Sasi Thai Cooking Classes?
i posted previously soliciting chowish wedding gift ideas here:
and while the wedding is rapidly approaching i still have not found the right gift (i looked at a few of the options for private chefs listed in that thread which all sounded really nice but were, unfortunately, out of my price range).
CuriousCat mentioned cooking classes at Sasi Thai, but in doing some recon on this board and otherwise i was more than a little confused by what i found. there are, apparently, several thai restaurants owned by on Sasi, though only one is named for her. the restaurant with her name is, according to Cat's post, owned by a man who's son was the primary contact during the class (and, clearly, isnt Sasi). the website for Sasi Thai is utterly lacking, though it does contain an email address. i didnt venture to email as i wasnt sure i was looking in the right place.
does anyone out there (you, curiouscat?) have any more info about these classes which would clarify the situation for me. does Sasi (the person) offer classes in addition to Sasi (the restaurant)? does anyone have a reliable way to get in touch with whomever does offer lessons (will the email on the pretty much useless website actually connect me with a person who can help me?)
thanks for any/all answers.
What JaPe said. I've seen a few of the cooking classes in progress, usually led by Allan and held at their Mengrai Thai restaurant. I believe (IIRC) that their Sasi Thai restaurant on Jarvis will be closing, so Mengrai will become the sole base of operations now that it's established. Go to their website and give them a call; they'll be happy to help you.
If anyone has attended the classes, I would love to hear how they went.
Hi tex.s.toast, yes as JaPe and vorpal say, it is a husband-and-wife team. Allan handled the first part of our class (background on Thai food, ingredients, etc) and Brandon (the son) handled the in-kitchen stuff. I'd say the time was split pretty evenly in-between the 2 parts of the class, or perhaps 40% background, 60% in-kitchen.
I don't think I even saw Sasi in the restaurant, but maybe it was just that night. We were kept waiting a bit at the start (some sort of mini-crisis Allan had to take care of) but were treated to a nice mango & red pepper salad, so didn't mind too much.
They are super friendly and helpful on the phone, and if they don't have time to talk, they'll email you a package full of info on the different options (e.g., different plates) available. There's a lot of stuff to wade through, but the important stuff is in there.
As for the experience, I enjoyed it. They dice up all the meats, garlic, veg, etc. for you, so basically all you have to do is throw stuff in a sizzling hot wok. In this sense, it's not like a cooking class you might get at George Brown, where you learn the techniques involved in the prep work (you do get some tips, but it's all already done for you). They give you a "standard" recipe for the sauces (for pad thai, etc) IIRC, but you end up using their house-sauces in their dishes. In fact, they sell these by the jar, which is great for the lazy (like me).
I paid the extra $20-ish/pp for the "gourmet thai meal" which included a fried-rice (or vermicelli??) dish, and their lychee-curry (very good). I don't know that I'd call it fine dining, but it's a step up from the typical pad-thai etc. Also included a bite of sweet sticky-rice dessert. If you decide not to opt-in for the dinner, you'd just take home the goodies you cooked up.
I think it came to just under $200 for the 2 of us plus tip (sorry, memory's fuzzy). We had fun, got some recipes, took some photos, and had a tasty meal and lunch for the next day. Plus the bf now makes pad thai for me, so it seems to have be the gift that keeps on giving!