Sharing the aromas of Thailand

Since arriving in Ireland twenty years ago, Susie Takaew has been sharing aromatic Thai food with the people of West Cork; first in Skibbereen and then from her own restaurant Baan Sujjitra in Clonakilty. The onset of the pandemic last year resulted in a move to the other side of town but, while the location is different, the food remains the same authentic flavoursome cuisine for which Baan Sujjitra has become so well known.

Pungent galangal, fragrant lemongrass and kaffir lime, fiery chilli and sweet coconut are distinctive flavours in all of the dishes. This delicate balance of sweet, salty, and sour, and less often bitter is what makes Thai food such a joy.

Rich and slightly sweet Massaman curry (one of Susie’s favourites) with it’s fragrant spice undertones offers a milder option to the traditionally spicy Red, Green or nuttier Panang curry. The creamy Yellow curry, where Turmeric is the key ingredient, still has a good kick to it but is also a step down in heat from its cousins.

All of the food at Baan Sujjitra is bright in colour and flavour. The stir fry dishes come out of the wok singing; these savoury noodle dishes are lifted to a new level with the fresh ingredients Susie combines in her woks. But it is the aromatic sizzling dish that is the real show-stopper…noodles dressed with colourful vegetables cooked to perfection, still with a bite, and topped with flavoursome crispy tofu, meat or prawns.

Everything at Baan Sujjitra is made in-house – from the plum sauce to the vegetable or duck spring rolls – and cooked to order. Susie’s Tom Yum (hot and sour) soup is fragrant with spices and herbs and a nice option to start a meal with or simply as a light supper dish.

Susie grew up in a very rural area, near the Thailand-Malaysia border, where Thai food was always a real family affair, cooked and eaten together by several generations. After leaving home at the age of 13 to attend school, Susie went on to get a Business degree. Her passion for her native cuisine and head for business has since allowed her to roll with the punches and seen her through a recession and a pandemic. While for now Baan Sujjitra will remain a takeaway, it’s easy-going and hard-working proprietor, is always ready for change, so sit-down may be on the menu some time in the future.

Baan Sujjitra, 30-31 Ashe Street, Clonakilty

Open for takeaway Thursday – Sunday, 5-9pm. Call 023 88 34604.

Also caters for larger groups and parties.

Mary O'Brien

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