Sawaddee Thai, a 'divine' dining experience for Edmonton AM food critic

A new Thai restaurant in Sherwood Park has Edmonton AM’s food critic positively drooling.

Twyla Campbell becomes obsessed with hidden gem in Sherwood Park

Campbell is so smitten with the family-run eatery, she ate there three times in one week. (Twyla Campbell )

A new Thai restaurant in Sherwood Park has Edmonton AM's food critic positively drooling.

Twyla Campbell calls Sawaddee Thai Cuisine a delectable addition to the hamlet's small but ever-growing ethnic food scene.

"It's the best independent, the best Thai, for sure. The ingredients are fresh, the flavours are intense, and the people are fantastic," Campbell said during a Friday morning interview on CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

Campbell discovered Sawaddee and its assortment of authentic dishes tucked away in an unassuming strip mall at  664 Wye Road, in a "cursed and hidden location", but was quickly won over.

"It started with a Thai food craving, which I have often," said Campbell.

"I came in and the restaurant was empty and I thought that was a bad sign. I just about walked out, but two things made me stay; first of all the beautiful decor and then the cheerful server."

Campbell is so smitten with the new family-run eatery and its knowledgeable staff, she's dined there three times in the last week, and has been having a hard time working up a hankering for anything else.

"The prices very fair, the restaurant space is appealing and comfortable. They score high in all departments," Campbell said. "I can't believe my luck — they're right in my neighborhood."

Fragrant, delicious 

Of the feast of food she's enjoyed so far, Campbell has two favourites.

The Gai Yang featured incredibly tender chicken, with hints of garlic, fish sauce, and charred meat marinated for a whopping 24 hours before ever being placed on the grill.

Another chicken dish — Gai Hor Bai Toey, deep-fried and fragrant, with tiny parcels of marinated chicken wrapped in pandan leaves — left Campbell's palate swimming with hints of garlic, cilantro, sesame oil and a dash of white pepper.

"I can't even explain how fantastic they are and they look beautiful, like little grass-wrapped gifts,"  said Campbell. "These dishes were divine."

You can hear Campbell's reviews on Edmonton AM every second Friday. You can also see more of her reviews on her blog, Weird Wild and Wonderful, and can follow her on Twitter at @wanderwoman10.

You can also find all of Campbell's Edmonton AM food reviews here