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November 2015

SAAN

http://www.saan.co.nz/

Our Cheshire-chasing continues to Northern Thai eatery – Saan, the latest offering from the creators of Café Hanoi and XuXu at Britomart. We’d be lying if we said we weren’t in love with it even before we went. Helping sizzle up their website with its promises of banana-leaf parcels and spicy duck larb certainly helped.

Crossing the threshold, we were hit with the mouth-watering aromas of caramelised meat (sorry, Annie) and charcoal fires. The staff were quick on their feet and eager to please — we were seated in front of the open kitchen, energetic and vibrant, lined with jars of chilli, turmeric and galangal. On the back wall, impressive panels of roasted pork belly were suspended on large metal hooks. Conveniently, our in-house vegetarian sat with her back to this display. 

We couldn’t keep our hands off the cool ceramics — duck-egg blues, metallic copper detailing and tall wicker seats were all gorgeous. Definitely try the Sai Krok Isaan, a pork sausage smokey from the charcoal fires and bursting with aromas of lemongrass and chilli, eaten with bites of lettuce, fresh garlic and ginger slices. 
Oh Saan – just shut up and take our money.

Louise had Larb Ped (wok seared spicy duck and mint salad). She “went in expecting Indian but was super-stoked to discover it was Northern Thai from the Isaan province. Beautiful flavours, beautiful aesthetic though a bit heavy on the cane weaving for me. Definitely going back though. May have just trumped Joy Bong as my favourite Thai.”

Innie had the Chicken soup with a Chang Rai Rule (Caramelised pineapple shrub, lime & ginger beer), and simply said “Oh- Yes!”

Katie had Phlah Goong (Wok-seared banana prawns w/ red onion & tomato salad w/ a lemongrass & chilli paste dressing). “Prawns, lemongrass and sticky rice- what’s there to complain about?” was what she had to say.

Mel had Phlah Goong (wok seared banana prawns) and a Chang Rai Rule. She said “The flavours were outstanding, loved the hum left on my lips from the chilli, such a treat!”

Joe had Gai Yarng Wichian (chargrilled chicken with Thai spices and lemongrass) and also drank a a Chang Rai Rule. He said it was the “best Thai Fusion I’ve had to date, and amazing service.”

Emilie had Sai Ua (Lanna pork sausage with aromatic spices). She loved “the restaurant’s ambient colour scheme. Food was great.” and will definitely visit again!

Service

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Overall Experience