Thai Taste keeps family memories at the heart of its menu

Streamed dumplings are made by hand daily. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Streamed dumplings are made by hand daily. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

Streamed dumplings are made by hand daily. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

Two years ago Oak Hill restaurant Thai Taste underwent a change in ownership. Kay Buasuwan, who had previously worked at Central Austin food truck Wat Zab Thai, took the reins from family friends who founded the restaurant in 2010 but decided to move back to Thailand in 2019.

Since, Buasuwan and his family have continued to serve the restaurant’s authentic Thai cuisine to the Southwest Austin community.

Buasuwan moved to Austin from Thailand with his sister, Sumitra, about 20 years ago. The siblings moved in with their mother, Eve, who has worked as a chef in Austin for the past 36 years.

Sumitra is a holdover from the previous Thai Taste regime who has worked at the restaurant for 10 years and is now the manager. Eve now runs the kitchen and has tweaked the menu over the past two years to mimic dishes from her youth.

“My mom, she has experience in Austin, but learned from my grandma when she was in Thailand,” Sumitra said. “The food here, we really keep authentic Thai. We want the customers to taste what we eat in Thailand.”

Sumitra said many Thai restaurants offer food that is Thai-inspired but more American or a fusion with another cuisine. Her family’s goal is to give Southwest Austin customers a chance to taste exactly what they would find if visiting Thailand, she said.

The restaurant’s menu includes traditional dishes including pad thai—a stir-fried rice noodle with egg, bean sprouts, onion and peanuts—and Pad Garpow Kai Dow—a ground chicken dish with basil, bell peppers, chilies for spice and a fried egg on top. Sumitra said the restaurant’s six different curry dishes—which vary in spice level and flavor palate—are also popular, as is Thai Taste’s crab fried rice.

The menu also offers appetizers including spring rolls and eggrolls, fried wontons, chicken wings and pork dumplings.

“The steamed dumplings we do are homemade,” she said. “That one is popular, and people say it is very good.”

Drinks, such as Thai iced tea and iced coffee, and desserts including fried banana ice cream and sticky rice with mango, are also available.

The restaurant is open for dine-in services as well as take-out. Delivery is also available through phone apps including Uber Eats and Grubhub.
By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.


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