Food: Sabai Sabai, Harborne

My colleague had recently been out for dinner and couldn’t stop raving about the delicious food she’d tried at Sabai Sabai Moseley. I was very excited, when a couple of days later I was invited to try the Winter specials menu at Sabai Sabai Harborne. I’d tried some of the dishes from Sabai Sabai before through Deliveroo, but never dined in.

Sabai translates to happy, comfortable and relaxed. Eating good food often leaves me feeling this way. I guess Sabai Sabai, is what hygge is to the Danish.

I and about 10 hungry bloggers, writers and friends of Sabai Sabai, including owners Juree and Torquil Chidwick were in for a fine Thai dining treat with each dish carefully matched with wine. Wine account manager Chris Plimmer from Enotria & Coe, was on hand to pour, match and further educate on the wines.

Sabai Sabai is a family run business with the lovely husband and wife team, Juree and Torquil at the helm. Positioned at the top of Harborne High Street, it’s only a short taxi ride from the hustle and bustle of central Birmingham. Once inside, the interior is warm and alluring, a modern style bistro with banquettes and opulent lighting. The décor alone is inviting.


We started off with a Bangkok Fizz cocktail and Thai prawn crackers to entice the palate whilst we waited for others. It was a good opportunity to talk to the owners and have a quick sneak peek at the new Winter specials menu that we would be trying. The wine pairings for each dish looked fantastic!


Our dishes for the evening were served in samples size portions so we could get a better idea of flavours and quality rather than quantity. Based on the delivery portions I’ve received, I’m certain the restaurant portions are decent.

We started off with the Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling from Washington’s Columbia Valley USA, paired with Scallops and Jumbo Prawns. The juicy scallops were pan fried and served in a thin white wine and lemon grass sauce, whilst the chargrilled, butterflied prawns were served in a tomato and coconut sauce known as Choo Chee sauce. The medium-dry Riesling was crisp and refreshing, green apple and lime, with some light minerality. The acidity really worked with the starters.


The next dish of the evening consisted of the Thai Chicken Wing and the Thai Spare Rib. The accompanying wine was D’arenberg’s The Stump Jump White, from the McClaren Vale. A blend of Riesling, Sauvignon and Marsanne, I found it an interesting choice for the braised ribs in a sweet and spicy marinade, however it worked very well with the crispy garlic and black pepper chicken. I preferred the first course to the ribs and chicken.


We were then served the Monkfish, in a Panang sauce with peppers and rice on the side. The Panang sauce was delicious, with hints of coconut and sweetness, coupled with some sharpness. It was very umami.

The monkfish was served with my favourite wine of the evening, Yealands Black Label Gewurztraminer. Aromatic, rich and perfumed. Rose, lychee and spice, with a lovely oily mouthfeel. Yet, still delicate enough for the fish.

This wine needs a blog post of it’s own, so I’ll be picking up a bottle soon to review and share.


My wildcard dish for the evening was the lamb. Everything about this dish worked. The sweet and sour flavours and the fresh perppercorn, resulted in a beautifully composed dish that I’d order this again. The lamb was still tender, but I wouldn’t say it was pink as suggested on my menu.

This was had with a Tempranillo, Merlot and Grenache blend, Chivite Family’s Baluarte Roble. Mainly Tempranillo and super fruity.


We then moved on to the Massaman Rib Eye, with roasted butternut squash, cashew nuts and crispy shallots. The squash tasted tea smoked which I liked. Our final pairing of the eveninf was the Rancho Zabaco, Sonoma Heritage Zinfandel.  Juicy berries and a hint of pepper.

By this stage, dessert was hardly necessary, however I strived on!


I had an amazing night sampling the new Winter specials with the well-paired wines. Absolutely full to the brim with food and wine, washed down with a green tea I jumped in a cab and made my way home. The meal was worth the journey. If you still haven’t been to Sabai Sabai, take a trip to Harborne or Moseley, you won’t be disappointed.

I was invited to the PR evening by Delicious PR and all food and drink were complimentary.

As always, my writing and my honest views.

Winepressgirl x 


2 thoughts on “Food: Sabai Sabai, Harborne

  1. The food sounds delicious, I need to venture out of the city centre and give it a try! I had a d’Arenburg wine (Money Spider) at The Wilderness last night and it was absolutely gorgeous, going to try and find a bottle or two for my cupboard..


  2. Just caught up on this post, what a gorgeous one! Descriptions are literally mouth-watering, what a way with words. Sounds like real fine Thai dining, must be a reason why it’s the best in Brum! Need to go soon…


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