Sawasdee: The Authentic Thai Cuisine & Restaurant is a family run restaurant specializing, in case the name didn’t give it away, authentic Thai food. This small restaurant on Indy’s NW side is more than just a place to grab a quick takeout order. The décor has a heavy dose of Asian flare with just a tiny splash of Americana. There are quite a few tables and a larger wine selection than you would expect from a quick glance of the modest store front. The service at Sawasdee is fantastic. Everyone working there is friendly and seems genuinely happy to have you in the restaurant. The food here is hands down better than any Chinese takeout joint in town. Not to say that Chinese and Thai food are the same, but if you have never had Thai food it is the easiest comparison to draw.
Sawasdee has a full menu complete with appetizers, soups, and entrees. The hours are a little weird. While they are open for both lunch and dinner, Sawasdee closes its doors in between the normal lunch and dinner hours. All entrees come with your choice of two sides which include soup, salad, and spring rolls. The spring rolls are made in house and are terrific. The soups are all very Asian. The soups are bold, flavorful broths with a just a few veggies or tofu pieces and can be surprisingly complex for a soup consisting primarily of liquid. If you are expecting something more along the line of chicken noodle, you might not care for them. As far as appetizers go, the crab Rangoon (found on special) or the chicken satay are both enjoyable. The crab Rangoon is not the cheap frozen stuff you see at other places. The wantons are stuffed in house with a mixture of crab and cream cheese and fried to a nice crispy brown. Chicken satay is the Thai equivalent of a shish kabob. Chicken is skewered, seasoned, and grilled, and the dish comes with a peanut sauce that has just a touch of heat.
Sawasdee has everything you would expect to find at a Thai restaurant. The menu breaks down primarily into stir fries, curries, noddle dishes, and rice. All entrees are cooked to order, including the spice level which comes in varying levels of heat including: no spice, mild, medium, hot, and Thai hot. Medium is fairly hot without masking the other flavors of the dish. The medium is hot enough to make the average person sweat. If you are really into heat or just a crazy man with no regard for your own rectum, give the Thai hot a try, and good luck to you. Padd Thai is a staple of Thai restaurants and a dish that most anyone will enjoy. It is a meat and noodle dish with a complex flavor of citrus and blended spices that is finished with a dusting of peanuts. It is savory dish that does not feel heavy. If you like curry dishes, the house recommended the Green curry. It was a spicy mix of meat, bamboo shoots, eggplants, coconut milk, bell pepper, Thai basil, and of course, green curry paste. The dish looks like soup and is served over a bed of white rice. It was an interesting concoction. You can pick out all the subtle layers of flavor even with the pronounced heat from the curry. If Thai food sounds too adventurous or spicy for you, go with the Kao Padd Bai Kra Prow. Don’t worry, you can just order a “number 42”. This plate is essentially fried rice but better in that the ingredients are fresh, the flavors more pronounced, and the meat is of good quality. The fried rice is not greasy in the least bit which can be a problem with fried rice at some places.
If you are in the mood for Chinese takeout, don’t get it. Go to Sawasdee instead. The food is miles better, but it still scratches the occasional itch one gets for awful, bad for you, everything somewhat fried, Chinese takeout. The portions are large enough to split a to-go order with another person for dinner, and the inside is nice enough to enjoy a pleasant meal out. Swasdee is great family run business, full of jovial people, and some very good eats. Shop local, and give Sawasdee a try.