Friday, 13 July 2012

Saowanee's Place

Saowanee's Place on Urbanspoon
You know you had some bad ass Thai food if your stomach is beating you up while thanking you for setting it aflame. And not the type that leaves you spending leisurely time in the water closet either, because then that would just be bad Thai.

I'm not talkin' bad, but bad ass.
Bad ass Thai food will do no less than leave you wanting more.
I'm not your typical female shopaholic, but I'll gladly eat til' my stomach drops.

Saowanee has perfected the recipe for addiction, because my taste buds temporarily developed a sudden surging tolerance for playing with fire with this particular meal.

Saowanee's Tom Yum Soup (Small) - $9.90
If your stomach isn't very agreeable with certain foods, Thai cuisine might just pose a small problem. So many of their flavours focus on the spicy, salty, sweet and sour components that bring out the best kind of dish you could put in your mouth, but not the best kind of swirly whirly concoction to put into your stomach.

As such, I needed to weigh up my options. Highly saturated in fat coconut milk dishes to tone down the spicy factor and risk a stomach ache? OR, emit the fatty creamy white liquid and leave the spicy dishes alone and risk a stomach ache? WHAT TO CHOOSE?!

Perhaps To Choose or Not To Choose Thai, would be a more suitable question.

Teaser sized, but I am content
The Tom Yum is far from being protein heavy, but you are presented with a choice of what you want in there from tofu & vegetables, chicken, prawns or seafood (an entire sea of prawns, squid, fish and scallops).

Along with the meat, are morsels of mushrooms and tomatoes. The closer you bring a spoon of this towards your mouth, the more intense the rich aroma finds its way into your nose. If crack was a food, this is it. I could not stop sniffing.

Digging up my soup soaked treasures

Tom Yum is arguably a traditional and classic Thai dish that is recognised world over and favourited by appetites from any culture. It is a distinct representation of what Thai cuisine is all about, the different flavours of different ingredients that come together so perfectly when you cook 'em all in the same pot with a sprinkling of talent.

This small bowl is a magical blend of the sensations of taste - the tarty sourness of lime juice, leaves and lemon grass, the fiery heat of chillis, the saltiness of fish sauce and the light creamy sweetness of coconut milk. Just missing the bitter taste, but no one's missing that party pooper!

A slurp of this practically slides down your throat not leaving any skid marks 'cause it's just so smoooooooooth with the dash of coconut milk. So many flavours mingling on your tongue at the same time makes for a good time.

Lamb Green Curry - $21.90
Seems like I wasn't particularly adventurous and had the same mindset as when I visit Hans Cafe: "MUST. GET. GREEN. CURRY." Because a dish that makes itself so comfortable within Thai cuisine must be up to scratch to give Saowanee's Place the title of Favourite Thai Restaurant right?

They certainly don't under deliver on this classic - sliced lamb pieces moist with fragrant green curry sauce brimming towards the edge of the dish. Lamb was The Chosen Animal out of the choices of chicken, beef, pork, prawns, fish, seafood, Thai fish ball and if you really must, vegetables & tofu.

The lamb was strikingly similar to beef when it was muddled with the curry sauce. And although the amount of delicious juicy capsicums, potato chunks and bamboo shoots made eating them unstoppable, they were the only things left to eat when you have a small amount of lamb supplied in the dish.

Steamed Thai Jasmin Rice - $3 per head

The perfect complement to intensely flavoured Thai cooking is more like a requirement: rice.
Rice in its original form of glory, to fill up the belly, to soak up the juices and gravies you'd rather pour down your stomach than the kitchen sink, to be the staple carbohydrate in Asian cuisine, to just be there.

Rice, what would 4 billion people do without you?

$3 per person gets you a heavy porcelain ornament-like piece doubling as a storage for rice. It's not particularly cooked to my personal liking because it's mushier in some places and not served at a hot temperature that steamed rice tastes best in. However you do get bottomless servings to make your plate a bottomless one, to satisfy your bottomless food pit.

Table placements
Table arrangements at Saowanee's is a bit homely, neatly cluttered and a little bit cute.
Delicately folded paper napkins in resemblance of flower lanterns rest on plates that matches the crockery that your main dishes are served in, with a nice touch of flowers in a small vase (albeit fake).

At least fake flowers will last forever...when everything else just dies.


You have every right in the world to be a little boastful with a breadth of awards under your wings all while continuing to soar even higher. Being featured as Best Thai in Perth, WA's favourite Asian Restaurant, WA's Favourite Thai Restaurant and multiple finalist awards for just being excellent close to pretty much every year, Saowanee's Place hits all the birds with its one cuisine.

Proclaiming that you will "experience the taste of real Thai", they promise to deliver on that promise. Serious about this, the menu is full of traditional favourites of Thailand's abundant culinary creations each with strong flavours and rich fragrant aromas. Apparently they even had a hand at making their own spices initially, back when it wasn't readily available in Perth - which makes their dishes deliciously intoxicating to consume.

The place has a somewhat golden ambiance, literally. You dine under a warm, yellow glow of lights in a casually comfortable but subtly elegant dining room. The addictive smells wafts throughout the place and adds to the warmth of the atmosphere while it mingles in the air with diners' voices. And while portions are just fair given their prices, you are very likely to be unable to finish or eat less than your normal capabilities due to the hotness if you don't order wisely!

I notice takeaway prices are cheaper and I also notice service can be inconsistent. It was very start-stop service as there is attentiveness at the beginning which then slowly becomes increasingly difficult to get some attention. Regarding some loud burly chaps who had drunk a little over his limit, staff handled his requests with a little less tolerance. But they do well with food and even if they haven't mastered authenticity in your eyes, they still please the appetite!

In a restaurant like this, your senses are heightened. Thai (hot!) food wakes up your senses - gets your eyes watering, burns your taste, makes you sweat, gets your nose running and gives you a temporary dose of the flu.
And although you get free water to hose down your flaming stomach, we found that a soothing McFlurry does the job a whole lot more professionally.

(08) 9228 9307
Lunch Friday only: 11.30am to 2.30pm
Dinner Mon, Wed - Sun: 5pm to 9.30pm
Closed Tuesdays


  1. Replies
    1. I can make that for you :) Just the less professional looking type.


So what did you eat today?

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