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The Saba Story

The Saba Story

Told by owner Paul Cadden

The story of how Saba started over 20 years ago when Tao and I became close friends. What brought us together was a passion for authentic Thai cuisine, a love for hospitality and the fact we love being in each other’s company. A brother from another mother is how I’d describe Tao. We both grew up in our family food businesses, Tao in Bangkok and I in Westport. We both trained internationally and as a result have the same mindset, high standards and love of a challenge.

One Great Idea

In 2005, I went to Thailand to meet Tao and tell him the plan to open a restaurant. I had no team, no chefs, no money and most importantly no building, but I had a great idea! Before signing the contract on Clarendon Street, my dad and I travelled to Thailand in the hope of getting Tao to come back to Ireland and get on board the Saba dream. He said he had plans but would make enquiries for chefs on my behalf.

That evening we met for dinner in a restaurant on the Chao Praya river, a beautiful spot with the longtail boats whizzing past and the river breeze providing a welcome respite from the humidity of Bangkok city.

Going from Strength to Strength

As we walked in Tao was already there and behind him were four familiar faces: Paek, Lek, Ting and Addy– all of whom I had worked with previously. Tao announced they wanted to be part of the new project and would return to Dublin. This was an unexpected but welcome shock. The Singha beers tasted sweeter that night, there was no going back. It was game on.

Since then, we have gone from strength to strength, with the Saba Restaurant Group comprising three Saba restaurants, three Saba To Go takeaway and two Food Trucks. We have won numerous awards and accolades. We import our key ingredients directly from Thailand and work with Irish producers and growers to champion our amazing produce.

In 2012, Tao and I wrote and published ‘Saba: The Cookbook’ with proceeds going to The Crumlins Children’s Hospital and the Thai Red Cross. The book went on to win many awards including ‘The Gourmand Award: Best Asian Cookbook in the World’.

Passion and Commitment

It’s our team that makes it all happen, their passion and commitment, their sense of fun and wanting to make every customer happy. Their friendships and care of each other, their extended families. The majority of our team have been with us for over ten years, some right back to day one. They have started as waiters and now work as supervisors, sous chefs, head chefs, General Managers. They give Saba its pulse and are its heart.

The words ‘Sa’ and ‘Ba’ mean ‘happy meeting place’ and this sums up what Saba is all about. A place to meet friends and family and enjoy reasonably priced, delicious authentic food with fantastic cocktails and a professional friendly service. I love the buzz of a busy night – the chatter, fun and laughter, the clinking of glasses, the beat of the music – people truely having a happy time.

We hope you enjoy your experience with Saba, be it for a takeaway, a birthday celebration, a meeting, a romantic dinner or a raucous party. We hope the tastes and aromas and that Saba feeling lead you back to Saba where we can help you make even more memorable experiences.

Sanook {Enjoy}

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