Review: Sabai Sabai, Toronto

There is nothing more satisfying than an impromptu dinner date. On Friday my sister had agreed to spontaneously come into the city for the weekend so I pulled up my sleeves and researched a few new restaurants in the city worth exploring. We hadn’t seen our cousin Theresa (or her husband Jason) in some time so was pleased when on Saturday afternoon she confirmed a dinner date that evening.

Toronto is obsessed with Chef Nuit. She has a fantastical story with her early years spent as a nurse in Northern Thailand, falling in love with a Canadian and their eventual move to Toronto. She first opened hole in the wall restaurant Suktothai with much fan fare. Shortly after Khao San Road opened its doors, becoming a landmark culinary destination in the city where guests are willing to stand in line both day and night for her authentic eats. She has created nothing less than a devout foodie cult.

Chef Nuit has been busy in the kitchen preparing a tapas style Thai menu perfect for sharing at Church and Dundas. Sabai Sabai offers an eclectic interior with brightly lit bartop and dining room covered in vintage posters from her native Thailand.

The dinner menu is short and sweet with dishes ranging from $5-7 each. Chef Nuit is looking to get creative in the kitchen here, showcasing a more daring menu which will encourage locals to explore Thailand’s cuisine beyond the iconic pad thai and curry.

We started with two beers and a a selection of Thai inspired cocktails. Everyone at the table was starving so it was a delight to see food whirl its way out of the kitchen. Pork skewers were tender and both pork and beef salads were perfectly perched on sweet slaw. Favourites at the table were the crispy fried fish (which literally melts in your mouth) and spiced noodle salad. We ordered these dishes twice. You really can’t get enough of them.

I’m so pleased Sabai Sabai has arrived on Church Street. I’ve been living in The Village for almost two years now and can’t express the joy I feel when I hear that another creative kitchen is opening a hop skip and a jump from my apartment.

We sampled:

Thai Mojito

Thai Long Island Iced Tea

Grilled Norther Thai Pork Skewer

Grilled Pork Salad

Grilled Beef Salad

Spicy Green Papaya Salad

Crispy Fried Fish with Tangy Tamarind Sauce

Spiced Ground Chicken Noodle Salad

Shrimp in Panang Curry

#409 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010. 

Sabai Sabai on Urbanspoon

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