I had always heard great things about Sawadee, but sadly had never been, possibly due to the fact that I have only eaten Thai food twice in my life! So, when I was lucky enough to be invited to a degustation at Sawadee, held as part of Zomato’s Foodie Meetup, I was super excited, not only for the food, but also to meet fellow Zomato reviewers!
Upon walking in, I was warmly greeted with ‘Sawadee’ and shown to our table. The table setting was very pretty, with royal blue being the main feature colour. I also loved the overall décor and ambience of the place – from the indoor waterfall and the beautiful flowers on our table, to the various pot plants dotted around the restaurant – it had a great tropical and summery feel to it!
We first started off with a few drinks. Sawadee had compiled a new summer cocktail list, saying that ‘no one else in Auckland has tried yet’ which was quite exciting!
I ordered the ‘Sunkiss’ which consisted of vodka, strawberry liqueur, banana liqueur and orange juice. I asked the waiter if he could please substitute the vodka for tequila (as I really love tequila) – he was very accommodating, which was great. It was a delicious drink, topped with a cherry and curled orange peel – not something you see in most restaurants! Later on I also ordered a Lychee Mojito (which is on their normal menu) and this was very sweet, just how I like my drinks! Would definitely go back just to order this drink again!
Now onto the degustation. We got to try a total of 7 dishes – each of which were completely new to me, but tasted delicious nonetheless. My favourite dishes were two of the entrees, including the Thai Style Fresh Spring Rolls with chicken and shrimp (‘Poh pia sod’) and the Charcoal BBQ Marinated Pork Skewers (‘Moo ping’). The spring rolls were delightfully fresh and were accompanied by two dipping sauces. Perfect way to start a meal! The pork skewers were juicy and I could have eaten more than two!
But the highlight of the night was definitely the Mixed Steamed Seafood in a Fresh Coconut (‘Hormok talay ma praw orn’). The dish consisted of prawns, scallops, snapper and squid in a red curry paste, coconut cream sauce with egg and Thai herbs. This dish took me to a whole ‘nother level in terms of the flavours. I also loved the fact that it was served in a coconut, and ordained with edible carrot flowers – it was the most beautifully presented dish of the night!
Dessert was created especially for us by Sawadee’s head chef. Jelly Rubies in Coconut Milk (‘Tup tim grob’) was the name of the dish, but it was so much more than that. Along with the coconut milk, we chewed and munched our way through water chestnuts, coconut meat and sago jellies. A sugar syrup was also served separately to pour on top (it was served in a patron shot glass – initially I thought we were all having a tequila shot with our dessert!). It was a lovely dish to end the meal – very refreshing and light.
As well as the amazing food, I thought the service was also top notch. I loved that the staff were enthusiastic and made the effort to explain each dish to us. Having very little knowledge of Thai cuisine, it was great to be able to get a better understanding of the ingredients used and what exactly we would be tasting.
Overall, it was a fabulous night, with great food and great company! A huge thanks to Sarah, Yatchi and Tamara from Zomato for organising the event and to Sawadee for the wonderful food, drinks and service. Will definitely be recommending Sawadee to my friends and family!
42A Ponsonby Road
Open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch, 7 days for dinner
Recommended: Hands down the Mixed Steamed Seafood in a Fresh Coconut (‘Hormok talay ma praw orn’)