I love Thailand! The beautiful weather, fantastic fruit and friendly people make it one of the best places to travel in the world. Not to mention the delicious Thai food, which is one of my favorite cuisines with its assertive and vibrant flavors.
Health-conscious foodies, flexitarians, vegans or those on a gluten-free diet visiting Koh Samui, Thailand will love the offerings at Sweet Sisters Cafe. Noi – the owner and chef – really cares about her food and uses organic local produce, wild-caught seafood and free-range eggs and poultry. Over half the menu is vegetarian, or can be easily modified, and there are plenty of vegan options to choose from.
There is an equal mix of traditional Thai cooking along with western style meals to satisfy every appetite. Those with a sweet tooth will be spoilt for choice with their extensive dessert menu that includes gluten-free cookies. There are even a few raw food desserts including raw chocolate pie, raw banoffee pie, energy balls and raw cookies.
As a bonus there is a little shop inside the cafe where you can restock on dried fruits, nuts and seeds, quinoa, superfoods, coconut oil, natural mosquito repellent, or grab a packet of cookies to take home with you.
When we eat out in Asia one of the dishes we almost always order are fresh spring rolls. The ones at Sweet Sisters are vegan, filled with crisp veggies, lettuce and herbs and served with tamarind sauce.
Even though there is plenty to choose from on the menu there are always seasonal specials, which can change daily depending on availability of local produce. Right now it is mango season so they were being featured in this Mango & Arugula Salad with seeds and nuts.
The Forest Green Salad is always on the menu. I’m honestly not sure what it has to do with the forest since it contained the usual green salad ingredients like lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, cucumber and tomato. It also included mung bean sprouts, fresh mint and basil, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, organic cashews and toasted rice.
Those beautiful edible flowers that are used as a garnish on almost every meal are butterfly pea flowers. The pigment in the flowers comes from the presence of anthocyanins and is often used in Thai cuisines as a blue-purple food coloring for sticky rice. The flowers can also be brewed as a tea and have a wide range of purported health benefits.
Another seasonal special is the Avocado Salad as they are not always easy to find on Koh Samui. This one included lettuce, sunflower sprouts, tomato, cucumber, red onion, pomelo and sesame seeds with a light olive oil dressing. A very righteous salad indeed.
Some of the highlights of the menu are definitely the Thai salads. They are packed with so much flavor and really interesting and unusual ingredients. Thai salads are usually really spicy, which I have grown to love, but if you don’t tolerate chili you can always request them to leave it out.
The salad above is Pumpkin Shoot Salad, which is another seasonal item. It contains a super-tasty coconut dressing with shallots, Thai bird chili, garlic, ground cashews and toasted rice.
Another seasonal Thai dish is banana flower salad. It is usually served with prawns but just ask and they will make a vegan version for you. This one has a creamy coconut dressing with roasted chilies, which are not as spicy as the fresh ones.
If you visit when pumpkin shoots or banana flowers are not available you can try their Gotu Kola and White Turmeric Salad, with similar flavors and a medicinal element.
Or go for one of my favorite Thai dishes – Som Tum – green papaya salad. I love the crispness of green papaya and raw veggies with the fresh balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavors. I always ask for extra chili, just how the Thai people like to eat it!
This one is served with local greens called Pak Liang. These super-nutritious greens are often foraged wild from the jungle.
If you feel like something more familiar there is a Quinoa Salad on the menu. Normally it comes with feta cheese and kidney beans but they are always happy to make adjustments and leave something out to suit your preferences and dietary requirements. They made us a more simple version with tomato, cucumber, red onion and fresh herbs.
Tom Kha is one of the most well-known and beloved dishes in Thailand. This is what I want to eat when I am in Thailand and craving comfort food.
This creamy coconut soup is usually made with chicken but I’ve always been able to request a vegan version if one isn’t already on the menu. The most usual chicken substitute is oyster mushrooms but the one at Sweet Sisters uses pumpkin, which really works. The sweetness of the pumpkin plays off the coconut cream and is a nice counter-balance to the lime juice – another dominant element in the broth.
The soup also contains Thai herbs including galangal, lemongrass, shallots, Kaffir lime leaves and cilantro which adds to the soothing and therapeutic effects of eating a bowl of this soup.
This is just a small sampling of the menu, and as you can see we love to eat salad, but there are so many more options including Thai and Burmese curries, Pad Thai, stir-fries, sandwiches and wraps, pasta as well as breakfast and dessert.
Do you like Thai food?
What dish would you like to try at the Sweet Sisters Cafe?