W Thai Chef finds a hungry home in Kaysville | News, Sports, Jobs





Valerie Phillips, Special to Standard Examiner

Winai Ketbot makes Pad Ka Pao at W Thai Chef in Kaysville.

Kaysville isn’t known for its Thai cuisine, which is why owner Winai Ketbot opened W Thai Chef there.

“When I was looking for a place, I realized there were no Thais here. I saw there were Chinese, but no Thais,” he said. plus, I love the small town feeling here.”

After remodeling the space on 2nd North that was once Sweet Cakes Bakery, Ketbot opened in late January.

So far, it seems the locals are hungry for Thai food.

“I just opened a few weeks ago, and a lot of people already know about it and come, without any marketing or advertising,” he said. “It spreads by word of mouth.”

Valerie Phillips, Special to Standard Examiner

Pad Ka Pao, consisting of rice topped with a crispy egg, is a signature dish of W Thai Chef in Kaysville.

The “W” stands for his first name, Winai. Originally from Thailand, he came to Utah in 2002 as a Buddhist missionary. He graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas from 2005 to 2006. He then worked at his mother’s restaurant, Pad Thai in Layton, with his brother.

“At that time, I also had the Thai market right next door,” Ketbot said.

He decided to open his own restaurant because “I love cooking and I want to be successful in my business. I believe my cooking will be delicious for a customer.

The space is comfortable, with seating for around 18 people. But much of the business is take-out, Ketbot said.

Customers place their orders and pay via a self-service terminal near the counter.

Valerie Phillips, Special to Standard Examiner

Golden bags — cream cheese-stuffed wonton wrappers — are a popular appetizer at W Thai Chef in Kaysville.

An important detail: when ordering, there is a “special instructions” box where the customer can – and probably should – write down the desired heat level.

“A lot of people are afraid of Thai food because they think it’s very spicy,” Ketbot said. “We rate the heat on a scale of 1 to 10. People can write if they want soft or hot, it’s their choice. We can adjust everything to their heat level.

The menu is filled with Thai classics. “We kept the menu small so we could execute it well,” Ketbot said. “We also have gluten-free and vegetarian choices.”

One of its signature dishes is Pad Ka Pao, a spicy stir-fry with a choice of protein (chicken, tofu, pork, beef, shrimp or a combination), plus basil, bell pepper and onion. It is served with a mound of rice topped with a “crispy” fried egg.

The papaya salad is one of his own creations. It is a mixture of papaya, carrot, peanuts, green beans and lime juice. You can also get a pork or beef salad, both of which contain tomatoes, cucumber, onion, green onion, lettuce, lime juice, and carrot.

Valerie Phillips, Special to Standard Examiner

Winai Ketbot poses outside his restaurant, W Thai Chef in Kaysville.

And, there’s Pad Thai, the stir-fried rice noodle dish that most Americans are familiar with. The noodles are mixed with green onions, eggs and bean sprouts.

One of the bestsellers is Drunken Noodles, with egg, onion, carrot, basil, bell pepper, broccoli and tomato, on rice noodles. (Despite the “drunk” name, no alcohol is involved.) “It’s very popular,” Ketbot said. “We put a lot of vegetables in it.”

There are several versions of fried rice, each with a choice of protein. Chicken, tofu and pork are $9.95; beef and shrimp, $11.95; and the beef, chicken, and pork combo is $13.95. Thai fried rice contains onions, scallions, eggs, peas and carrots. The basil fried rice is spicy, with onion, green onion, egg, pea, carrot, basil and bell pepper. Pineapple Fried Rice contains onions, scallions, eggs, pineapple, peas, carrots, and cashews.

You will also find two soups – Tom Yum Shrimp and Tom Kha Chicken – and three curries: red, green or pineapple. The red and green curry contains bamboo shoots, basil, zucchini and bell pepper. Pineapple curry contains pineapple and basil. Again, you can order your choice of protein.

One of the most popular appetizers is the Golden Bags, a wonton wrapper stuffed with cream cheese. Also known as “money bags” or “golden purses,” Ketbot said they are a tradition at Thai family parties and celebrations, and can be stuffed with crab or other ingredients.

“It’s for success, lucky food,” he said. “I make them myself.”

For dessert, mango sticky rice (Khao Niaow Ma Muang). It’s sweet and flavored with coconut milk for a satisfying finish.


IF YOU ARE GOING TO

Location: 237 W. 200 North, Kaysville

Contact: 801-544-6599

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Close on Sunday.

Price scale: $5-$13.95



Newsletter

Join thousands of people who already receive our daily newsletter.