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42A Ponsonby Road,

(09) 376 0320

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Review byCandice Reed11/08/2008

3 out of 5 stars

For more than a decade Sawadee Thai Cuisine on Ponsonby Rd has been a favourite restaurant for locals and visitors, so telling you how good my last dining experience there was will be nothing new.

Sawadee has lost nothing in over 10 years and continues to be a popular and reliable spot on Auckland’s restaurant scene. Just last year Hollywood celebs Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson were even spotted enjoying a meal there.

Staff dressed in traditional Thai attire greet you at the front counter and continue to efficiently serve throughout the night. Inside the building at the K’ Rd end of Ponsonby the restaurant is authentically Thai decorated with a mix of normal tables and seats recessed into the ground requiring you step down into a hollow.

For tall or pregnant diners this can be awkward. My pregnant companion recommended anyone more than six months pregnant should ask for a European table and seat.

Our drinks order was taken quickly once we were settled into the seats and we took a bit more time to get through the detailed menu and decide on four dishes to share. After some help from the staff we chose Gai Sam Ros (chicken with sweet chilli and cashew nuts, $22.40), Gaen Keow Wan Gai (green chicken curry, $21.50), Gaeng Phed Yang (duck in red curry sauce with tomato and pineapple, $22.50) and Mike’s Special (beef with garlic and spice with a satay sauce, $21.80). For those wondering, the last dish was named after the builder who recently completed an extension to the restaurant. It was his favourite dish.

Our conversation had barely re-started before our meals arrived from the kitchen. It was easy to share the dishes with plenty of room on the table and rice was never far away when you ran out.

The background music, which seemed to be modern Thai with a pop flavour, enhanced the jovial mood inside. A nearby table broke out in ‘Happy Birthday’ further cementing the restaurant’s reputation for catering for large groups and intimate pairs in effortless style. There’s even a function room for those needing more privacy.

It was a busy Saturday night with tables quickly cleared and prepared for the next diners within minutes. I was glad we’d book otherwise I doubt we would have got a table.

By the time my plate was cleared I’d eaten all I could, there were no complaints on the serving sizes from anyone in our group. In fact, the only negative we could find was that the kitchen had run out of chocolate mousse desserts, not that I had any room for it anyway.

Sawadee has been reviewed by 13 users

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