New-comer Sabai in Richmond celebrates assertive Thai flavours with youthful vigour.

With owners and chefs, Manpreet and his wife’s collective 25 years of experience in the industry, the restaurant is in safe hands. The menu is, quite simply put, sensational, boasting classically-inspired and creative Thai cuisine that makes a statement.

BBQ pork neck sticky rice, nam jim jaew

We started with the BBQ pork neck sticky rice. A simple and tasty starter that was packed with flavour, we particularly loved the smoky flavours imparted by the pork neck and the perfectly spiced nam jim jaew that brought the dish together alongside the gooey sticky rice. 

Chicken, sweet corn and shitake Dumplings chili jam

The velvety dumpling pastry was beautiful in texture and the accompanying sea of sweet chili jam was pleasantly appetising. 

Crispy barramundi, fresh herb & apple salad chili, lemongrass & sweet sour dressing

Our first main course was an interesting take on the traditional. Instead of the barramundi being served whole, it had been decidedly cubed and then fried to a perfect crispy exterior with plenty of surface area to soak up the pleasant chili, lemongrass and sweet sour dressing.

Slow braised lamb shank Massaman, potato, cashews & roti

The slow braised lamb shank Massaman was a show stopper. The lamb was falling off the bone and was beautifully tender and succulent.  Harmonising a perfect balance of spices and sweetness, the accompanying curry was one of the best examples of a massaman curry we have had. Together with steamed rice, the robust and fragrant dish was an addictive and comforting dish.

Duck Salad, spicy asian slaw, baby raddish, & caramalised popcorn

The duck salad was a multitude of fresh and intense flavours and was highlighted by the luxuriously tender duck and gentle tartness of the spicy asian slaw.  

Coconut ice cream, kaffir lime toffee

The coconut ice cream was refreshing. Of particular note was the addition of kaffir lime leaves which added interest and enhanced the flavour of the ice cream.

Thai Tea Pannacotta, coconut crumble, berries

Sabai’s take on the pannacotta was delicious. Wonderfully melt in your mouth, the pannacotta went beautifully with the textural coconut crumble and frozen berries. A welcome departure from the mundane, this dessert offered its own unique characteristics. We loved the familiar yet different flavour combinations. 

With a firm grasp on the fine art of balancing Thai flavours of salinity, sweetness, heat and acidity, Sabai offers a compelling proposition of beautiful and punchy food. This, combined with a team that clearly loves the food with a passion, Sabai is a welcomed addition to the Richmond dining scene.


460 Church Street, Richmond


03 8528 6884




Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Sabai.