Albury isn’t exactly the food capital of the universe. Unless you go to my parents’ place where you may be served roast lamb from the paddock and vegies from the garden one night and South African biryani the next. Sometimes I go to Albury and all I want is a Vietnamese rice paper roll, but they’re very rare in Albury. Though I hear there is a chain of sushi stores who now serve rice paper rolls! Hurrah!
However, food isn’t all doom and gloom there. There are some cool cafes, a few pubs that do great counter meals, a fantastic new Chinese cafe, some good Indian and Thai places, and if you drive to Rutherglen and Beechworth you’ll find some top notch fine dining restaurants.
One of my favourite places to eat at in Albury is Baan Sabai Jai Thai restaurant. I call it the ‘Thai Trolley’. I go there once or twice a trip. It’s unique, fresh, cheap and tasty. I guess it’s a bit of a novelty for a country town, but also a sign of the fantastic multicultural influence.
It used to be just a cooking trolley outside of a massage shop, but in recent years it’s moved to a bigger premises with both the outdoor cooking trolley on the footpath and an indoor kitchen, plus indoor and outdoor seating.
My Dad treated us to a meal there for Mum’s birthday a couple of weeks back. We each chose a dish and shared it. Green tea was complimentary.
Our medium serve of rice ($5.00) came in an expensive looking plastic turin. I want one!
Mum chose the basil seafood ($18) which had crunchy vegetables and plenty of seafood: squid, mussels, prawns and fish.
Dad picked cashew chicken ($14.90) which had cauliflower, broccoli, snow peas, carrots, chicken and cashews, with a bite of chilli. While it was too spicy for me (I love hot food but it stings my mouth) it was tasty. Dad said he enjoyed the cashews.
Sticking sort of to tradition (I usually get the red duck curry) I chose the BBQ duck ($18.90) which I enjoyed the most out of the three dishes. The duck was rich and stewy, covered in dried shallots and served on a salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber and red onion. The salad was refreshing against the richness of the duck.
Service was quick (we got there an hour before the movie started and we finished our meal with 20 minutes to spare) , the servings were generous (we took doggy bags home) and the owner are really friendly (they let me take photos and write about the restaurant. It’s authentic Thai food, and as Dad said, such a treat because we couldn’t make it as good at home as they do there.
I returned to the Thai Trolley the next day before I saw Love and other Drugs. I didn’t have much time before the movie (been shopping!) but again the service was really quick. I ordered the Pad See Ew with king prawns ($14.90) and this came from the outdoor wok in less than five minutes. It had slippery noodles, about 10 juicy prawns and beautiful honey and sesame flavours. Plus it was topped with bean shoots which I love!
If you are in Albury and looking for a great meal, I definitely recommend Baan Sabai Jai Thai restaurant (459 Smollett Street Albury).