Sunday, September 30, 2007

Thai Saffron, Auburn

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.

Thai Saffron on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

There's a bunch of Thai cooking videos in this website you can watch to learn to cook Thai food

The Cooking Ninja said...

I love Thai food too but we don't get authentic ones here in my city.

Peter said...

Hi Ali

Woah!!! Let me start off firstly by saying that I am not offended. About anything.
I think we may have crossed wires here. I understand the kind of Thai food you like that harnesses memories of Uni in Newtown. I mean we all have cravings for different foods cooked in different styles.

I think I may have confused the whole thing also. I like those kind of places you describe. (as a matter of fact Newtown is 10 mins away for me!). And I go there regularly.
However, when a new Thai place opens and it does authentic food like the one I wrote about, I just got so excited. It was like I was sitting in Bangkok again!

Anyway, all is good and its good to discuss these kind of things. At least we're passionate about what goes into our stomachs.

Take care and keep up the good writing.

Serenity Later said...

Just to add my two cents, not sure if its your part of town but give Thaila Thai on Lygon in East Brunswick a go for good value & tasty Thai food.

Not sure how it compares in authenticity but it tastes bloody great (esp. the beef salad *drools*!). I have dreams about this place and yearn to be back in Melbourne to get more regular helpings of the good stuff.

Truffle said...

I love how crisp their vegetables are. So lovely! Thanks for the review.

Ali-K said...

Thanks all for your comments. I have been slow to respond!

Howdy & Serenity Later, I will try and check out both your recommendations for cooking and eating Thai food!

Peter, it's great to challenge each other. I've appreciated our banter, it's made me really think about what I write. Sometimes things flow from the keyboard so quickly and easily without much thought. It's good to have someone pushing me to ensure I articulate exactly what I mean. You've made me very keen to go to Bangkok now too.

Cooking Ninja & Truffle, keep up the Thai appreciation and let me know about any great Thai meals you have.

Bangkok Hotels Thailand said...

Thai food make me hungry now, i can't deny that Thai foods is perfect taste...

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