THE name of restaurant C’est Bien is a play on the ancient Thai phrase “sabieng” – a savoury homemade meal eaten on a long journey.
If we had travelled far to reach this East Fremantle eatery I would have been happy, as it has an endearing facade and looked lively on a Wednesday night.
As we walked into the dining area we could hear ambient guitar music and spotted the word “R E L A X” printed in white letters on a shelf.
The waiting staff were friendly and patient, leaving us to peruse the extensive range of Thai cuisine in the long menu.
A chilli rating helped us judge the spiciness of each dish.
The good old chilli is a stalwart of North-Eastern Thai cuisine, and was probably first brought into the country by Portuguese traders in the 15th century.
After we enjoyed a few sips of green tea ($4.50) and lemon lime and bitters ($5.50), my dining partner settled on the chicken green curry ($16.90) and steamed rice ($3).
He said it “reminded him of the authentic Thai green curry he had in Thailand on the beach” and the dish included cauliflower, carrots, green beans, peas, broccoli, chicken, chilli, lemongrass and a creamy coconut sauce.
Living up to the Thai phrase “sabieng”, he ploughed into the crispy pork belly with basil ($18.90), which had a fiery three-chilli rating.
The tender caramalised pork belly was laced with chilli and nestled in a bed of fresh, delicious green beans and basil leaves.
The hot-and-sour dressing in my Thai vegetable salad ($15.90) was delectable and the medley of steamed vegetables, including carrots, green beans and cauliflower, had a lovely crunch.
Before leaving we wanted to try the roti bread with ice cream ($10.90), and we weren’t disappointed.
The soft bread was glazed with condensed milk and perfectly complemented the coconut ice cream.
If this had been a meal on a long arduous trip, we would have left very satisfied.
by ALEX MURFETT
C’Est Bien Thai
22/155 Canning Highway, East Fremantle