If you are an expat or foodie living in Thailand you need to know about Olearys S.B.D. (official webpage). Many Swedish expats in Thailand are already in the know about this foodie gem, but it’s time to get the word out for the benefit of all! Located in Ban Phe, Olearys S.B.D. (Sport Bar and Deli) dishes out wonderful Swedish comfort food while its deli offers and delivers the absolute lowest prices on cheese and other items in Thailand.
Olearys S.B.D. menu offers a wide variety of Thai, pub grub, and Swedish fare (menu available to download from their website) at reasonable prices. For my visit I chose to eat from the Swedish menu. Their Swedish fare shouldn’t be considered gourmet fine dining dishes. Rather it is the ’80s comfort food that you’d find in the average Swedish home during that era. It’s nothing fancy–but it is absolutely delicious with much attention also paid to presentation. I started with an appetizer of Toast Skagen (shrimp salad on toast).
Olearys S.B.D. makes their Toast Skagen with homemade mayonnaise, large chunks of perfectly cooked shrimp, with fresh dill atop a simple slice of toasted white bread. It’s so creamy, with a salty/sweet crunch from the shrimp, and freshness from the dill. I could feast singularly on these, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t order the meatballs.
Of course, Swedish Meatballs!
If you visit Olearys S.B.D. without trying their Swedish Meatballs then you’ve done it wrong. These perfectly cooked and seasoned balls of meaty goodness are to be savored in the rich, beefy gravy that pools around it. The homemade lingonberry sauce is made with whole lingonberries. The perfect bite would be: a bit of sauce coated meat on a pad of mashed potatoes crowned with lingonberry. If you do it right you’ll have some leftover creamy mashed potatoes on your plate that can be used to sop up all of that delicious gravy!
Sundays are special!
On Sunday’s Olearys S.B.D. has a rotating special that is not on the menu, just as most Swedish homes in the 80’s would have a special dinner on Sundays. During this particular visit, their Sunday special was Braised Beef Roast with Chanterelle Sauce and Maxine Potatoes with a Deep Fried Camembert Cheese with Blueberry Jam to finish. I didn’t get to try it, but it sure looked delicious!
At 250 baht, this is a pretty amazing value. My recommendation for folks who travel to Koh Samed or Ban Phe would be to enjoy the enjoy the weekend then have a lovely Sunday brunch at Olearys S.B.D.. After lunch, hit the deli to load up on some amazing deals to bring home.
The deli: why you need to know about this place…
Olearys S.B.D. has the lowest retail prices on the cheeses they stock, parma ham, and Swedish snaps (for those uninitiated, it’s a liquor that if enjoyed too much will find you in the bushes or walking through glass doors–trust me). As an example, I purchased a 1.9 kg aged Edam cheese in a wax ball for 550 baht. Other deals found were a 2.3 kg Arla brand mozzarella with a 3.1 kg Gouda for 1500 baht, and parma ham for 750 baht/kg!
I think that 5.4 kg of cheese is a bit much for my fridge but small restaurants take note if you are looking for a distributor. Their deli offers much more than cheese and meats. They also have desserts, homemade pâté, ready-made Swedish meals, seafood, spices, and jars of herring. There is much, much more but the list is too great to add here. If they don’t have what you want then reach out to them. They will find a way to get it. Honestly if you’re a foodie, their webshop should be in your bookmarks.
Delivery ANYWHERE in Thailand!
Olearys S.B.D. will deliver everything that they have in their inventory to anywhere in Thailand for very reasonable shipping fees. Most places in Thailand are able to get next day delivery, some of the outlying areas can take 2 days at the maximum. All orders are packed in styrofoam coolers with water bottles filled with ice. I personally ordered a Christmas ham from them and it was amazing.
A chat with the owner…
I had the good fortune to be able to speak with the Olearys S.B.D. proprietor, Mr. Göran Lunne. From Gothenburg, Sweden, he learned about restaurants at a very early age. He first began working at his father’s butchery as penance for his crimes during the “Great Apple War”.
On his street his family had an apple tree, and one neighbor had a plum tree, and another neighbor had a pear tree. A war broke out amongst the neighbor kids. Though there were no deaths, there were many window causalities. There were apples found inside the homes amongst the glass littered floors. Windows are expensive. Though Göran wasn’t paid much, he was educated pretty thoroughly in all the aspects of butchery and running a store until his debts were paid.
Göran’s interest in food grew and he served as a commis (that first rung of the ladder to be a great chef) at Johanna Gastronome under the patronage of the very famous chef, Leif Mannerström. He honed his chef skills there and refined his management skills by working with Fazer. With Fazer he traveled frequently to support the dining requirements for the army of workers at various Volvo construction equipment plants. He soon loved to travel and discovered Thailand on vacation.
Time to hang up the hat…and put it on again.
He worked hard for many years and invested wisely. When it came time to retire he sold his companies and moved to Thailand. After a couple of months retirement bliss turned to boredom. Göran created Olearys S.B.D. to keep active and feel meaningfully engaged. The restaurant came first, 6 months later the deli was built, and then 6 months later the webshop was online.
Olearys S.B.D. Motto: Keep it simple!
His goal is for Olearys S.B.D. to be able to provide simple, quality, home cooked food to its customers and for the deli/webshop to be able to provide the lowest retail prices in Thailand for at least 50 major items customers desire. Fortunately his efforts to achieve these goals serve the benefit of any foodie inclined individual in Thailand!
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