If you want to experience some of the best Thai food you have EVER had, you have to check out Sabhai Thai Restaurant.
After eating here many many times I always come away super full and super satisfied which is why I can absolutely say that although it may not be right in Victoria, it is totally worth the drive!
Recently I had a chance to dine out with my good friend Mark and we both enjoyed another great evening of eating and drinking at this wonderful family owned establishment.
To start off, Mark ordered one of their Thai beers, the “Chang Beer” ($5.50 a bottle), and I ordered a half liter of their “Tinhorn Creek Merlot” ($21), plenty enough wine for me to enjoy over the several hours we would be there.
Before I get into the food, I better mention that this is a place you definitely want to call ahead and get a reservation for. Though it’s not always necessary, it is often very busy here so if you don’t want to be disappointed, I would call ahead.
Okay, back to the food! So as I mentioned, Mark and I have eaten at Sabhai Thai lots and lots and it is because of this that we have both developed some favourites here.
To start, I always like having the “Tom Kah Gai” (aka Chicken Coconut Soup – $6). This is a traditional and tasty Thai soup, and since I love coconut, chicken and creamier soups, this is a winning appetizer for me every time.
The chef here makes this soup with lots of button mushrooms in it too which I also happen to love.
Also, as is the case with most dishes here, you can order your dish Mild, Medium, Hot or Extra Hot. I always order my soup mild as I admit I am still not able to handle the Thai heat!
Mark decided to order an appetizer he’s never had before, the “Gratong Taung” (aka Golden Cups – $7).
This popular starter comes with eight homemade golden cup shells that you put a seasoned minced chicken in and top it off with mild Thai plum sauce.
Mark had no problem gobbling them all up, but I thought the minced chicken was a bit bland tasting, so I was happy to have stuck with my favourite soup again.
After finishing our appetizers, I looked around and noticed the restaurant was already packed.
We had come for our 5:00 reservation and within 20-25 minutes the place was full. Luckily in the summer they have a good size patio outside that can help with busier times.
In general, I like the vibe of this restaurant. Though I would consider the decor to be fairly simple, it’s got an upbeat, happenin’ feel to it and the staff are all really friendly.
Speaking of the staff, we have also found them to be very efficient here, and have never had a noticeable wait for our meals.
Kudos to whoever is running this restaurant!
Okay, so back to the food… I have to tell you about my two most favourite dishes at Sabhai Thai.
Both are very popular here and after dining at several Thai restaurants in the area, I will say that the “Phad Thai Gai” (aka Chicken Phad Thai – $12) and the “Gaeng Gai” (aka Red Curry – $13) are better here than anywhere else.
I often have a hard time deciding which dish to get as I love these two so much, so inevitably I end up splitting them both with Mark.
The only challenge is that he likes his Thai dishes with lots of heat whereas I like mine mild. We solved that problem this time by ordering the dishes mild and getting some Thai chili peppers on the side.
By the way, I should mention that the portions can be quite large here, and the Chicken Phad Thai is one example.
I always tell myself that I don’t NEED to eat the entire portion but the food tastes sooooo good here I often find myself unable to stop eating and end up stuffed by the end of my meal!
As I mentioned, this time Mark and I decided to share our entrees so I ate half of the Chicken Phad Thai and half of the Red Curry.
Seriously, I don’t know what the chef puts in these recipes to make them so great but all I can tell you is there’s some serious yumminess goin’ on!
As far as the Red Curry goes, I find the mild version just enough spiciness for me, though Mark has to add quite a few chili peppers to his dish to get his full heat satisfaction.
There are plenty of bamboo shoots and bell peppers in this tasty coconut milk based dish and I highly recommend it for those of you who like curry.
Finally, for dessert we had the “Deep Fried Banana” ($5). If you can manage to save enough room for dessert, this a great one to finish your night off with, and can easily be shared.
If you’ve never had it, it tastes pretty much like it sounds. The banana itself is super sweet so it’s nice that they pile on a good amount of vanilla ice cream on top of it to cut the sweet factor just a bit. For only 5 bucks I’d say it’s a great deal.
Overall I have to say again that in all the times that Mark and I have been to Sabhai Thai we have never been disappointed. We always come out totally full and totally happy.
As far as it it’s location, it’s about a 20 minute drive from Victoria, 5 minutes from the Sidney ferry terminal and 10 minutes from the airport. Definitely worth the drive no matter where you’re coming from!
IN A NUTSHELL…
Sabhai Thai Restaurant
Address: 2493 Beacon Ave., Sidney
Neighbourhood: Sidney (approx. 20 min drive from Victoria)
Phone: (250) 655-4085
Hours: Lunch: Mon – Sat 11:30 am – 2 pm
Dinner: 5 pm – close, 7 days a week
Price: $$ ($10 – $15 per entree)