AJ Thongprayoon opened Ros Niyom Thai on Sept. 4, 2018, in Round Rock after realizing he could use his culinary skills to create a unique Thai menu for the area.

Thongprayoon was born in Thailand but honed his craft by working in several different restaurants in San Francisco.

Before moving to the Austin area in 2017, he said he traveled all over the state looking for a place to set up his own restaurant, but he fell in love with Central Texas.

“For three years before [moving to Austin], I would fly back and forth [from San Francisco] and try different Thai restaurants,” he said.

He concluded that his traditional Thai recipes would fare well in Round Rock. So far, he said business has been great, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. “I want to present not only the taste [of traditional Thai food to customers], but also our culture,” he said. “How we eat the curry—we don’t put the rice in the curry—I like to let customers know about things like that.”

Though he mainly adopted a strict focus on Thai food, Thongprayoon said he can be flexible with his dishes.

“In our restaurant, it is important to me ... if a customer tells me it’s too spicy, we change it right away,” he said.

Some of the most popular dishes at Ros Niyom Thai include an appetizer called the curry puff, a pork dish called pad moo krob prik pao and a traditional Thai soup called tom yum goong that has a creamy broth.

It is important to note that the tom yum goong broth at Ros Niyom Thai is different from the broth at many other restaurants, he said.

“In Thailand, you have east, south, north, west and middle. I am from the middle part of Thailand,” Thongprayoon said. “That’s why we have the creamy broth.”

Ultimately, he said the most important thing to get right at Ros Niyom is quality. It is why he always searches out the best, freshest ingredients and why he is always willing to adjust a dish if it needs it.

“I’m proud of my dishes,” he said. “Everything [we sell], we make ourselves. It’s all handmade here.”

Ros Niyom Thai

2000 S. I-35, Ste. C-1, Round Rock



Hours: Tue.-Thu. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-9 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Sat. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; closed Mon.