“Well, I guess this is the beginning of winter,” said my wife Jan as we drove home this afternoon, “now that Sawadee is closed for the season.” Yes, sad as it is to report, the Thai restaurant in Cénac today served its last meal of 2018. (Hence the “boo hoo” in the title.)
On the plus side, we were there for lunch and it was what you might call a feast. We knew in advance that the menu would be special, because a special menu has been standard practice at Sawadee for its last day before the winter shutdown. But we weren’t prepared for just how special the meal would be.
I should point out that the restaurant is just a 15-minute drive from our home in Daglan. And further, I’d say that in our immediate area, it’s probably our favourite “normal” place (that is to say, a restaurant without a Michelin star).
So let’s start with the menu du jour, as our waiter described it as he placed it at our table. Naturally, I wondered what the choices were, and figured that the salad would be the entrée, while we could pick from among the three principal dishes. It turns out there were no choices — we got the entire menu, for just 30 euros.
And so it began, with an incredibly fresh salad of raw gambas (large shrimp) placed on a bed of mixed shredded vegetables and herbs, including dill and mint leaves. The glistening morsels of shrimp were perfect with the tart dipping sauce. Here’s my salad:
Next came tender bits of grilled chicken, served on slices of fresh pineapple, accompanied by a rich sauce saté (although satay is the more common English spelling). Here’s my plate:
Next came the Thai curry dish — a plate of mixed rices (Thai and wild rice) with a nice piece of my favourite fish, rascasse, cooked in a coconut curry sauce. Absolutely as good as it looks:
The final plat principal was a plate of thin grilled slices of veal, served with crispy coated slices of vegetables, including enoki mushrooms and onions. An example of the chef’s imaginative approach to cooking was the addition of tiny wedges of raw lime, which added a tangy touch to the dish. Here’s my plate:
Finally we were offered our choice of desserts off the regular menu, but by this point Jan had had enough (well, almost). I, on the other hand, bravely ordered a sundae consisting of one scoop of coconut ice cream, one scoop of chocolate ice cream, a nice drizzle of chocolate syrup, and a pile of crème chantilly (whipped cream).
Fortunately there was a lot of chantilly on top, which worked out well for Jan, who strongly supports sharing when it comes to having some of my whipped cream. Here’s my dessert:
Then, after our coffees, we headed back to Daglan, pretty confident that we wouldn’t be having dinner this evening. But we’re still a bit sad that we can’t return to Sawadee until next March. Boo hoo.