Friday, June 10, 2016

Saturday at Sap's South

Pork satay...we messed up the symmetry of the toast slices on the plate....our bad. Looks messy, tastes great. 

A couple of Saturday’s past, Art and I met at Sap’s South for some lunch, and Leah was supposed to join us, but got sidelined somewhere. Unfortunately (well, not really) we had ordered for three before we knew she was a no-show. So we were in for a major league belly stuffing.

For an appetizer we chose Sap’s excellent satay (S-47, two orders) made with pork. The tender, charred skewers are loaded with complex flavor even before you dip them into the spicy curried peanut sauce, or adjust the taste buds with some of the sweet and sour ajad pickled cucumber relish with shallot. 

Tom Khlong

Tom Khlong (S-NS15) is our favorite soup, and you can order it with chicken (how we usually order it), tofu, Chinese broccoli, green bean or bok choy, or mixed seafood, which was our choice this day. Normally it comes with a noodle (vermicelli, wide rice, or bean thread) but we always get it with no noodles and brown jasmine rice on the side. Tom khlong is like a jacked-up version of tom yum, and spicy as hell. All of the robust aromatics, including galangal, shallot, Thai pepper, and thick slices of garlic are roasted first, which adds a ton of depth to the rich chicken stock. Lemongrass, Thai lime leaf, lime juice, fish sauce, and palm sugar round out the spice palette, before it gets garnished with fried red chiles and Thai basil. If you’ve never tried it before, do yourself a favor. I may get it next time with only squid. When poached in that stock, they are unbeatable. 

Guay Teaw Kua Gai (with chicken)

For a noodle it’s hard to beat Guay Teaw Kua Gai (S-F11). Sen yai flat rice noodles are stir-fried with a meat - I prefer ground pork - beaten eggs, bean sprout, pickled radish, and a Thai-Chinese mother sauce that is soy-based. It comes with a lettuce salad on the side, and you get a ramekin of a honey-flavored Thai dressing to dribble over the whole plate. Add just a touch of fish sauce, a dusting of ground Thai chile, and some of the roasted chile sauce, and you have a noodle dish that will kick pad thai’s ass any day of the week. It really bothers me when I see folks go into a Thai restaurant, any Thai restaurant, and pass up all of the amazing noodle dishes to order pad thai. Nothing wrong with pad thai, but live a little, you nimrods!

Pad Prik Khing Nuea

Pad Prik Khing (S-P22) is an old stand by for me. I used to cook it at home all of the time, and the crunch of the green beans fit nicely with the rest of the dishes at our table. We ordered it with beef, and got a big bowl of spicy dry curry glazed beef and crunchy green beans, flavored with Thai lime leaf and palm sugar. It is a delicious reminder that I need to cook it at home more often, and I need to find a source for brown jasmine rice. I’m hooked on that nutty flavor. 

Pad Prik Gaeng

Pad Prik Gang (S-P47) is a stir fried curry made with a red chile curry paste flavored with coconut milk, serrano chile wedges, Thai basil, Thai lime leaf, and crunchy, flavorful green peppercorns. We ordered it with chicken, and loved it. This a dish that will put some fire in your belly. I think it has 4 or 5 chiles on the special menu, but suffice it to say that between the serrano chiles, the red Thai chiles, and the green peppercorns (the original heat of Thailand before the Portuguese brought chiles in 1529) it packs a very tasty wallop.

Another excellent meal at Sap’s. Actually two excellent meals at Sap’s, because there were ample  leftovers for dinner later that evening! The photos would look better if I could remember to take the shots before we start loading up the plates.......

Sap's Fine Thai Cuisine
South: 4515 Westgate · 512-899-8525
North: 5800 Burnet Rd.· 512-419-7244

Mick Vann ©

1 comment:

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