With a dash of sweet and sour, a pinch of salt and some added spice, Bennie and Jay Veetasaveera are introducing authentic Thai food to Monroe.
Opened May 3, the couple own and operate Siri Thai Cuisine, 315 S. Telegraph Rd., formerly the Golden Siam restaurant.
“We moved from Dayton, Ohio to open the restaurant,” Bennie said. “Jay’s family owns a restaurant in Thailand and all of our dishes are from family recipes.”
Both Bennie and Jay lived in the southern part of Thailand before moving to the states in 2019. When they heard about a potential location in Monroe to open their restaurant, they quickly relocated to the area.
Open 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 3 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the restaurant offers a variety of traditional Thai dishes and weekday lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. which include a small appetizer, entrée, and side salad.
According to Jay, traditional Thai food can be bold in flavor. Dishes are sweet and sour, salty, and spicy. To appeal to a variety of palates, he prepares the dishes using less spice but ensures they are just as flavorful. Customers who like their food with more heat can order by using a level of spiciness from zero meaning not spicy to four which means extra hot.
Many of the restaurant’s spices come directly from Thailand, including curry. Noah McLaughlin of Monroe recently stopped in to place a take-out order.
“I like Asian food but this is my first time to try Thai,” he said. “I ordered Red Curry with beef. I like curry and I’ve eaten both Indian and Japanese curry so I thought I’d give it a try.”
For first-time customers, Bennie recommends ordering authentic Thai fried rice, made with jasmine rice, egg, onions, green onions, and a light brown sauce served with a choice of meat – chicken, pork, beef, duck, or a combo of chicken, beef, pork, and shrimp.
Jay, who does most of the cooking, said customer favorites include Pad Thai noodles and Mussamun Curry, a dish served with mussamun sauce made from yellow and red chiles blended with spices and peanuts.
Monroe residents Beverly Walters and Steve Hugley were driving past the restaurant when they read the “Siri Thai Cuisine” sign and decided to stop in.
“We’ve never eaten Thai food but thought we’d stop in and give it a try,” Walters said. “It looks like a really nice place. I hope it does well.”
“My daughter and her family live in England and they eat Thai food all of the time,” Hugley added. “She suggested to give it a try.”
The first-time diners ordered wonton and vegetable soups, Spicy Green Bean, a stir fry dish, and Coconut Curry Noodle (Khao Soi), a chicken and shrimp dish made with thick noodles, yellow curry, red onions, green onions, cilantro, and crispy noodles.
Although the couple opted for iced tea, the eatery offers a variety of beverages including Thai iced tea and iced coffee, Thai green tea, Boba tea, canned sodas, and bottled water.
“Our dishes are authentic, traditional Thai recipes. Jay makes the brown sauce using soy sauce, sugar, and some other ingredients,” Bennie said. “Our sweet sticky rice with mango is a very popular dessert. We also make sweet sticky rice with Thai custard and coconut steam pudding.”
Bennie said Thai music artist and rapper Milli recently performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California where she ate from a bowl of mango sticky rice onstage while performing a song named after the dessert.
“Milli’s performance made mango sticky rice very popular,” she said.
An online menu and ordering is available at www.sirithaicuisinemonroe.com.
Siri Thai Cuisine
Owners: Bennie and Jay Veetasaveera of Monroe
Location: 315 S. Telegraph Rd, formerly the Golden Siam restaurant
Services: The restaurant offers a variety of traditional Thai dishes and weekday lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. which include a small appetizer, entrée, and side salad
Hours: Open 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 3 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday