The Hidden Thai Gem, Sawatdee

*Notice: Sawatdee has since been closed down for business.

Of all the vicinity in KL and Selangor, I’m interested with Old Klang Road, Sri Petaling and Puchong as I heard there are many nice eateries in these area but I have little chance to explore them. I was fortunate that Daniel brought me to this particular Thai restaurant in Puchong, opened by his ex-colleague two weeks ago. (We were invited over for a treat 🙂 )

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Lemongrass Juice, Fruit Punch, Thai Milk Tea, Thai Milk Coffee, Broccoli with Prawns

Sawatdee was just 20 days old as on 2 November 2008. Do no be confused with the chain restaurant Sawatdee in the US as this is a local venture. Somjit, the proprietor, is a cheerful and friendly Thai lady who was born and raised in the northeastern part of Thailand but has been staying and working in Malaysia for 20 years. She was working with the Thai Embassy, Exxon-Mobil and Shell until she has sufficient funds to open her own restaurant, so I was anticipating some authentic Thai cuisine.

According to Somjit, she goes to the local market to source the freshest raw ingredients every morning. For seasoning, she uses those she brought in from Thailand. They doesn’t have the halal certificate but they do no serve pork. All dishes are prepared and cooked on the spot upon ordering (no pre-cooked meals here), so one might need to wait a while before the food arrives.

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I always prefer Mango Salad (RM 8 ) than Papaya Salad. So far, I like Nong & Jimmy’s version with dried cuttlefish but Sawatdee’s version was pretty good too. Instead of cuttlefish, it’s tossed with fried anchovies, together with julienned raw mango, onion, cili padi, peanuts and some fish sauce. The tangy and crunchy mango strips perk up our appetite instantly.

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For a hot starter, you can go for the Grilled Beef Salad (RM 12), where grilled beef cutlets mixed with cili padi, black peppercorns, plenty of garlic and onion. The strong garlicky smell might a tad too offensive for some people who doesn’t like garlic but instead of just eating this on its own, it makes a good companion with rice. We found the beef a little tough, though.

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“This is something you can only find in Sawatdee!” claimed Somjit. Corn Salad with Salted Egg and Crispy Fish (RM 8 ) indeed a new stuff to us (I have never seen this in BKK eventhough I have been there for three times). She actually got the recipe from her sister, who is also running an eatery business in Betong. Instead of using canned corn, Somjit buys the whole corn and hand-pluck the corn kernels herself. She then mix them with salted egg, chopped tomatoes, onion, cashew nuts, fried anchovies (crispy fish), cucumbers and some fish sauce. The sweet and juicy corns goes very well with the other ingredients.

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We also love the dry Thai-Style Stir Fried Crab with Curry Powder (price depends on the size of the crabs), which she uses Thai curry paste for this. She add in turmeric and shallots to further enhance the aroma. The crabs were very fresh, not overcooked and the curry paste, not overly spicy.

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Another dish you can only find it here, House Special Deep Fried Fish with Thai Herbs (price depending on the size and type of fish) is a dish created by Somjit herself. She first lightly coat the fish with flour (cornflour, I presume), deep fried till golden brown and liberally cover the fish with a mixture of pomelo sacs, coriander, cashew nuts, cili padi, onion, fried anchovies, spring onion, chopped tomatoes and a dash of fish sauce. The fish was deep fried to perfection, we ate all the crunchy small bones as well and the toppings was very unusual.

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Some people say a Thai meal is not complete without Tom Yam and green curry. As we were literally stuffed at this point, we just have the Tom Yam with Prawns (RM 15). Served in a claypot, the soup was brimming with ingredients such as medium sized prawns, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, dried chillies, cili padi, galangal, clams, lime, spring onion and button mushrooms. The flavour was intense and fiery hot, which made us slurping for more (instead of reaching for water)! We ended up with a swollen lips, but it was worth it.

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For those who still have space in the stomach, it’s dessert time. We doesn’t have anymore space, hence we skipped the Mango Sticky Rice and went for Red Ruby (RM 3.80) and Cendol with Grass Jelly (RM 3.80). End the meal with a sweet note.

If Nong & Jimmy or Baan Nok are too far from PJ, go and try Sawatdee. One note though, they only accept cash.

*Thanks to Somjit for the wonderful spread of Thai delicacies!

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Sawatdee Seafood Restaurant
48, Jalan Puteri 5/2,
Bandar Puteri, 47301
Puchong, Selangor.

Tel: 017-370 8837
Business Hour: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Closed on Tuesdays.
*Non-halal.