Sawali Club is a Thai restaurant located on the 2nd floor of an old building in Wan Chai. Don’t confuse it with the Thai restaurant on the street level which always seems to be empty. The few times I went to Sawali Club, it was always packed.
I was told that this is a family-run restaurant and all the cooks are Thai. The space itself feels like a small apartment cramped with many tables, there is nothing fancy about it.
The best dish I tried there was the roasted chicken. Make sure to order it at least one day in advance otherwise it may not be available. The chicken was succulent, and the skin was divine. It was oily but in a good way, so flavorful that I can just have that with rice and would have been satisfied. I was also looking forward to the pad kraw praw (minced pork with basil). I always order fried eggs along with the pad kraw praw, mixing the soggy yolk with pad kraw praw and rice is one of my favorites. Unfortunately I was disappointed to find the pad kraw praw to be too light. It still tasted good but it just didn’t taste authentic. The pad see ew with beef (stirred fried wide noodles) was also very bland. The Tom Yum Goong (Thai style sweet and sour soup) was just extremely sweet. I wonder if they try to adjust their cooking to the taste of the Hong Kong clientele, who are not typically in favor of very strong and spicy food.
Overall I would still go back there until I find a better Thai restaurant in Hong Kong. (Okay, I lied, I will go back there just for the roasted chicken). Although Sawali Club is far from authentic Thai food in Thailand and is not as good as Rod Dee in Boston, Massachusetts or Wondee Siam in New York City (both with Thai cooks in a foreign city), it is still much better than other Thai restaurants I have tried so far in Hong Kong.
Sawali Club: 2nd Floor, Wing Cheong Building, 18-20 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai. Tel: 853-28112360