New North Austin restaurant offers customizable hot pots


Rachel Su, co-owner of North Austin restaurant Basil Thai, said she sometimes has to encourage her regular customers to try something new.

“They already know what they like, and they always pick the same thing,” she said. “Sometimes I recommend they change it and order something different because everything is good on the menu.”

After a decade of owning a Thai restaurant in San Diego, California, husband-and-wife duo Su and Henry Ma moved to Texas and opened Basil Thai in August 2017.

Su said the restaurant’s specialties include traditional Thai dishes such as tom ka soup and tom yum soup made with coconut milk broth or lemongrass broth.

“Even in California the customers said we make the best tom ka and tom yum soup there,” she said. “They would come just to enjoy the soup.”

Some of Basil Thai’s most popular menu items are the personal hot pots, which come served over a small flame with a side of rice, Su said. Some restaurants that offer hot pots serve them as a single pot for a group to share with raw meat that customers add in to cook in the hot broth. At Basil Thai, however, meat and seafood are cooked separately and added into the broth before being served to customers, she said.

“Around here there are so many big companies, and at lunchtime people don’t have time to cook,” Su said “These hot pots save you time.”

In addition to hot pots, Basil Thai offers noodle dishes, fried rice and Thai curries, which Su said are thinner and less spicy than Indian curries. She said she noticed some classic Thai dishes have gained popularity among Asian Americans and non-Asian Americans as well.

“Asians may like this [restaurant]a lot because there are Asian broths and Asian-style food, but American people have finally recognized that they like it, too,” Su said.

Basil Thai

2501 W. Parmer Lane, Ste. 550, Austin
Hours: Sun. noon-9 p.m.; Mon., Wed.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; closed Tue.

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Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered health care and public education in Austin.
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