105 Partridge Street
Glenelg South SA 5045
(08) 8295 8808
Open Wed-Sat for (Thai) Dinner
Everyone has their favourite local cafe that is almost an automatic “roll of the tongue” response when someone asks where to go for a coffee. Cafe Sabai has been up and running for quite a number of years now providing love and attention to those who care not for the bustling main street that is Jetty Road. However it’s actually only been within the past year that they have been dishing out Thai cuisine for hungry dinner goers! It’s just a couple of streets back from Jetty Road and honestly, even before walking into this place I could tell this was a little hidden gem waiting to be set high in our Thai review crown!
Final Score: 8.925/10
It was a little bit of an accident in finding this place on the Internet. Google didn’t have this on their list of Thai Restaurants and it was just by chance from reading around on a food review website that this popped up! It must be due to their quirky business setup that it wasn’t on the Google Thai radar, running a regular Cafe during the day (coffee, cakes, light lunches … you know the drill) but then only within the past year or so have they extended their arm to include a tasty Thai menu for the evening!
Situated on the corner of an intersection, it looked like this place would have once been a deli many moons ago … even the main entrance was on the corner of the building! But I’m glad to report that there are no remnants of old anywhere to be found … even from the outside and peering in through the windows this place looked modern & cosy. On the inside was a mildly confusing setup due to catering for a coffee club during the day then running Thai dinner later … pastries, chocolates and cornish pasties in the little display cabinet were definitely not Thai! However, although nothing really exciting caught my eye it was good to see they had balanced out the place with some neat Thai artifacts and the colour scheme was definitely a winner to suit both operations … almost like East meets West!
Seating in here is cosy but definitely not like sardines, probably maxing out at about 40 diners. This also meant that service was pretty speedy here, and they had the right number of friendly staff on to cook and serve which can be a challenge for some venues (as we’ve already discovered). No qualms in ordering and the food came out almost in the blink of an eye! Things just went so smoothly, you almost felt like something should go wrong just to make things a bit more realistic!
So as always, I had to get their “best dish” and in the end was surprised with what the Chef recommended. Despite the funny name, there was nothing funny about the food. Dead serious flavour and texture made this dish a standout from the crowd. Crispy pork slices with crunchy capsicum on a little bed of leafy greens lathered in a spicy & tangy chilli marinade put this one notch above any other “peppered pork” you’ll get elsewhere. Yum Moo Yung is a traditional Thai pork salad and I could tell that this was the real deal … and I was right! In the kitchen was the owner’s wife, from Thailand along with a team of Thai cooks to dish out only the best … now the whole East meets West scheme makes sense!
I had a chat with the husband who was running the floor service, and it was his wife’s dream to run a little Thai kitchenette on the side on top of the regular coffee routine. Since starting this extra venture business has never been better, and I honestly think that it beats down all the droopy overpriced eateries on Jetty Road, bringing a little fresh air to the seaside. Juggling two very different food services has to be admired, and who doesn’t want to live their dream? Definitely a diamond in the rough, and I’m glad we found it.
- Service [9.0/10] : Friendly people and speedy food prep, very good!
- Quality [9.3/10] : The best pork dish I’ve had so far this Thai review, and there have been some good ones!
- Venue [8.4/10] : Clean, modern & cosy, cafe style dining in comfort!
- Value [9.0/10] : Cheaper than you’ll find on Jetty Road, definitely a winner.