Thai cuisine integral to town's newest restaurant
Thai the Knot Asian Kitchen is now open in Newberg.
Anticipation of the launch of the restaurant at the corner of Villa and Portland roads was evident Thursday, as a steady stream of customers formed when the doors were opened at 11 a.m.
The eatery is owned by Evan Kramakum and his wife Wanvadee Jermsak, both natives of Bangkok, Thailand.
"We have been in the restaurant business for quite (a) long time," Kramakum said. "I started … with being a host and food runner in one of the popular Thai restaurants in Northwest (Portland) and moved my way up to owner."
Jermsak's roots in the restaurant business run deep as well; she worked in her family's restaurant in Lake Oswego and eventually took over management of the business.
The process of locating the restaurant in Newberg proved to be almost providential, Kramakum said.
"We had been looking for a new place to start a new business," he said. "It's very fortunate that my wife found this place. We decided to check it out and the word came … 'We just found a new home.'"
The couple said they began constructing the business nearly three months ago in the space that formerly held Taste of 808, a Hawaiian restaurant.
Why Newberg in particular?
"There are so many places in the United States, but Newberg is very unique," Kramakum said. "It's small, cozy, but not too big. I love to have a chance to get to know people. Especially, there are not a lot of Asian restaurants that offer this kind of food."
And the cuisine Thai The Knot is offering is personal for the couple.
"We cook food that we love to eat and introduce (it) to all my customers," Kramakum said. "I call that 'my home cooking.' I just bring my kitchen to Newberg, which I call my new neighbors. Our food … is different from most places. We created a menu that has passion and family history."
While he said he was proud of all their dishes, he highlighted four in particular: Chicken Meets Boxing, Holy Basil Wings, Khao Rad Na Gai and Gingery Chicken.
"You can hardly find these kinds of dishes (anywhere)," he said.
A number of employees from the restaurant that previously inhabited the space, Taste of 808, have stayed on to work at Thai The Knot, which seats 60 people.
"We love to have them here," Kramakum said. "I love (for) them to be part of our family."
The restaurant's opening Thursday was a hectic one, Kramakum said, sometimes with long wait times as the staff became accustomed to the pace.
"We make everything from scratch, (it's) not a pre-made meal."
Thai the Knot Asian Kitchen is open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 201 Villa Road. Visit the business' website at www.thaitheknotasiankitchen.com to see their menu.