of flavours and it was ideal to heal my hunger.

Thai soup - Tom Kai Goong
Thai soup - Tom Kai Goong

A colourful soup that was like nothing I ever tried before - it tasted phenomenal and smelled rich and fresh. If that was what real Thai soup tastes like, count me in.

As the clock was ticking, it was time to order the mains and in a Thai restaurant you can never go wrong with a pad Thai or a pad Thai goong as it is said on the menu, can you?

Three people on the table ordered a king prawn pad Thai, and that is when we realised, a pad Thai is such a basic dish that you either nail it, or you don’t.

The main course came to the table, and guess what was there again making its presence known and low-key haunting me? The cabbage.

It isn’t that I have anything against the cabbage, but I don’t have anything in favour of it either. It was just unnecessary, taking space in the plate and putting me off it.

The food was colourful and looked great at first look, it tasted nice but I wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be.

Pat Thai Goong at Thai Sabai
Pat Thai Goong at Thai Sabai

The pad thai was quite sweet, which after several bites made it sickening, but guess what? I ate it all and was very full because the portion size was surprisingly big considering the cabbage was there taking its space.

Would I eat there again? Potentially, but I definitely wouldn’t order the starters or the pad thai.

I must admit that when I was paying, I looked at the food around me and it looked amazing. It let me questioning did I choose the wrong dish or are all of them a matter of don’t judge a book by its cover?

Eat My Words, a review
Eat My Words, a review

Out of five:

Food: The food was good, maybe not as much as I was expecting or at least craving, but if you are hungry and in the centre of Newark, you have nothing to lose in giving it a go. Just because I wasn’t impressed doesn’t mean others won’t. ***

Drink: We didn’t go all fancy on the drinks. Instead we chose to just ask for some water, which the waitress brought with ice inside, nice and fresh. *****

Decor: The restaurant’s decor was absolutely beautiful, from the plants to paintings and colours. It was a relaxing yet modern and welcoming environment. *****

Staff: The waitresses serving us were quiet but always present and available to help us, and answer any questions, so I was very happy with the service. ****

Price: For the whole meal we paid £59.70 which is a fair price considering what you get. But I will have to highlight once again that the starter’s prices, £5.95 and £6.95, were expensive for the amount that you get. **

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