Authentic northern and north eastern Thai cuisine came to Ponsonby Road with the 24 October opening of saan, the latest offering from the creators of Café Hanoi.
Head chef Wichian Trirattanavatin, better known as Lek, was born, raised and trained in Thailand. The menu showcases traditional dishes from the Trirattanavatin family. Dishes include Isaan pork sausages, Geang Sadoong, a semi-cured venison and Larb Ped, a wok-seared spicy duck and mint salad, all recipes from Lek’s Grandmother, and Moo Krob Prik Khing, a crispy pork curry.
Previously head chef at Café Hanoi, it has been Lek’s dream to run his own Thai restaurant to share his family’s recipes with guests.
“I have a very deep respect for the tradition and culture which underpins the food we are offering our customers. It is my most important guide to ensure our dishes respectfully represent the traditional food my family and community would be proud of,” he said.
The saan beverage list features a range of cocktails including the Weeping Butterfly, Tomyum Martini and the Bittersweet Eternal Youth. Wines were chosen by sommelier Yahn Hansen. A craft beer has been made especially for the restaurant by Hallertau.
The décor and design, created by Cheshire Architects, features bespoke finishings with custom-dyed fabric and upholstery, pendant lampshades made using traditional ceramic techniques by a Thai craftsman, and bleached raw timber. The restaurant is open plan with a capacity of 127.