Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Trying the new Sadudee Thai Restaurant in Watervliet

I understand the feelings of many area residents that we don't exactly need more Thai restaurants here in the Capital Region, but the fact that a new one just opened up in my neck of the woods is pretty exciting.  I've only been to Sadudee Thai Restaurant in Watervliet once so far, and would prefer to check out more of the menu before writing about it, but judging from the emptiness of the space on a recent Saturday night, I figure it's flying under the radar and could use some good word of mouth.

Because this one experience showed that Sadudee might be right near the top of the list of area Thai restaurants.

Located at 1401 Broadway in the former home of Gianna's Pizza, Sadudee is far from a fancy space, and it feels kind of off the beaten path, even by Watervliet standards.  That's not to say it's an unpleasant space--it's clean and comfortable with ample seating--but it's not exactly a surprise that it used to house a pizza joint, the layers of red paint being just one giveaway.

Meanwhile, service was friendly, attentive, and quick, but not overbearing, something that can't always be said for restaurants that are rather quiet (K and I were at one of only two occupied tables at the time).   Do you ever notice the way servers at some fairly quiet restaurants stand and stare at you while you wait for your food?  I think of it as the Babu Bhatt syndrome, from the classic Seinfeld episode.  Thankfully, that wasn't the case at Sadudee.

K and I started with what's become a somewhat regular appetizer for us at Thai restaurants lately, the somtum (papaya salad).  The somtum was reminiscent in size and appearance of those we've had elsewhere, prominently featuring the matchstick slices of green papaya, but it was particularly satisfying because Sadudee wasn't shy with their use of fish sauce and pepper for heat.  So while this was a typically refreshing way to start the meal, there was an assertiveness to the somtum that just isn't found at many restaurants.

The somtum was just the prelude to our two entrees, a pair of curries for $12 apiece.  There are seven options available on the Sadudee menu, and that's not even accounting for the different protein choices (we both went with chicken this time).  While on another occasion I might want to try any of these variations--the pumpkin curry might be the most intriguing--I went with the yellow curry while K chose the mango curry.

The yellow curry is said to have its roots in Indian cuisine, which isn't much of a surprise.  I found the taste of this dish to be reminiscent of Indian curry, stronger on the curry and cumin than your typical Thai curry.  With the presence of the coconut milk adding thickness and richness, this curry was very tasty.  The chicken was tender, while the vegetables--potatoes, red onions, green peas, and carrots--were cooked nicely, crisp and not soggy, and nicely balanced.  (In other words, this wasn't one of those curries that was overfilled with huge hunks of onions; here, the red onions were cut into slivers in a way that made it clear they were there for flavor, not as cheap filler.)

K's mango curry was as lively a bowl of curry as I can remember (judging from my small sample of it).  She was pleased as well.  There were numerous chunks of mango and pineapple, and this seemed to work quite harmoniously with the classic curry flavors that were present, and added a nice complement to the other vegetables on the plate: red and green peppers and green peas.  With a touch of Thai basil in there, too, this was another dish with a remarkably deep flavor profile.

Our curries were each served with a slice of deep-fried Japanese eggplant.  The breading was crunchy on the outside, but inside the eggplant was beautifully tender, practically melting when I bit into it.  This is the kind of random bonus food I can certainly endorse.

So yeah, Sadudee is yet another Thai restaurant in the Capital Region.  But it's also pretty damn good, from first glance, and much of the menu is quite reasonably priced.  With lunch entrees like pad thai at just $7 and lunch curries at $8, I can't wait to return to work through more of the menu.

Sadudee Thai Restaurant is located at 1401 Broadway in Watervliet, NY


  1. Replies
    1. Ha! Maybe that's the best sign about Sadudee--it's a Thai restaurant that, you know, sticks to Thai food.

    2. Hello Mr. Monkey,
      Have you tried the one in East Greenbush? Everyone raved about it but I found it eh and don't plan to return. This place sound good. Thanks for letting us know about this restaurant.

    3. Hi Third Auntie,

      I think I know the place you're talking about. We went there a year or so ago. I remember it was pretty unremarkable, and with it being a bit of a haul out to East Greenbush for us, we haven't felt a need to return.

      Let me know what you think of Sadudee if you do try it. I hope it holds up over time (and a more thorough tour of the menu).

    4. Hello Mr. Monkey,

      We went for lunch on Saturday and a pretty good meal. The green papaya salad was excellent. The flavors and preparation were as you described. I shared it with my husband but could have eaten the whole thing by myself. We also got the crispy calamari and the basil rolls. Both were prepared well but needed more flavor. The calamari was coated with panko crumbs and perfectly fried. It was served with a plum sauce. I was dipping the calamari in the papaya salad dressing remnants to add some of the salty flavor to the pieces before dipping in the plum sauce. I think if they flavored the panko crumbs, the calamari would have been better. As for the basil rolls, it was a rice paper roll that had cucumber, basil and some rice noodles in it. This had some thick soy or oyster sauce drizzled over it. Prepared well but again, too bland for our tastes. Pad thai with pork was very good. Not a gloppy mess like the previously mentioned restaurant. I had the Kee Mao (Drunken noodles) with chicken. This was a great dish. Lots of fresh basil, nice sear on the meat and vegetables, great flavor. We will definitely be going back this place. We want to try the spicier dishes and the whole snapper.

    5. Great to hear that your experience was also mostly positive. I'm especially happy to hear about the pad thai; that used to be such a favorite dish of mine, but I've encountered so many mediocre versions out here that I rarely order it anymore. I think I might have to try it myself at Sadudee after your comments!

  2. Regarding "the feelings of many area residents that we don't exactly need more Thai restaurants here in the Capital Region," surprised that you claim to have a wide variety of restaurant experience but did not state that there are currently only mediocre and awful Thai restaurants in the capital region. Virtually any Thai restaurant in major cities in the Northeast beat out any of the inauthentic Thai restaurants we have here.

    1. Note that I didn't mention the quality of local Thai restaurants, only that I've read many people's complaints that there are too many of them. Nevertheless, I wouldn't be as tough as you on these restaurants, though I would say that most are quite mediocre. I did also recently enjoy a green curry at Orange Mango, however, and was pretty happy with a dinner at Sweet Basil in Albany a while back. So that's something.

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  4. Had a fantastic dinner at Sadudee the other night. We started with the duck salad. Great combination with crispy duck, cashews, and apple. The flavors were spot on. I had the pumpkin curry with tofu and loved it. I like how their curries aren't swimming in a big bowl full of sauce, like at so many other places. It was just the right amount of sauce here. The pumpkin was tender and added great flavor. Loved the fried eggplant slice on top. My husband had the grilled pork. He enjoyed it, but it was pretty one dimensional with 6 big skewers of pork, dipping sauce, and some chopped lettuce. It just seemed like there should have been something else on the plate with it. Great for a carnivore, though. We'll definitely be going back to Sadudee.