Satay Gai at the Khao Thai restaurant in Ottawa
The Satay Gai at the Khao Thai restaurant in Ottawa’s Byward Market consisted of two skewers of plump, tender Chicken served with a very interesting Peanut Sauce on the side. The Satay itself was one of the better version I have ever had, while the Peanut Sauce was hands down the best.
This lovely little Thai restaurant is tucked away at the very back of Ottawa’s Byward Market and that may be part of the reason that it escaped my attention for so long. When I finally did discover it, I managed to make several visits and my only real disappointment with the place is that it took me so long to find it.
One of the little features of this place that I like is the complimentary soup. Since it was served to me without my having placed an order, I rather think that it comes free of charge no matter what sort of meal you have. On this particular occasion it was just a very simple Chicken broth with a few vegetable additions that made for a great appetizer and would be an excellent palate cleanser between spicy courses.
Anyway, the Chicken (Gai) Satay was as simply prepared as the soup and was excellent. It was very nicely broiled breast meat and was exceedingly juicy and tender, with just the barest of grill markings. I am not sure of the seasonings used, but it was certainly not a typical Thai ‘Curry’ blend as I couldn’t detect any Lemongrass, or Galanga, or the like. I was able to taste Turmeric and some freshly ground Coriander Seed, but beyond that, I couldn’t say. Whatever the blend was, it was subtle, nicely balanced, and worked well.
It was actually the Peanut Sauce that really made this dish interesting for me. Normally, I am not a very big fan of peanut sauce and, often, I dislike it completely, even when I have tried to make it. This one, however, was delicious and I really enjoyed it. much fruitier than others I have had and was a bit like a cross between plum sauce and chunky peanut butter with just a hint of spiciness. I wish I could have identified all the ingredients it contained, as it would be worth trying to replicate it, but whatever was in there, it elevated the Satay Gai at Khao Thai to being one of the best versions of this dish I have ever had.