Sawasdee: Say 'hello' to Thai-style cuisine in Warrenville
Down in Warrenville is a piece of a faraway land.
Set inside a building of brick and siding, Chuck Jittacotra and his staff serve up authentic Thai cuisine six days a week.
More than six years ago, Jittacotra opened this restaurant and gave it a welcoming name – Sawasdee.
Sawasdee means “hello” in Thai.
Jittacotra is from Udon Thani in northern Thailand.
He has lived in Augusta with his wife for more than eight years.
On the menu
Be it for lunch or dinner, Sawasdee customers can choose from several appetizers, salads, soups and entrees.
As you wait for your meal, you can munch on barbecue wings, ribs or meatballs, steamed spring rolls or fried tofu.
If you are looking for soup and/or salad, available are the Yum Goong salad with spicy shrimp, the Tom Yum Kai soup with chicken and KuawTeow soup with noodles and meat.
Main courses can be ordered stir-fried, on jasmine race or in curry (a base blended with sauces and spices).
For dessert, you can get bananas fried, doughnuts Thai-styled or sweet rice with mangoes and coconut cream.
Soda and tea products are sold alongside Thai-styled tea, green tea and coffee.
A children's menu is available with french fries as the side.
Behind the scenes
Jittacotra's relatives help him run Sawasdee.
At night, for example, you might catch his wife's sister and her husband busy in the kitchen while their sons attend to customers.
“Really our family does everything,” Jittacotra said. “If they see something, they help.”
All food is prepared fresh the day you order it.
“We do a little bit at a time,” Jittacotra said.
Jittacotra and his family have participated in Arts in the Heart, Augusta's annual cultural fair, for the last two years with plans to return this year.
Jittacotra has been working in restaurants for more than 10 years. His job at a Chinese chain in Virginia is what brought him to the South in the first place.
“They asked me to come and help out,” he said.
His wife and he have two children, and his wife owns a nail salon in Augusta.
Jittacotra has visited Thailand a couple of times since moving to the United States.
He partly learned cooking from watching his parents, he said.
Sawasdee is located at 730 Augusta Road.
It is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with lunch served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, call 803-663-6363 or visit www.sawasdeeauthenticthaicuisine.com.
Stephanie Turner graduated from Valdosta State University in 2012. She then signed on with the Aiken Standard, where she is now the arts and entertainment reporter.