Saute Thai, Parramatta's small but cosy Thai restaurant.
Parramatta’s church street is the small citys popular food hub, with restaurant after restaurant to be discovered as you walk down the busy street. Although you’re bound to find a place to eat; yet venturing into Phillip street will find you coming across a small, cosy Thai restaurant with its beautiful lanterns hanging above the main entrance. It is here where you will discover Sauté Thai, a restaurant that prides itself on serving customers a taste of what traditional Thai cuisine is all about.
Inside, the restaurant is decorated with dark concrete walls covered with intricate golden designs. Along the left side sits matching dark wooden tables, and a good amount of seating for groups of four or less, but can also be combined to create enough seating for a larger group of people. Whether you decide to dine inside or outside, you will be entertained with the open kitchen towards the right, where you can witness the chefs in action. You can hear the sounds of sizzling and stirring. You can see the flames and heat rising.
Beautiful red lanterns with intricate designs hang above the outdoor seating
Thai food is well-known for the heat and spice that is evident in the majority of their dishes, yet Thai food surprises us all by having a good balance with other flavours of sweetness and saltiness to accompany this spice. With a vast array of grilled dishes, curries, noodle and rice dishes; it is no doubt that a handful of beautiful aromas will be present at your table. Sauté Thai restaurant is nowhere short of this expectation.
Deep Fried Dumplings - crispy and golden.
Let’s firstly start with the entrée. The Deep Fried Dumplings ($8.90) are incredibly crisp and golden; each topped with fresh chilli and served with two dipping sauces. These crispy wontons are filled with a combination of minced chicken and prawns, and were perfectly deep fried in keeping the filling quite juicy and not at all dry. The accompanying soy sauce, plum sauce and brown vinegar give the wontons that extra balance of sweet, salty and sour flavour. It’s a good change from those traditionally steamed, as the textures and flavours give a whole different experience to eating dumplings.
Curry Puffs - full of vegetables and accompanied with sweet chilli sauce.
A popular choice for a Thai entrée is the Curry Puffs ($6.90). The Curry Puffs here at Sauté Thai are vegetarian, making it an ideal entrée dish for a range of dietary preferences. The vegetables inside these golden puff pastry parcels are seasoned with Thai herbs and curry powder, and therefore giving the chopped vegetables a warm yellow colour and fragrant aroma. Its partner sauce, sweet chilli, adds a slight heat and sweetness to the strong and flavoursome curry filling.
Grilled BBQ Chicken - very different to your normal BBQ chicken.
If you bring along a friend who may have different taste preferences to you, then Sauté Thai is kind enough to remove certain ingredients from a dish. Take this delicious Grilled BBQ Chicken ($17.90), which is also available in beef. Marinated with a Thai style marinade and Thai herbs, the grilled meat can be served either with your choice of stir-fried vegetables or steamed sticky rice. However, you’re free to have it on its own as well.
Massaman Beef Curry - sweet and spicy.
Sauté Thai’s menu consists of some make your own meal dishes, which gives customers the chance to pick their main meat, followed by the style of cooking from stir-fried, curry or noodles. Most dishes, therefore, are priced based on their main meat.
Another option available - Massaman Chicken Curry.
If you’re up for trying a curry but not too fond of one that may be too spicy, you’ll find delight in the Massaman Curry ($16.90), the only curry served ideally with either chicken or beef. The curry itself leans towards a more sweet-spicy curry, with minimal heat and a sweet, creamy texture. Choose the beef, and you will enjoy piercing your fork through tender chunks of meat that shred and break apart nicely, revealing perfectly cooked pieces of beef. Choose the chicken and you will find strips of fillets that have been cooked slowly to prevent the possibility of overcooking, and hence keeping the chicken quite juicy. Whichever you choose, you’ll also find an abundant flow of cashew nuts; coconut milk and soft chunks of baby potatoes sitting on top of the curry. The recommended accompaniment to the curry is Roti pastry for just two dollars extra.
Chicken in Cashew Nut and Chilli Jam - loaded with extra sauce, crunchy cashews and chilli.
Chilli lovers with appreciate the Chicken in Cashew Nut and Chilli Jam ($16.90). This particular stir-fried dish lies somewhat in the middle on the ‘chilli scale,’ making it a great dish for sweet chilli or hot chilli lovers. Pieces of chicken breast fillets are tossed with a combination of common stir-fried vegetables including broccoli, baby corn, snow peas and red capsicum. Crunchy cashew nuts give the dish a break from the chilli and add some extra nutty texture to the dish. To finish off, a sun-dried long red chilli is placed on top for garnishing.
Pad Se Ew - soy noodles, perfect for non-chilli lovers.
With the above dishes best accompanied with steamed rice; noodle dishes put the pressure off ordering the extra bowl. For a sweet, soy flavour, the Chicken Pad Se Ew ($16.90) will definitely be a popular one among kids of all ages. There is no hint of chilli at all; rather it bursts with a generous amount of sweet soy sauce and oyster sauce, tossed through flat rice noodles and egg. Adding some colour and texture are snow peas, cooked well enough to retain its shine and crunch.
Chicken Satay Noodles - chosen to be served with no egg or vegetables.
Peanut Satay Sauce is just another popular flavour with Thai cuisine, and at Sauté Thai it’s available as Chicken Satay Noodles ($16.90). The satay flavour is tossed throughout the flat rice noodles, giving off a spicy, peanut flavour and aroma. Though it is normally stir-fried with vegetables and egg, we’ve opted for a version without it.
The famous Pad Thai - tangy, full of crunchy vegetables and a popular Thai dish.
Last but not least, no Thai restaurant visit is complete without some Chicken Pad Thai ($16.90); the vibrant orange noodle that is Thailand’s traditional national dish. Thin rice noodles are traditionally used with this dish, and can either be spicy or not. In Sauté Thai’s version, this Pad Thai leans towards the non-spicy flavour, and is rather rich in the tangy, tamarind flavour. Yet like all Pad Thai dishes; bean sprouts; shallots; tofu and crushed peanuts are added. If you’re after a traditional flavour of Thai, the Pad Thai is one you can’t miss.
Indulge in more than just food. Drink up at Saute Thai. Lots of tropical smoothies available.
The next time you visit Parramatta, be sure to venture into the smaller streets that veer off the side of Church Street. You’ll never know what you’ll discover there, but you’ll be glad to find yourself standing in front of Sauté Thai, or better yet, taking a seat inside to soak in the aromas and flavours of traditional Thai cuisine.
Where: Sauté Thai Restaurant, 18 Phillip Street, Parramatta NSW.
Why: Great presentation and great servings which makes it easy to share with a group of people. Also, the location is in a quieter street which is a nice getaway from the busier restaurants on Church street.
Cost: Moderately priced. Entrees $6.90-$10.90. Mains $15-$30. Lunch menu also available.
When: Dinner is ideal to get a feel of the ambience and setting, with the lanterns and candles lit up.
Good for kids: Yes - plenty of options for kids.
Take away: Yes - take away menu available.