Since bursting onto Dublin’s dining scene in 2006 Saba - meaning 'happy meeting place' in Thai - quickly established itself as a stylish restaurant serving top quality Asian cooking in stylish surroundings and it remains one of the most popular Dublin restaurants.
The Asian dining scene has changed hugely since then, but Saba continues to thrive amongst increasing competition with its smart offerings of fresh Thai and Vietnamese food, cool décor and a creative cocktail list.
The menu is packed with tempting signature dishes like grilled beef wrapped in betel leaves, spicy chicken wings with tamarind dip, or cua lot, a fiery dish of soft shell crab fried with Thai basil, baby Asian aubergines, galangal, peppers and chilli.
Vegetarians are well catered for and there’s plenty of choice for all levels of chilli tolerance. Purists may prefer to stick to the classics, like tom yam soup, chicken satay or phad thai and there are a few interesting salads to meet the demands for lighter dishes.
The dark, dimly lit interior has a mix of comfy banquettes and tables with wonderful photos of south east Asia. Low ceilings make it a noisy spot by night, and not recommended for a first date. It's especially popular with celebratory groups on weekends, but the kitchen and cocktail bar are well able to perform under pressure.
*Cookery classes are offered: running 10am-4pm on Sundays, the cost is €150 per person and includes, class, lunch with wine/beer and a signed copy of the award winning 'Saba:The Cookbook'; see website for details and available dates. Saba The Cookbook is also available from bookshops, the restaurant and online from their website, price €30. [Proceeds to: The Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin and The Thai Red Cross Society.]