Three years later, he rebranded the business—formerly known as Khun Kan Thai Kitchen—to better reflect the change in ownership and make it his own, changing the name to Jaiwai Thai Kitchen.
“We changed a lot of the menu to make it my own taste,” Jaiwai said. “It’s still the same [dishes], but we changed basically all the recipes.”
With limited Thai options available in Georgetown, Jaiwai prides himself on serving authentic reflections of the country’s traditional cuisine.
He makes each dish one at a time, made-to-order and free of monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG. None of his meals will be found in a freezer, either.
“Everything is homemade,” he said. “A lot of Asian foods use MSG to make the taste better, but we don’t. It’s all made in house. That’s why the food takes a little bit long. We try to be fast, but we’re not fast food.”
Prior to moving to Georgetown, Jaiwai worked at a Thai restaurant in Austin and served as a sushi chef before that.
Now, he, his parents and sister work together at their latest venture. The family uses their collective experiences to make an assortment of noodle, fried rice and curry dishes, in addition to the rest of the menu filled with classic Asian meals.
Pad thai is the most popular dish on the menu, Jaiwai said, but he tends to lean toward the chicken khao soi.
“The chicken khao soi is a local, northern Thai food,” he said. “There’s not so many in Austin or Georgetown, but we do have it. That’s the real, authentic Thai.”
Customers will also find gluten-free and vegan options.
Those with a penchant for spicy food can customize the level of heat in their meal, with the option to add additional spices if it’s not to their liking. Jaiwai said he will also prepare a special order, customizing dishes to the diner’s preferences.
Sitting among a host of dining options in Georgetown, the restaurant remains a popular destination throughout the week, Jaiwai said. It has become his home, he said, and the perfect setting to run a restaurant.
“I love my job,” Jaiwai said. “Georgetown is the best town that I’ve ever lived in. It’s quiet, peaceful and nice people.”
Jaiwai Thai Kitchen
114 E. 7th St., Ste. 105, Georgetown
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4:30-8:30 p.m.; Sat. 4-8:30 p.m.; closed Sun.