Peter, from Souvlaki for the Soul, and I have been having a discussion about Thai on and off for a little while now. You can get some excellent Thai here in Australia and now more and more people are travelling from Aus to Thailand. So it's no surprise that many people are familiar with really good, really authentic Thai. I've discussed my favourite type of Thai food previously (and here) yet I think I haven't articulated myself very well. Whilst I could sit down and be blown away by authentic Thai (and have elsewhere) with the freshest of ingredients, the Thai I crave when I'm hungover, when I want a quick takeaway meal or when I'm in need of some comforting fare, is far from authentic. Sure the staff and chef are Thai, but the food is aimed at the western market, with an emphasis on get in, eat and get out. It's not necessarily an experience, more a means to fill the belly. I love the gloopy sauces which are both sweet and salty at the same time. I love the smell and taste of starchy rice straight from the rice cooker. It screams warmth and an edible meal to me, as it was where I'd go when I could handle on-campus food no longer.
Sometimes it's hard to pick a difference in taste from one dish to another, the meat is usually thinly sliced to disguise it's dryness, yet I like this. There are times (usually those mentioned above) when I would even pick this cheap style of Thai over authentic. The purists may scream, but that's the way it is with me.
So without further ado, I give you Thai Saffron. Many months ago when I explained to Flatmate what I had been missing in my Thai food down here she said she knew just the place. It's taken us this long to get there,but we tried it last week. This was a regular haunt of Flatmate's when she lived over that way and I can see why. No frills decor, cheap prices and quick service are just the ticket for those nights you can't be bothered to cook.
We ordered Chicken Satay, Pork and vegetables in oyster sauce and Stir-fried tofu with vegetables. The food nearly beat us to the table, which is worrying, but it was piping hot and the vegetables crisp. We remarked that when cooking vegetables at home we clearly cook them for a little too long. For $39.10 we had 3 mains with rice and 3 softdrinks. Not bad considering we wound up more than satisfied, with food still on the plate. I made sort work of stirring the satay sauce into my rice at the end and munching on that for as long as I could hold out. I'd eat rice drenched in satay sauce alone, or coconut curry, for lunch every day if I didn't suspect it could be bad for me.
With my craving satisfied I think I can safely move forward from here, but I'll always no where to turn when I need my "just-like-Newtown_Thai" fix.
Thai Saffron is on the corner of Riversdale and Auburn Roads.