Good Food Guide - - Auckland -

Saan’s menu cen­tres on the Isaan (north-east­ern) and Lanna (north­ern) cuisines chef Lek Tri­rat­tana­vatin grew up im­mersed in. Pad Thai – the but­ter chicken of Thai cui­sine – shall never cross Lek’s pass; his noo­dle knowl­edge is far bet­ter demon­strated in dishes like the punchy, suc­cu­lent braised beef neck with fresh egg noo­dles, in a spicy co­conut broth. There’s usu­ally a dry curry on the menu and it’s al­ways amaz­ing, like the crispy pork belly stir-fried in pep­per­corn and red curry paste with snake beans, chilli and kaf­fir lime. Wait­staff go out of their way to ac­com­mo­date. You won’t be left wait­ing here – the kitchen cracks along at an im­pres­sive pace and wait­ers seem to ap­pear on cue the mo­ment you pon­der that sec­ond drink (the Thai­in­spired cock­tails are well worth ex­plor­ing).

160 Pon­sonby Rd, Pon­sonby, 09 320 4337, Lunch Wed-fri, din­ner Tues-sat; larger plates $16-32

Warm hospi­tal­ity IN BRIEF and punchy, ex­cit­ing riffs on re­gional Thai cui­sine

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