Sawadee Thai Cuisine — Savour Thai Dishes Prepared From Scratch

Sawadee Thai Cuisine, located at Tan Quee Lan Street, has been offering Thai food made from the freshest ingredients cooked á la minute for almost twenty years since 2001. Initially founded as a cosy family-style restaurant, Sawadee decided to refine its dishes and offer more premium dishes for families and friends to enjoy.

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Sawadee Thai Cuisine at 9 Tan Quee Lan Street

Far beyond the normal Phad Thai or Papaya Salad, Sawadee Thai Cuisine’s menu consists of more dishes than just the sour and spicy flavours.

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Grilled kurobuta pork collar accompanied with homemade jaew sauce

Dishes are prepared from scratch, with popular menu items including its Roast Duck Red Curry, Crabmeat Red Curry, Grilled Kurobuta Pork Collar, Sawadee Signature Olive Fried Rice and Thai Stuffed Chicken Wings.

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Mao Shan Wang Durian Sticky Rice

Customers can also savour Sawadee’s Mao Shan Wang Durian Sticky Rice, or traditional desserts such as Mango Sticky Rice, which comes in a beautiful blue colour from the addition of organic butterfly pea flower dye.

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Thai-style otah: mackerel fish mousse with thai herbs served in traditional clayplate

For its dedication to bringing authentic Thai cuisine to diners, Sawadee Thai Cuisine has won awards such as the Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Awards and Traveller’s Choice Awards, and Wine & Dine Singapore’s Top Restaurants Awards and Top Restaurants Singapore Awards.

Secrets to surviving almost 20 years in F&B

Besides revamping from a family-style menu to offer more premium dishes, Sawadee Thai Cuisine also invested in productivity initiatives to save time and effort by its staff.

In the past, its staff manually took down the orders, managed customers’ information through paper records and basic tracking systems like Excel, and had to consolidate and generate the various reports. These ordering, tracking and reporting processes were challenging and time-consuming, and were not sustainable as the orders and workload increased.

An industry friend recommended Sawadee to get in touch with the Employment & Employability Institute (e2i) to explore solutions for its productivity issues. Subsequently, with e2i’s support, Sawadee invested in a point-of-sales (POS), E-Ordering and Kitchen Display System to enhance the various processes like ordering, sales transaction, inventory tracking and reporting.

E-ordering system for cashier
Orders made through the POS and e-ordering system through tablet could be sent directly to the kitchen for processing.

As the order slips are generated in an orderly manner, this helps Sawadee’s staff in identifying and serving the right food to the right dine-in customers or take-aways. The order slips also minimises human error from misinterpretation of any illegible handwriting or communication when taking the order.

Print-outs minimise human error from illegible handwriting

As information like the inventory can be managed and updated automatically through the system, this reduces stock-taking and tedious work on retrieving the data from paper records or simple tracking systems like Excel. The sales reports can also be auto-generated and tabulated in the desired formats within minutes for Sawadee’s analysis.

Due to Sawadee’s productivity investment, staff shaved off 60% from time-intensive work, leading to wage increment, and its efficiency helped Sawadee Thai Cuisine during Covid-19 when it pivoted from a dining-in to full delivery during the Circuit Breaker period.

Mr Andrew Chew, Director of Sawadee Thai Cuisine, said, “Like many restaurants, we had to pivot to delivery only during the Circuit Breaker period. We had to revamp our menu for delivery-only purposes, as the experience for dining in and delivery is vastly different. Food that is great for dine-in and eating on the spot is very different for (food for) delivery, which may take up to one hour for customers to consume after it is cooked.”.

Sawadee’s bento sets which were created during the Circuit Breaker Period

“Operationally, ever since Covid-19, there are many more things to do and take note of. From a simple delivery order, to checking the order, to arranging a driver, to ensuring the correct item to the correct order to the correct driver. On top of all these, we also have to take note of safe distancing and increased frequency of sanitisation,” he added.

Elaborating on the productivity initiative with e2i, Andrew shared, “The new system cuts down on manual labour, so our staff are able to focus more on things that require more stringent checks. The new system is also more systematic and hence oversight and carelessness are cut down.”.

Sawadee Thai Cuisine’s philosophy of Staff, Customers, Profits and Value

The Covid-19 Circuit Breaker was challenging for Sawadee Thai Cuisine. Andrew said, “During Circuit Breaker, like all F&Bs in Singapore, it affected us greatly. We would not be able to sustain for long as rental and manpower costs remained high. Our management decided to stop taking a salary and at the same time, my staff came up to me and said they will all take a reduced salary to tide the company over during this tough period. I also created a fund for anyone who needs to tap on it for rental, food, families etc. No questions will be asked, and they can just let me know in private to borrow from it.

“And I am proud to say the whole team came back to work at full roster schedules within a very short period of time and we were able to give them bonuses to make up for their loss of income,” Andrew explained.

When asked about Sawadee Thai Cuisine’s philosophy, Andrew replied, “Our philosophy has always been Staff, Customers, Profits, in that order. Our Staff are our family, we see them for so many hours a day, even more than our own family members. We need to take care of them, so they can focus on taking care of our customers.”

“Our other philosophy is Value. We don’t do shortcuts the way we prepare and cook our food. We don’t scrimp on our ingredients, even during Covid-19 when times are bad. Customers recognise that value. They see the value that they are paying for, and that’s the reason why our delivery service has been so successful during the Covid period that tides us over.”

How you can support Sawadee Thai Cuisine

Visit the restaurant at 9 Tan Quee Lan Street, TQL Suites #01-01, Singapore 188098. You can make reservations via calling (65) 6238 6833 between 11am-230pm and 6pm-10pm.

Order online for delivery at

Special thanks to Mr Andrew Chew and Sawadee Thai Cuisine for the information and photos.