An Oxfordian blast from the past

When I am in Oxford for visits and meetings, I do like to take the time to revisit old haunts from my days working there ten years ago. Of course, some places have closed or changed hands. One place I would visit regularly for lunch back in the day was Sasi’s Thai in the Oxford Covered Market. One of the ways in which you could describe it, was imagine a market cafe, however this one served excellent Thai food rather than a full English breakfast! There is a counter with all the available dishes to see. You place your order, it is served up on a plate, and then you pay. Within there are numerous tightly packed tables and chairs. They even have a few chairs outside as well. Sometimes you will need to share your table, but as well as sharing the space you are also sharing the experience. I always had this impression that the informality and feel of the place was what it could have been like eating in a similar eating establishment in Thailand. They served this delicious Thai food. I have no idea how authentic the food was, as I have never been to Thailand. However it was extremely popular. I remember having some delicious meals there, but most times I would choose the chicken cashew, crispy pork belly, or when it was on the menu, the squid. It was always quite spicy, but alway tasty.

I was looking through some photographs of food, and realised that in April when I was travelling around, there were some meals which I hadn’t blogged about. Sometimes I write up the dining experiences I have on the same day, in the same week, or quite soon after that. Now and then I have food and then never get around to writing a blog post about it. In April I had been quite busy travelling across the UK to attend meetings and conferences.

I had been at a meeting and had time for lunch and I was quite close to Oxford, so I headed to Sasi’s Thai in the Oxford Covered Market for some great food. I was lucky in that though it was busy, there wasn’t a huge queue and they had spare tables.

I ordered the two dishes with rice, and had the chicken and cashew nuts, and the squid.

Thai food on rice

These were nice and generous portions. The chicken was nice and tasty, and the squid was tender and full of flavour. There was plenty of onions and peppers in the servings as well. You could taste the vegetables, chicken, and squid through the spicy sauce, and the rice was a nice accompaniment.  My only note of criticism was that the dish was really lacking cashew nuts, I think I had two. These though were delicious fresh dishes; you can often see them replenish their counter with pots being brought down from the upstairs kitchen. Sasi’s Thai is one of those places where though full after eating, you always feel tempted to go for a second round and try two other dishes. I did resist temptation.

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