WHETHER we see him or not in a green jersey again remains to be seen (in my books anyway) but with one eye on the Lions tour this year, Brian O’Driscoll traded rugby greens for chef whites recently in a video produced by HSBC at Saba in Dublin. Take a look as BOD tries his hand at spring rolls with sous-chef Yo before doling out tips on how to get a pass off. While he might yet become a dab hand at Thai and Vietnamese cooking, it turns out the number 13 prefers the plainer spaghetti and chicken before a big game. Take a look at the video above or check out the Saba blog for more behind the scenes clips.
SABA: The Cookbook is a collection of Thai and Vietnamese recipes from Dublin restaurant, SABA. Having won a handful of prestigious awards since its release last year, SABA: The Cookbook will go on to represent Ireland at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris in February 2013.
The book is loaded with Thai recipes, ranging from tasty appetisers to wok dishes and sides, from soups to curries and everything in between. It also invites you through the doors and into the kitchen and the heart of Saba, Dublin’s award-winning Thai and Vietnamese eatery.
Written by Proprietor Paul Cadden and Executive Chef Taweesak Trakoolwattana, this is the story of Saba’s first five years. Authenticity is the key, and the food in Saba remains true to the origins of Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. It is beautifully illustrated throughout, and all the recipes have been tested in a domestic kitchen, with great success!
All proceeds from sales of this book will go to The Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and to The Thai Red Cross Society.
Published by SABA, SABA: The Cookbook is available from all good bookshops for €30 and is also available on www.sabadublin.com.
Saba is open from 12pm for lunch till late, seven days a week and is located on 26-28 Clarendon Street, Dublin 2. For bookings Tel: 01-6792000 or log onto www.sabadublin.com for more details.
If a packed restaurant is a signal that the food is good, then the food must be great at Baan Thai on Merrion Road in Dublin. I’m in a snowy Dublin for the day, arriving late yesterday evening in search of food – any food – after a long day in the office. Having checked into Bewley’s in Ballsbridge, it was a short walk to left to find a few restaurants and bars just down from the RDS, one of those being Baan Thai.
Walking past the door you would have no idea that it would be as busy as it was. Small doorway, stairs up off the street, worn carpet on the way up to the Thai flag hanging on the middle landing. Walking in the door though was another story. On appearance it’s a small restaurant but for half eight on a Friday night the place was jammed, conversation buzzing in the room, plenty of chat in the air about food, wine, desserts and every other current hot topic hitting the news.
As seating goes, I’m not keen on places that cram in the tables to the point that a waiter has to turn sideways to get between your table and the next but even in a crowded environment there was enough to make your meal private.
At the end of the day though, it’s all about the food. It’s been ages since I’ve eaten in a Thai restaurant (or one where the cuisine is predominately Thai) so browsing a menu with sixty or seventy dishes (maybe more) to choose from, I was really spoiled for choice. Spoiled and all as I was, there was only one dish on the menu I’d wanted. The Lamb Masaman Curry.
Lemongrass (then Lemonsol, then Lemon Soul, then something else) was a great Asian style restaurant that opened in Kilkenny years ago and they used to have a lamb masaman curry on the menu. It didn’t last all that long on it but for the one or two nights that I had tried it there, it was one of the nicest lamb dishes I’d ever had.
Equally, the masaman in Baan Thai last night was really, really good – all the more frustrating as the thai prawn crackers, wanton bags (much nicer than the Chinese style crispy wantons) and white wine started to take it’s toll on me and I struggled to carry on eating. Struggle and all as I did, the food was great, tasty, very satisfying and very moreish. The lamb was cubed with the potato but really soft, the melt-in-your-mouth style. As spice goes, I’d call it a medium, no sign of a Christy Moore act on it, thankfully.
In terms of pricing, with two of us for dinner comprising two starters, two mains, four sides (two portions of rice, one portion crackers, one portion fries for the lady) and an €18 bottle of wine, the whole bill came to €71, expected considering we weren’t eating in Kilkenny but not to the point that it would put me off going back (we’re very used to dinner out in Kilkenny, with wine, for two people for €50 or under).
Next time I eat there I’ll remember to bring an actual camera, apologies for the quality of the photos above!
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