Thai for a change

Much as we love French food, sometimes we get a craving for something different. At home, my wife Jan often makes Indian and Chinese food, and I enjoy cooking Italian dishes. But now we have a Thai alternative, in the neighbouring village of Cénac.

Sawadee is its name, and it sits at the northern edge of Cénac on the main road heading out over the Dordogne River. Today we made our third visit to the restaurant, for lunch. Here’s the front of it:

The front entrance to Sawadee.

The front entrance to Sawadee.

It’s a modest place, but comfortable enough. It’s decorated with some nice touches, including maps and photos of Thailand, and some colourful banners. Here’s one of them, as we look from our table towards the back of the restaurant:

Interior of Sawadee, with large banner hanging up as decoration.

Interior of Sawadee, with a large banner hanging up as decoration.

And here’s another interior photo, looking from our table forward to the front of the restaurant:

Interior view of Sawadee, looking toward the front of the restaurant.

Interior view of Sawadee, looking toward the front of the restaurant.

Of course, it’s the food that matters, and we’ve enjoyed the meals we’ve had at Sawadee because the dishes have been tasty and fresh, and certainly ample. Here’s my delicious lunch today — émincés de boeuf sautés aux légumes à la sauce huître, or thinly sliced beef sautéed with vegetables and oyster sauce:

My beef-with-vegetables lunch at Sawadee.

My beef-with-vegetables lunch at Sawadee.

Here are just a few more notes on the restaurant:

  • Don’t expect silken-smooth service at Sawadee. While the host isn’t unfriendly, he’s not Mr. Cheerful, and delivery of items to your table can be a bit awkward.
  • While this certainly isn’t fine dining, and isn’t terribly expensive, it’s not cheap either. At various bistros in the Greater Daglan Area, you can order a multi-course menu ouvrier or worker’s menu for 13, 14, or 15 euros. At Sawadee, my dish alone costs 14 euros. On the other hand, the servings are quite large, and I didn’t need or want anything more.

I’ll close with an amusing note, involving this sign at Sawadee’s front door:

Note that "FRESH" is in capital letters.

Note that “FRESH” is in capital letters.

As you can see, the sign says in both French and English that the restaurant cooks (or “cooked”) only with fresh food. What’s amusing is that on a previous visit, Jan noticed the sign for the first time, and saw that the English phrase said they cook “only with real food” — as if to distance Sawadee from those restaurants that cook with fake food.

When she explained the error to the owner, it took a fair amount of convincing for him to change the wording, because he thought “real food” was the right translation of produits frais.

“It was an American who told me that was correct,” he protested. Aha!

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This entry was posted in French food, Life in southwest France, Restaurants in France, Restaurants in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Thai for a change

  1. Susie Wilkinson says:

    We have a Sawadee in Vancouver — one of the best Thai restaurants here!

    S.

    • loren24250 says:

      I tried to check out the word Sawadee (Google Translate), but Jan made it easy for me. She says that Sawadee (the Cénac restaurant) says that “Sawadee” simply means “Welcome” in the Thai language. So there you go!

  2. So….some random American thought “frais” was “vrais?”

  3. John Ison says:

    The currency exchange in the Toronto Eaton Centre lists exchange rates for many countries and lists the country names in English and French. So, France is listed as “France” and “Français”. I pointed out there is no such country nor such a currency (Euros are also listed). The clerk was totally puzzled. The sign remains unchanged six months later.

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