“Valley Point? Where’s that?”
Perhaps you have yet to come across this shopping mall at one end of River Valley (near Alexandra Road), but right within (and quite hidden) you would find authentic Thai food that you may have been craving for.
Sabai Sabai Thai Private Kitchen is Fei Siong Group’s latest foodservice foray, their first ever Thai restaurant concept. This group is known for their affordable yet delectable Malaysian hawker food, but now they are providing Singaporeans a new avenue for Thai cuisine.
If you wonder why “Private Kitchen”, the concept of Sabai Sabai emulates the experience of private home dining with emphasis on dishes that are distinct, strong-flavoured and memorable.
Also, it is located at Valley Point within the premises of Nam Kee Pau (you cannot see it from plain sight), Sabai Sabai is built on a space which was once a steamed bun kitchen.
Hence, the name “private kitchen”.
Not to mention that this resto is hidden behind a tiled wall with an inset glass panel. Literally it is a private kitchen. Only a yellow neon sign announces its presence.
Named after ‘sabai sabai’ (สบายๆ) a Thai term describing a feeling of relaxation and comfort, Sabai Sabai Thai Private Kitchen aims to deliver a relaxing and comfortable experience with homely-quality dishes.
Head Chef Sombunnok Thanabordee leads the kitchen with his 30+ curated selection of Thai specialties.
Using fresh produce and ingredients shipped from Thailand, this Chiang Mai-born chef makes sure he delivers only authentic Thai fare for everyone.
Here are some of Sabai Sabai Thai Private Kitchen’s menu highlights:
Deep Fried Seabass with Thai Chilli Sauce ($32.80)
A Sabai Sabai signature not to be missed. A whole butterflied seabass is lightly battered, then deep-fried ‘til its skin becomes crispy.
Perfect for sharing, this fish-on-a-platter is dressed in the Chef’s special chili sauce prepared with two types of chilies and Thai palm sugar.
A colourful and fragrant medley of fried basil leaves, chunks of honey pineapple and multi-coloured strips of capsicums garnish the fish, and complements its fresh taste.
Homemade Thai Prawn Cake (12.80)
While some of the prawn cakes elsewhere could have been more generic or factory-made, I have seen how Chef has minced the tiger prawns and made these starters from scratch.
Shaped by hand, these homemade Thai prawn cakes are the perfect intro to a meal at Sabai Sabai.
Bite into its firm, bouncy texture achieved by a special technique of kneading the minced prawn-pork lard mixture for 10 – 15 minutes.
Golden nuggets of fresh tiger prawns made moist and succulent with pork lard, breaded and deep-fried ‘til crisp on the outside. Definitely worth an order.
Pandan Chicken ($11.80)
A classic Thai appetiser made with chunks of chicken meat marinated in herbs and pandan juice, wrapped in Thai pandan leaves, then deep-fried.
As this dish is prepared using only boneless chicken leg, it promises each piece to be tender and juicy. I did find these slightly on the oily side, but otherwise flavours were there.
Cooked upon order, the chicken reaches your plate straight from the deep-fryer where it gets its crispy exterior locking in all its juices and flavour.
Tom Yum Thick (Seafood) ($11.80)
Whet your appetite even further with an invigorating bowl of tom yum, the iconic hot and sour Thai soup.
Made by boiling stock (“tom” means to boil) with a mix of ingredients (“yum” means mixed) including coconut milk, evaporated milk, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, and Sabai Sabai’s house-made tom yum paste.
The result is a complex, tangy and spicy multi-layered soup chock-full of jumbo tiger prawn, fresh squid, slices of snakehead fish mingling with cherry tomatoes and straw mushrooms.
While I have not tried the other clear seafood version, those at the table all agreed unanimously this was one of the best Tom Yum Soups we had in Singapore in a while.
Crab Meat Omelette ($13.80)
Grab an order of khai jiao, a Thai-style omelette popular as a street food and comfort food.
A crab meat-laden egg mixture is poured into hot oil from a distance to create puffy, inner layers while the added corn starch makes its edges wonderfully crisp.
Claypot Jumbo Prawn & Crispy Pork Belly Vermicelli ($26.80 for regular, $44.80 for large)
Make your meal extra special with claypot dish with jumbo prawns, pork belly and glass noodles on center stage.
The special glass noodles are imported from Thailand to provide an authentic experience.
These chewy noodles are fried on high-heat in a wok to acquire a smoky flavour and aroma, then transferred to the heated claypot.
A blanket of homemade peppercorn sauce covers the noodles for a slight-spicy finish, which gave that additional alluring kick.
Green Curry Fried Rice ($12.80)
While I was initially tempted to order the Pineapple Fried Rice ($12.80), Tom Yum Fried Rice ($12.80), or Crab Meat Fried Rice ($14.80), I was told this one-of-a-kind Green Curry Fried Rice is a must-have.
I guess it is hard to resist the lure of this aromatic fried rice, tossed in a homemade green curry spice paste.
Each soft grain of rice is coated with flavour from the rich blend of eggs, vegetables, herbs and seasonings, including wild ginger root – this key ingredient is hard to find in Singapore.
Served topped with a couple of large prawns and green onions, and a side salad of lettuce and julienned carrots and radish. Savour its mellow spicy notes imparted to the dish, plus the wok-hei.
Phad Thai (Prawn) ($15.80)
I guess any Thai meal won’t be complete without the popular Thai rice noodles Phad Thai.
Made with fresh kway teow sourced directly from Thailand, this dish also features a bevy on ingredients including a trio of large tiger prawns, beansprouts, egg, ground peanuts, dried chili flakes, and a wedge of fresh lime.
Enjoy biting into these tasty bejewelled noodles, noticeably plumper and chewier than the local varieties. I liked how these noodles were slightly wetter than the usual, and its sweet-savoury taste from Tamarind juice really reminded me of those I had in the streets of Thailand.
While there are the usual staples on the menu, I was told not to miss out on the seasonal specials which Chef would change regularly – suiting the concept of “private kitchen”.
What you may expect can be home-style dishes from Pomelo Salad ($11.80), Grilled Pork Skewers ($7.80 for 3 pcs), Sauteed Thai Flower with Minced Pork & Tofu ($9.80), Thai Flower Soup with Porkball & Tofu ($8.80), to Thai Jambu ($6.80).
Sabai Sabai Thai Private Kitchen
Valley Point #01-07/08, 491 River Valley Road, Singapore 248371
Tel: +65 8823 5988 (for reservation and pre-order)
Opening hours: Lunch 12pm – 2:30pm Last order 2pm, Dinner 5:30pm – 10pm Last order 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Sabai Sabai Thai Private Kitchen.