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Sawadee: A Glimpse into Palace Fare
Reviewed by : Alex Ang. Other Foodadvisor Writers?
Tucked away in the corners of the rustic Jalan Legundi, lies Sawadee, which distinguishes itself as being the sole Thai restaurant in the vicinity. Since its opening in 2001, Sawadee boasts a crew of Thai chefs that whips up authentic Thai dishes. Its comprehensive menu serve delectable dishes akin to what is served in the Thai palace as well as those found exclusively at Sawadee only.

  • The Vibe
    Sawadee offers a no-frills dining experience where food takes paramount importance and focus. It has an unpretentious setting, which would set customers at ease right away. Portraits of the Thai monarch adorn the walls along with other Chinese drawings. The presence of traditional Thai figurines results in a touch of quaintness at Sawadee.
  • The Food
    For starters, try the De-boned and Stuffed Chicken Wings ($3 each). The filling consists of chicken drumstick meat with asparagus and shitake mushrooms, accompanied by a sweet chilli sauce that adds a zingy taste to the dish. This dish is a testament to the chef's skill as de-boning the chicken wing is a delicate process that requires skill of the highest order.

    The Olive Rice ($10/$15/$20) is one of the crowd pleasers here at Sawadee. The olive rice comes with shallots, chicken strips, dried shrimps, lime and chilli. The olive rice is definitely one for the health-conscious as the chef makes it a point to fry it with less oil, hence making it a healthier option. The chicken strips were tasty and chewy, coupled with the crunchy dried shrimps, making this dish a definite must-try!

    Tom Yam Soup ($8/13/18) is a classic dish in Thai cuisine. What makes Sawadee's rendition so appealingly different is that the soup here is crystal clear, with no hint of chilli oil. The chef lets on in the secret: fish bones and chicken bones are used to brew the stock with the addition of various herbs. The result: a clear broth filled with the ocean sweetness of seafood and the unmistakable taste of lemongrass and other herbs.

    If seafood is your cup of tea, then you have to order the Deep Fried Promfret ($17) and the Thai Style Steamed Prawns ($12/16/23). The deep fried promfret is the epitome of freshness and when fried, results in a crispy fillet with the moisture locked within its sweet flesh. Served with a mango sauce, this dish will please fish lovers. The Thai style steamed prawns deserves two thumbs up. Fresh succulent prawns steamed with chili, garlic, lime juice and bay leaf results in an appetizing dish that promises to thrill you!

    The highlight of the meal arrived when the Thai Style Pork Trotters ($10/12) were served. The trotters were stewed in a special sauce that coaxed out the savoury flavours from the meat. Large amounts of herbs were employed in the cooking of this dish but one ingredient stood out - the addition of coca-cola! The chef explained that this ingredient is also found in pork trotters served back in Bangkok. The trotters were soft and not oily. This dish drew exclamations of approval from around the table, making it a dish that you must not miss.

    Dessert was equally satisfying. The Mango with Glutinous Rice ($3.50) was served with a jumbo-sized mango with traditionally steamed glutinous rice and coconut milk drizzled above the rice. The mango was saccharine sweet but was well balanced by the sedate glutinous rice. Alternatively, try the Water Chestnut with Coconut Milk ($2.50), better known as red ruby for the red coloring on the water chestnut.

  • The Service
    The staff, decked in traditional Thai costumes, is friendly and amicable. They epitomize the values of Thailand; being courteous and polite. The manager is not only hospitable but also will dish out advice to those who are new to the cuisine.

The SD Food Advisor's take on Sawadee
Sawadee is a good place to bring friends and family to try tasty, traditional Thai food. Personally, I found that the dishes served here has been tailored to suit local palates and hence, would be popular amongst Singaporeans. Transport may be a little of a hassle for those without a four-wheeler but there are buses available from either Yishun or Sembawang train stations to bring you right to the door step of Sawadee.

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