Augusta Eats: Columbia County Thai restaurant is at intersection of flavor and heat – AOL

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May 7, 2024 at 4:07 AM
The rich flavor of roast duck pulls together the Thai flavor palette in Sawasdee's veggie-packed pad kee mao, or drunken noodles.
The rich flavor of roast duck pulls together the Thai flavor palette in Sawasdee’s veggie-packed pad kee mao, or drunken noodles.

The sign says “hello,” but after sampling the food, you might not want to say goodbye.

Sawasdee Authentic Thai and Noodle House is in Martinez, in front of the West Town Shopping Center. “Sawasdee” is a standard Thai greeting, and fans of the zesty Asian cuisine might remember the original Thai Sawasdee that opened in Warrenville, S.C., in 2006.

That restaurant moved to Aiken in 2018 and changed its name to Jasmine Rice Thai Nakin. The Sawasdee in Martinez has been feeding customers for about a decade.

The word “authentic” in the restaurant’s name isn’t advertising fluff. Thai food has drawn influences from other cuisines in Southeast Asia. For the six remaining people who still might not know, Thai food is spicy.

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Thai food ideally doesn’t sacrifice flavor to deliver heat. It also doesn’t sacrifice heat to deliver flavor. Chili peppers are common ingredients in Thai recipes, but it’s the flavor combos containing garlic, coriander, ginger, lemongrass and more that help shape the foods’ distinctive taste.

The coconut soup is a good example – boiled coconut milk with tofu, onions and tomatoes, seasoned with lemongrass and galangal root, which is less sweet and more peppery than ginger.

A good starting appetizer is the tod mun pla, deep-fried fish cake medallions blended with red curry and green beans, served with homemade cucumber relish.

Sawasdee recently retired its lunch menu, replacing it with its robust all-day set menu and its almost-overwhelming number of choices. Customers who aren’t up to the spicier entrees will find a meal to love with Sawasdee’s pad thai, combining rice noodles with bean sprouts, green onions and egg, with a choice of meat such as beef, chicken or pork.

Other meats include squid and duck. Sawasdee’s pad kee mao, or drunken noodles, brings a satisfying heat, but including roast duck, and its mellow-tasting fat, adds a layer of indulgent richness.

Sawasdee is at 3836 Washington Rd., Suite 7, in Martinez.

This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Augusta Eats: Authentic Thai food awaits in Columbia County

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

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