I visited the Sakina Thai restaurant last week with my husband.
I pass Sakina Thai on an almost daily basis and am always intrigued by the giant “halal Thai food” sign outside.
I am originally from Malaysia which has a large Muslim population as the national religion is Islam. Halal signs are common in Malaysia but is most certainly a rarity in most parts of the US especially in a place like Las Vegas aka Sin City.
Halal refers to permissible foods and drinks under Islamic law. Animals must be slaughtered in specific ways for a food to be declared halal. Muslims account for 10% of Thailand’s population and live predominantly in Southern Thailand which borders Malaysia.
Sakina Thai is located on Sahara Avenue which is a very busy thoroughfare in Las Vegas. It is in an older strip mall with limited parking. It is a casual, medium sized restaurant and there is a separate area which can be used for private events. It was quiet when we visited on a weekday but it is still best to make reservations for larger parties.
Marinated Thai style grilled beef which is served with an onion and garlic based chili sauce. It’s a typical dish from Bangkok. The grilled beef by itself was a little dry and salty but the dish improved tremendously with the addition of the chili sauce. This is a light dish and I bet the grilled beef would be excellent served on top of a fresh green salad. Ideal for summer dining and barbecues.
Chicken Pad Thai
A well prepared Pad Thai. Nicely cooked noodles with a good balance of sweet and sour flavors and I liked that they provided a generous serving of crushed roasted peanuts.
Chicken Panang Curry
The mildest of all Thai curries. All the liquid in this curry typically comes from coconut milk so this dish was smooth, sweet and creamy with a pleasant aroma of kaffir lime leaves.
Fried Bananas with Ice Cream
Deep fried bananas which were encased in spring roll wrappers and topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. It was a nice twist to use the spring roll wrappers because it made the dessert less greasy.
The service at the restaurant was really fast and excellent. The waitress was very knowledgeable and helpful. Most entrees are under $15 and they do not serve alcohol.
This is a family business and the owners are from southern Thailand. The restaurant chef, Peter is from Bangkok and learned cooking from his aunt in Pittsburgh. Peter has been cooking for about 20 years and enjoys sharing his stories with the restaurant diners. Sakina Thai gets a predominantly international clientele as most diners are out of town visitors looking for Halal food.
Sakina Thai may specialize in Halal food but there is no doubt that it is so much more than just a Halal restaurant. It is a good restaurant producing excellent food which can and should be enjoyed by all.