Sasi Limapiban – Business Minds

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Sasi is the owner of “Sai Thai Table & Tea” at Old Bar. It’s become a favourite place for us to dine …

The relaxed atmosphere and amazing Thai food are just the beginning. Sasi always greets you with a genuine smile, and you can’t help but feel at ease as soon as you sit down. Sasi always seems to be working at raising money for those who are disadvantaged and giving back. I’ve been looking forward to this interview for some time!

Sasi, how long have you lived in the area, and what was your history before coming here?
I have lived in Old Bar since July 2012 … history? How far would you like me to go back?
Let’s go back a long way, after I graduated in a Master of a Comparative Literature in Thailand. While I was a research analyst in an international company in Bangkok, I had a small business, where I imported Australian products and sold them online. My dreams were not fulfilled and I decided to embark on a new adventure, which brought me to Australia.
In January 2007 I came to Australia and in May I started my first Thai Restaurant business in Chatswood.
In 2009, I had another Thai restaurant in Manly.  It took another two years for me to find exactly what I had been searching for. Then I sold the business and turned my back on the big city and moved up north to the most beautiful and tranquil seaside village, to start a small new lively restaurant in Old Bar.

You’ve brought an amazing quality of Thai food to the Manning Valley. What is it that makes your cooking so unique?
Thanks Linda. “Unique” might be too admirable a word for us. SAI’s was found under the simple concept of the food we grew up with and which we long for – some tasty authentic Thai food that Thais are familiar with, some special dishes which we would ask our mums to cook for us after being away from home for a long time, and some modern dishes which have been created to suit the Thai palate.
SAI’s is just passing on the food experiences and our culture of the Thai table for everyone to appreciate.

I have to ask it …tell us about your to-die-for Meang Kana?
Certainly, Linda.
Actually, last year, I posted all about Meang Kana on our Facebook page, after it became SAI’s signature dish and everyone was asking for the recipe. Thai food lovers will be familiar with “Meang Kam”, with the betel leaf. Meang Kana is quite similar, but different in many details and ingredients, especially crispy chinese broccoli leaf instead of betal leaf. “Meang Kam” is a very common Thai food, easy to find in Thailand and some big Thai restaurants in Australia as well. It is a very typical Thai style enriched with many flavours of herbs that you can taste in just one mouthful. Meang Kana uses the same concept. It takes hours for us to delicately cook the caramelised sauce and more than five hours for the small pieces of the crispy pork crackling to make our Meang Kana one of a kind. For us, the long hours to make it, is worth the short sensation you experience from a shot of Meang Kana.

I notice that you are always raising money for other causes; this must be something really important to you?
Well … there are many people out there helping other people in many ways. What we have been doing is just a small part in this area. So whenever we have a chance to do this, we will. It is just something that we are happy to do.

What do you love most about the Manning Valley?
Sea breeze, sunshine, blue sky, big trees, raining … everything … everything. The local people are what I love the most.
Thanks so much Sasi, and thank you for choosing our beautiful area to create your amazing food!

Business Minds is with thanks to Lynda at the

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