Monday, 28 July 2014

Mons Ban Sabai - reminded me of why I love Thai

Everyone has their favourite Thai place and usually it's quite local and within short walking distance. Living in the CBD has robbed me of a local Thai restaurant, although, believe it or not Jo Jo's in the CBD has a pretty mean Thai red curry beef that I indulge in from time to time (see post here). But when I think about our time in the 'burbs, we always had a great Thai restaurant within walking distance (although we'd normally drive, but that's another story).

In years gone by, I'd have ranked Thai as my favourite Asian cuisine but for some reason, I stopped eating Thai food, I think I'd just eaten too much of a good thing and went off it.  SC will tell a tale a little bit different, a story where I'd read an article that Thai food was the highest in calories.  Pffft, as if! Anyway, for what ever reason we stopped eating so much Thai food and Japanese became the preferred Asian cuisine (I mean gyoza and sashimi, right?!)

So I was intrigued when I was invited along to an Instagram event at one of Brisbane's best loved Thai restaurants, Mons Ban Sabai in Camp Hill.  Mons Ban Sabai, which is a mouthful of a name, is part of the Venzin Group, which runs a number of Asian inspired restaurants, most notably renowned breakfast spot Paw Paw Cafe (see post here).  I'd never been to Mons Ban Sabai before and a quick look online to see where exactly in Camp Hill I needed to go told me that it was definitely going to be a SatNav job in the car.  

After wheeling through some of the back streets of Camp Hill (saved by SatNav), I finally pulled up outside a tiny little strip of shops that housed Mons Ban Sabai.  Talk about local, if you didn't know where it was, have SatNav, or you didn't live nearby, finding Mons Ban Sabai would have been a challenging task.  Walking into the little Thai restaurant, I was surprised by how cool it looked inside, with an amazing bay window that dominated the dining room.  Our Instagram event was in a less spectacular looking room off to the side, which was set up for a night of gorging on delicious Thai.

Like most Asian food, Thai cuisine is best shared amongst a group and host for the night Giorgina Venzin was right in her element welcoming and greeting the thirty odd guests for the night.  Once we'd all sat down a Thai feast commenced.  It's quite an amusing sight, thirty foodies, all in a room - torn between getting stuck into the food but at the same time needing to get juuust the right shot on camera and phone.  We had plenty of share plates to choose from so it was a case of racing around the room, taking photos then racing back to your seat to start consuming.

I had a fantastic time at Mons Ban Sabai, with each of the fresh and delicious Thai dishes hitting the spot.  While everything was good, I had a couple of top picks - the Gaeng Massaman, mild tender beef stew with peanuts & potatoes was superb and a favourite around the table;  the island curry came presented in a half pineapple and was red curry with roasted duck with lychees and pineapple - yum! We also had two different types of whole fish, barramundi and snapper, which were presented beautifully on the plate and both divine.

Spending time at Mons Ban Sabai reminded me of the reasons why I used to rank Thai cuisine as one of my favourites.  The freshness and quality of the produce used, the combination of flavours and that warming feeling you get when you've eaten something delicious.  It had me reflecting on why we'd stopped eating Thai in the first place.....  Perhaps it's time to find my local Thai again......


**I was a guest of Mons Ban Sabai for this meal

Deep fried prawns with a sweet chilli sauce sauce
Golden clouds of deep fried tofu with a sweet chilli sauce
I loved the quirky presentation of this seafood curry
The marinated gilled chicken skewers 
Wonderfully cooked spicy calamari in a lettuce basket
What a lovely way to serve the steamed rice
Whole barramundi in a sweet soy sauce
The red curry duck was one of my favourites
As was the massaman beef curry
These 'money bags' were stuffed with minced chicken instead of cash!
Dessert time!
Tasty chocolate ice cream
We left a bit of a mess!!

Mons Ban Sabai Thai on UrbanspoonMons Ban Sabai


  1. I barely got to try many of the dishes, as soon as we took a photo they were whisked away up your end and there they stayed, huff!

    1. Mate, the same happened to us as well, only got very small tastes and missed some all together. What I did eat was nice though!!


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