Eating Out: Tabai Thai

Sabai Thai Restaurant, China Strret, Lancaster.
Sabai Thai Restaurant, China Strret, Lancaster.

Having read beforehand that ‘sabai’ is the Thai word for ‘no problem’ I was expecting good things from Lancaster’s newest Thai restaurant.

And I wasn’t disappointed. It must be a difficult time to open up a new business but on the evidence I’ve seen, this restaurant is set for a bright future.

It’s in the heart of Lancaster and one of several new restaurants to have opened in recent months, all adding to a wealth of interesting new places to try out.

We visited on a cold Saturday evening at around 8.30pm and there were three or four tables occupied.

It was a peaceful atmosphere, although admittedly the lighting and lime green and red decor were fairly bright!

Kicking things off with a bottle of the house rose wine, we set about perusing the substantial menu.

With so much to choose from I usually struggle to make a choice, and it was no different at Sabai.

We eventually decided to try the mixed platter shared starter, which included a good variety of food to try – samosas, spring rolls, spare ribs, chicken wings and a huge bowlful of spicy prawn crackers.

While I wasn’t keen on the spring rolls, which were a little dry for my taste, the rest of the plate was polished off, followed by copious amounts of water to counteract the spiciness of the chicken wings!

Although already feeling a little full from the huge starter, I was looking forward to my main course, for which I chose the sweet and sour prawn dish, accompanied by Thai fragrant rice.

My friend went for the chicken with cashew nuts, along with egg fried rice. The menu included a vast choice of authentic prawn, chicken, beef and pork dishes as well as vegetarian options.

Side dishes included various different rices and noodles.

Both main courses arrived with full to the brim plates of food and large bowls of fluffy rice, which we set about tackling very swiftly.

My prawn dish included several large prawns in their shells and was packed with pineapple and vegetables including broccoli, courgette, onion, mushroom, and, I was surprised to see, cauliflower, all covered in a tasty and reasonably mild sweet and sour sauce.

My companion’s chicken dish included large pieces of chicken breast along with cashew nuts, garlic, chili and vegetables.

She reported back that it was very mild but fresh tasting and pleasant...until the last mouthful included a chili which almost blew her head off!

We decided we were too full for any desserts, and were left in peace by the waitresses to finish our wine, before asking for the bill – the meal came to a smidge over £50 which we agreed was very reasonable for the amount served.

The true meaning of the word ‘sabai’ was summed up by the service at the restaurant – nothing was too much trouble and the waitresses were polite and unassuming, while also being attentive.

You can maybe tell that the restaurant is still relatively new as the waitress serving us was a little unsure of some of the dishes being offered on the menu, but any teething problems such as that are easy to overlook because Sabai serves such tasty dishes in serene surroundings.

And since the menu had so much to tempt me, I’m pretty sure I’ll be returning to sample some more of their impressive menu and service.