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Sabai Sabai - Church & Dundas

Walking by Church & Dundas today and there's a new Thai resto opening by Chef Nuit, as per the hand written sign in the windows. Couldn't catch the name, but it's in the former Wimpey's Diner space. Liquor license app is also up. Hopefully opening soon! The area needs a stellar Thai resto!

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  1. Sabai Sabai kitchen


    I read about it in that BlogTO article but between that article and a PostCity one there wasn't much concrete information. Wasn't clear if she was just designing the menu or becoming the chef there so was waiting for some clarification. If anyone knows more it would be interesting to know how it will effect KSR.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ylsf

      I meant to say that "The Grid" article.

      Here is the post city article that makes it sound like she is more invovled:


      It is weird because those two articles went out at around the same time but the information is very different. One said that the owners wanted to remain secret, while the other posted the names of the owners. One says she is designing the menu, and another says she is chef.

    2. I thought she was just helping set things up as per the blog TO bit... but maybe that's changed?

      3 Replies
      1. re: jlunar

        That's what I thought as well.

        1. re: jlunar

          she's just setting it up and will be involved heavily with the menu.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess

            Chef Nuit is also part owner. Found this out when I stopped to speak with the owner/manager, Jason

        2. Quick update on the opening - I spoke with the owner, Jason, last week while walking by. Apparently they are aiming for a soft launch this Friday (tomorrow) but will not have a liquor license as of then.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bringonthelbs

            The name of the restaurant is Sabai Sabai Kitchen and Bar, and they are indeed open today at 225 Church St. So far they don't have a website but they have a Facebook page.

            1. re: caviartothegeneral

              I know.I read that they were opening today on another site. I searched for the website and couldn't find it. Can't wait to find out more about this place.

          2. "The food will be different from anything offered at Sukothai or Khao San Road. "

            Let's hope so. Both those restaurants have very similar and very static menus. There's so much Thai food left to explore!

            1. I walked by yesterday and took a photo of their "Soft Launch Menu". Here it is.

              1. Did anyone try? I meant to stop by on Friday but things didn't go according to plan. Between this and Santouka the neighbourhood is really starting to look up for new restos!

                1. I was here day before yesterday. Had vegan red curry. There were some soya nuggets in the curry . not bad but not spectacular - not worth coming back. I thought the portion was less too.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: garfield

                    Haven't been but I have to admit, I'm not overly impressed with the menu.

                    1. re: garfield

                      That's too bad about the vegan red curry. I'm not sure she still makes it, but back when I lived in the 'hood SukhoThai had a red curry squash dish I just loved. It requires no meat to make it over the top delicious. I'm surprised it isn't on the menu at all Chef Nuit establishments.

                    2. Was there last Saturday for the soft launch, overly busy. Menu was tapa style, was told by owner full menu is in the works for grand opening in a couple of weeks. Not into vegan, tried a following: the grilled pork skewer is quite flavourful would go well with a nice sparkling, fried fish w/ tamarind sauce is reminiscent of Thai street food-quite delicios perfectly fried, spiced chicken noodle salad was very spicy-nice kick, steamed curry fish in banana leaf was my favorite-steaming hot to the table bringing out the aromas of banana leaf and curry. Will definitely revisit to complete the rest of the menu. Definitely need to speed up on the liquor license to compliment the food.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: SensiblePalate

                        Was the fried fish w/tamarind heavily breaded?

                        1. re: SensiblePalate

                          Ignore my last question. I just saw a picture of the fish on their facebook page, and it looks as if it's breaded in panko crumbs. Looks really yummy!

                          1. re: kwass

                            Kwass: the crumbs were crisp, fish was light and flavorful. Surprisingly not greasy. I just noticed on the blog, they are now LLBO! Will try the rest this weekend.

                            1. re: SensiblePalate

                              I was afraid it would be a really thick batter. But that sounds (and looks from the picture I saw) amazing!

                              1. re: SensiblePalate

                                Can't wait to hear about the rest of the dishes you try!

                          2. I was there tonight, around 6:30. Steady business, no line ups. Chief Nuit was greeting and saying goodbye to customers.

                            The food was really good.
                            We had: papaya salad, crispy fried fish with tamarind sauce, spicy noodle salad, shrimp in panang curry, and red fire fried morning glory.
                            For me the standouts were the shrimp in panang and the morning glory. Shrimp was fresh and crunchy and the curry rich and flavourful. I love morning glory, here they cooked with lots of garlic and fish sauce, perhaps oyster sauce as well. Delicious.
                            The noodle salad was similar in quality to the noodles at Kho San Road (very good).
                            The fish was a tad undercooked. The papaya salad had a good balance of hot sour salty sweet.

                            I also had the Thai iced tea that was much too sweet.

                            I would recommend heading to Sabai Sabi before the hoards descend. Also, they take reservations.

                            16 Replies
                              1. re: kwass

                                It is a green vegetable popular in Chinese and South Asian Cuisine for stir fries. It goes by a few names, in Chinese it is tong choi or ong choi.

                                1. re: cookiebaker

                                  I LOVE morning glory but didn't know it was called ong choi - which is available locally woop. Thanks for the recommendations, looking forward to checking this place out tonight.

                                  1. re: gembellina

                                    I like Tong Choy..had no idea it was called Morning Glory....really dumb name IMO!

                                    Someone asked earlier about the fish...I tried it for the lunch special and it was extremely delicious! the coating was probably the lightest fried food I've ever eaten in my life. Really, it was very tasty. I'd like to go back and try the small plates.

                                    1. re: szw

                                      It was me. Thank you for sharing your experience!

                                      1. re: szw

                                        Tong choi or Ipomoea aquatica is known in English as water convolvulus (among other names). It is a member of the morning glory family, hence the name. More importantly, it is delicious :-). I've seen it listed as kang kong on some SE Asian menus.

                                      2. re: gembellina

                                        I think we got there around 7 and there were no tables free, apart from some reserved ones. We sat at the bar and moved to a table after about ten mins.

                                        We started with the papaya salad which was great, very fresh and sweet/sour. Then the crispy fried fish and the prawn panang curry. The fish was very very good, very lightly crispy but as someone mentioned above, possibly slightly undercooked inside? But not enough to make it an unpleasant dish - in fact, we ordered another! We also got the pork skewer, which had a strange texture - slightly wet and plasticky? I would have preferred a bit of char on the outside. The morning glory was lovely, in a very savoury and garlicky broth. Bf ate the chilli that was served in it -bad idea, in case anyone else was tempted!

                                        Two slight downers were that the beer was not very cold (bottled Tsingtao) and we were rather rushed out at the end - plates snatched up as soon as we'd finished, and bill delivered when we still had 2/3 of a drink to go.

                                        Anyway it has convinced me that Khao San Road might be worth the line-up, as I'd like to try a full dish of that standard of Thai cooking.

                                        1. re: gembellina

                                          KSR is definitely worth the line-up!!

                                          1. re: kwass

                                            Not to me, I'd rather go to sukhothai. I dont' know why, maybe bad luck, but I've had a few good experiences at KSR and a few poor ones (slow service, food not quite right, spicyness levels way off), but have always had good experience at sukhothai.

                                            Doesn't make much sense,I know, but I've directed more than a few people to both restaurants who all gave me the same feedback.

                                        1. re: cookiebaker

                                          It's also called "pak boong" in Thai.

                                      3. re: cookiebaker

                                        I couldnt agree more, I live close by so I eat there often and the shrimp panang and morning glory are my absolute must haves! Also in the lunch menu, the tom yum noodle soup is delicious.
                                        I also visit and order in from Sukhothai all the time but I just havent been able to go back to KSR after the partners pushed Jeff and Nuit out and they still serve her food!
                                        Either ways, I do prefer the quality of food at Suko....the good news is that Jeff did mention that they have another restaurant in the works in the downtown area:)

                                        1. re: akhorasanee

                                          Were they pushed out? Is that what happened? And if so, why?

                                            1. re: MissBingBing

                                              I knew they left, but I didn't know that they were pushed out. I thought that they left of their own volition.

                                            2. re: kwass

                                              He was careful to sound appreciative of the partners but the underlying tone sounded like it wasn't feasible for them to be part of it given what the partners wanted....I truly got the feeling it wasn't a friendly departure...either ways nuit cooking has a lot of fans and I'm sure they will do fine without ksr

                                        2. Just had lunch there for the first time today.. it was most empty at around 1:30 on a Saturday. Nice atmosphere.. relaxed but still an attractive room. My friend had the beef massaman curry with rice and loved it.. I had the spiced chicken noodle salad (which they made milder for me). Very good, and even though I was only planning on eating half and taking it home.. I ended up eating so much that it wasn't worth it! I'll definitely be going back..

                                          1. I stopped in a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday night. The food is good, what we've come to expect from Chef Nuit, but much the same as in all her other locations with a few new dishes. I wish they'd offer some really different specials. My favourite was the cold pork salad. The meat is beautifully seasoned.

                                            The beer selection is really limited. Sapporo or Blanche de Chambly on tap and a few bottles. No BeerLao since August ;(

                                            The service was slow. 10 minutes to get any service after being seated then 15 minutes for a pitcher of beer. But the food came quickly.

                                            1. I really like this place. Pretty decor, nice staff, upbeat & unpretentious atmosphere (I took my 70 year old parents post theatre - and the crowd was very mixed), great mojito at non-mixologist price, great if simple food.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: julesrules

                                                I really like the decor and unpretentious atmosphere as well. The food was fun, but I definitely felt that some dishes' sauces were cloyingly sweet (taro rolls, crispy fish with tamarind sauce, squash fritters). Even the "spicy" chicken noodle dish was more sweet than spicy (for me). I really enjoyed the grilled pork salad with fresh herbs and the spicy papaya salad. I'm sorry that my dining companion and I opted for the panang curry over the green curry, which surely would have been spicier. I thought it might be too much heat for my friend. The mock mojito was lovely. I'd return for the more savoury dishes. I would not, however, pay $7 for a Beer Lao. I drank them in Laos and they were fine, but standard issue bottled beer. Definitely not worth the price of a better import (i.e. Stella Artois).

                                                1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                  For me there are a few too many fried dishes, since those aren't my favourite I really only want one which limits things. So I would appreciate a more varied menu too. I probably wouldn't plan a full dinner out here, but for casually dropping in for snacks and drinks - I like it.