Saba, meaning 'happy meeting place' in Thai, offers a combination of Thai and Vietnamese cooking and this has become one of the most popular Dublin restaurants.
The décor is black, modern and sophisticated, but staff are friendlier than such backdrops often deliver.
There's some real culinary adventure here like the smoked trout mieng kam with ginger, shallots, lime and peanuts, served on betel nut leaves: you roll the mix of highly flavoured fish and spices into a cigar shape using the pungent betel leaves - an exciting marriage of the interesting and unusual with recognisable flavours.
You'll find old favourites too such as tempura vegetables with a mustard and lime mayonnaise: a good selection of whole baby carrots, broccoli, asparagus and aubergine with a gentle sheet of crispy batter all well matched with the high tone of the citrus sauce.
Main courses include cua lot, soft shell crab with birds eye chilli, galangal root and kaffir lime leaf - with a three star chilli warning. An unusual and interesting main course, it encompasses a cornucopia of flavours and textures, from the strong and sweet to rich and deep. Grilled lobster tail is also available with spinach, yellow beans and brown and red rice: the sweet white meat is given a spicy crust and served with gentler flavours from the rice.
Less adventurous diners will be happy to find phad Thai and green chicken curry as well as classic Thai noodle soups such as tuk tuk soup of spicy egg noodles, Vietnamese parsley, chicken and peanuts.
Refreshing desserts include plates of sorbets - mango, lychee and strawberry.
They also have an interesting list of non-alcoholic drinks, perhaps reflecting our changing times.
There are now plenty of other places to get authentic cheap and cheerful Vietnamese and Thai food, but this is the smart version and well worth the culinary detour.
*Cookery classes are offered and Saba The Cookbook is available from the restaurant and online from their website, €30. [Proceeds to: The Bone Marrow transplant Unit, Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin and The Thai Red Cross Society.]