Starting the new year with some curries.

Sa Wad Dee is one of those cliched hole in the wall restaurant that seemed to be there forever. A no-frills Thai restaurant that is centrally located in busy San Pablo Avenue in Richmond, a few blocks from the El Cerrito Del Norte BART.

For the first dining out experience of 2014, it was Thai for lunch. A New Year's Day dining tradition that we started a few years ago that was initially composed of 5 people. As the years went on, there had been additions and subtractions to the members of the group.

This year there were 5 of us for lunch this year. The hubs is the one assigned to select the restaurant this year. We've thought about it for a half day and the choices boiled down to Mexican cuisine versus Thai cuisine. I think the reason behind the loss of Mexican cuisine is that the hubs is tired of the cuisine and he's afraid I'd fill up on the chips and dips. Well he's right of course.

It makes me happy to see small restaurants stay in business for long. Not an easy feat considering the Bay Area is full of many good restaurants. So I reckon Sa Wad Dee (a Thai greeting) is doing something right.


The small restaurant is split in two set ups. The right side is where the traditional Thai seating is located. People sit on the floor with cushion to sit on. The left side is a regular booth and tables set-up. We chose to sit on the floor in the traditional Thai setting. The interiors is decorated with a few items/statues of Thai culture. Nothing fancy.


Personally I felt it was a tad slow considering the restaurant wasn't full at that time. In fact at one time there were about 4 tables of diners at most including us. However, the wait staff is friendly, but not too chatty as well.


Since there were 5 of us, we ordered 5 different items to be shared. The order size is large enough for two people, or three people with bird appetites. In addition to the 5 items, we also asked for a side order of steamed rice (then ordered a second one later on).

Fried Tofu - appetizer - served with sweet chili sauce and cucumber salad. The crispy tofu was so good. One order is big enough for five people.

Potak - soup - sour soup similar to the Filipino sinigang. It came with mixed seafood. The broth was very comforting, it's something that would be perfect on cold days. A hit with everybody, just like the fried tofu.

Pumpkin Red Curry with chicken - on the special's menu. A tad sweet but the otherwise very good. Except that personally, I am not fond of curries in general. I find them way too sweet for my taste buds. Also a hit with everyone else.

Tofu Green Curry - a hit with everyone, especially me. I enjoy the green curry better than the red or the yellow curry. Less sweet than the red curry in my opinion.

Mung Sa Virut - stir fried noodles with black mushrooms and vegetables. Very tasty and flavorful. Someone in the group thought it could use more mushrooms, which I seconded.

Fried Banana and coconut ice cream - a perfect dessert. We ordered only one because we were all too full from all the curries. This one was the bomb. I loved the coconut ice cream, really perfect with the fried banana.

Including tip, each diner's share of the bill was $16.00.

(Photos courtesy of cell phone.)


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