Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sawatdee- St. Paul

Last night, I met a dining companion at Sawatdee in downtown St. Paul. I was a little unsure of how this would go since I'd been to a different location (different owner) and had a very so-so experience. Luckily, this was much better!

The first thing I noticed about the restaurant was that they desperately needed a second entry door. Every time someone came in or out, the icy air filled the was quite uncomfortable!

To start, my dining companion ordered a Papaya Salad- spice level 3 that he really liked. For his main dish, he ordered Roast Duck Curry- spice level 3 (Sliced roast duck simmered in coconut milk, red curry with sweet peas, tomatoes & chili). He liked it a lot, but it definitely wasn't as spicy as the waitress seemed to think it would be. He also found a few bones in the shredded duck, which was a pretty big turn off!

At the waitress' suggestion, I ordered the Pineapple Red Curry with tofu- spice level 4 (with coconut milk, pineapple chunks, tomatoes and peapods). I absolutely loved this dish! The veggies were really good and it had a fair amount of spice (I'd get a 5 next time though).

For dessert, we decided to try Durian and Sticky Rice since I'd never seen that as an option before. My chef dining companion assured me that durian was a fruit. After some research, I discovered that it's smell is so strong (some love it, some hate it), that the fruit is banned on mass transit in Singapore- weird! I definitely didn't like the taste of durian because it was not sweet at all. Additionally, the sticky rice wasn't sweet either so the whole dessert was pretty gross. This is the first time I've disliked a Thai dessert. I wish I could have at least eaten the sticky rice with coconut milk...oh well!

Overall, I was impressed with this experience compared to the other Sawatdee restaurant I tried, but with bones in the duck and a terrible dessert, the experience was just okay.

Decor: a really cool space, but freezing
Price: normal ($10-15)
Spice level: about right

For more information:

Sawatdee St. Paul
486 Robert StreetN
St. Paul, MN 55101

Sawatdee on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Hey, a little late on this reply, but wanted to offer our comments.

    I'm a server at Sawatdee and I'm glad you liked the Pinapple Red Curry! The bones are in the Roast Duck Curry intentionally. As are with our Thai Roast Duck, it's one of the things we do as more of a traditional Thai experience.

    Also I would say that most Americans' first experience with Durian is quite unpleasant. It's also one of the more traditional things we offer at our restaurant.

    Myself, being a server there, don't recommend the Durian and Sticky Rice to guests who haven't tried it before, unless they're set out on a dining adventure to try something very different.

    Thanks for the review.