2016 Award Thai Select Award Restaurant
2014 Voted Australia's Favourite Thai Restaurant I Love FOOD Award 2014 National Winner
2012-2010 Voted WA Favourite Thai Restaurant | I Love FOOD Award State Winner
2009 Voted WA Favourite Asian Restaurant | I Love FOOD Awards 09| State Winner
2009, 2007, 2006 & 2005 Award for Excellence Finalist, the Restaurant & Catering Industry Association of WA
2004 Voted "The Best Thai in Perth", by the Sunday Times Magazine, December 5, 2004 STM
Fire and Flavour from Phuket
The West Australian,Dining Out Review, May 29, 2002 by Gavin Simpson - * Rating 15/20 "on the boil to red hot".
When Saowanee de Glanville came to Perth from Thailand's, island paradise of Phuket 33 years ago she could find only one shop that sold Asian food supplies.
So she set to work pounding and mixing her own ingredients and teaching herself to cook the deliciously spicy food cooked by her family. That experience has stood her in good stead over the years, firstly with a catering business and now with her own restaurant, Saowanee's place.
She picked the name, she says with a shy, laugh, because her friends so enjoyed her food that they would always be saying, "Let's go to Saowanee's place".The food in her elegant little North Perth restaurant is a joy to eat, fragrant and spicy with more than a touch of fire in some of the dishes.
Saowanee presents her food in true Thai style not watered down into a Westernised version. Food from Phuket, particularly the curries, she says, is hotter and spicier than from other parts of the country. She is happy, however, to tone down the heat.
One of her favourite dishes, where it is wise to ask for the milder version, is a memorable paw paw salad. Grated green paw paw is mixed with prawns, roasted peanuts, lime juice, palm sugar, snake beans and a fiery dousing of chilli. The first time we tried it we were left gasping but the second time we asked for a milder version which had all the flavour without the heat.
There is no shortage of choice on Saowanee's menu, with all the Thai favourites and some additions such as a Burmese-influenced version of roti bread with curried chicken or beef.
Entrees include light, delicate and decidedly non-rubbery fish cakes, delicious wontons, spring rolls and chicken satays with a mellow Thai-style sauce. There is also a good selection of spicy tom yum soups and chicken, prawn and beef salads. Main courses include stir fries, noodle and fried rice dishes with prawns, beef, chicken and vegetarian combinations. There is also a deliciously savoury Thai-style omelette.
Of the curries, there are the traditional green and red versions with prawn, chicken, beef or fish and a panang version which incorporates a smooth-tasting red peanutty sauce. The moist and tender chunks of beef smothered in a mildly spicy sweet and sour Massaman sauce are also well worth trying.
Saowanee is considering adding even more dishes to the menu, some from Burma. Her own Thai favourite is a sour bamboo shoot curry with fish but she's not sure about how Westerners would react to its pungent fish sauce aroma.
"Saowanee's Place itself is worth more than just a try: the food, like Phuket, is seductive enough to make repeat visits highly likely."
Gavin Simpson, Dining Out, (The West Australian, May 29, 2002)
What they say about us ....
Saowanees Place Score 15 - 16
1 -5 Road kill;
6 -9 Neither fish, flesh nor fowl;
10-12 Vin ordinaire;
13-14 Good, good fun or good value;
15-16 On the boil to red hot;
17-18 Within an ace of Everest,book now;
19-20 Heaven on a stick!
(Dining Out, The West