Restaurant Review Roulette: Sawasdee

I’ve done a pretty good job predicting the number of stars that Greg Cox hands out for the restaurants he’s reviewed since I started this silly little mindless game of prognostication (again, this is for entertainment purposes only — no wagering!).  But this week’s review of Sawasdee Thai Restaurant is one where I really don’t know what he’ll do.  I know Greg likes Asian restaurants.  He also has a pretty good grasp of Thai cuisine.

The problem with Sawasdee (the review, not the restaurant) is that he last reviewed it 11 years ago (3-1/2 stars), and it’s changed a lot since that time.  Moreover, they’ve opened a second larger location in the Pleasant Valley Promenade, so I don’t know if he went to that location, the original off Capital Blvd., or both.  And I must say I haven’t been to Sawasdee (either location) in several years.

Doing a quick search on Chowhound, Sawasdee does not appear to generate the “foodie buzz” that a lot of other Asian restaurants get (see Gourmet Kingdom), so I’m guessing that the food hasn’t really changed.  Frankly, Thai food in Raleigh is similar to Chinese from 10-20 years ago, as every place caters to American tastes, and no one (as far as I know) offers solid, authentic Thai fare.  With that, I’m guessing Sawasdee stays at 3-1/2 stars.  Here are this week’s odds:

5 stars — 5,000 to 1

4.5 stars — 75 to 1

4 stars — 4 to 1

3.5 stars — 3 to 2

3 stars — 2 to 1

2.5 stars — 5 to 1

2 stars — 10 to 1

1 to 1.5 stars — 75 to 1

This is really difficult, and my uncertainty is reflected in the odds above.  Have you been to the new location of Sawasdee?  How many stars will Greg Cox give it???


(Edit) Three and one-half stars it is!


7 Responses to Restaurant Review Roulette: Sawasdee

  1. Tom from Raleigh says:

    3.5 stars. I get carry out from Sawasdee occasionally. It’s pretty darn good. Certainly the best Thai in North Raleigh, though I don’t know of a worthy competitor. If you can get them to make it really hot, it excels.

    The atmosphere and service are better than at Super Wok or Gourmet Kingdom as far as I can tell, though their food may be more toned down for American tastes.

  2. Rafe says:

    I ate at the new location on Glenwood a few weeks ago, and found the food indistinguishable from the food at the original location on Capital, which speaks well of it. I like the food at Sawasdee quite well, but I have to confess that Super Wok is my first choice for Asian food at this point.

  3. Chris says:

    I love Sawasdee. The new location feels more “restaurant-like”, the original location feels more “mom and pop-like”, the food at both has remained excellent. I’ve never been to Thailand (its on the list of places to visit!) but I have eaten a lot of Thai food, and Sawasdee is the best around by far and away. I don’t know if it is truly authentic, but a lot of other places around seem much more Americanized to me than Sawasdee. I get the feeling that “authentic” Thai food is less discussed than “authentic” Chinese food because real Chinese food has been so bastardized in the U.S. (we call it fake-Chinese food in our house, and it definitely has its place).

    Also, I’ve always had excellent, earnest service at both locations … something hole-in-the wall Asian restaurants are often lacking.

    So, I’ll hope for 4 stars, but 3.5 or even 3 is a good guess.

  4. Alan says:

    I ate there recently and despite others telling me how good it was, I wasn’t impressed. The food was ok, but the service was terribly slow.

    But then Greg Cox and I tend to disagree on restaurants, so I’ll be generous and go with 3.5 stars. (although if i was reviewing it, I would give 2.5)

  5. Mary says:

    3 stars!

  6. Nang says:

    Being Thai, I can tell you this is the best option I have had in the NC, probably the US. The masaman is perfect, the king would be proud.

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