With a twist of sweet and sour, a pinch of salt and some extra spice, Bennie and Jay Veetasaveera introduce authentic Thai food to Monroe.
Opened May 3, the couple owns and operates 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 our dishes are from family recipes.”
Both Bennie and Jay lived in the southern part of Thailand before moving to the United States in 2019. When they heard of a possible location in Monroe to open their restaurant, they quickly moved to the area.
The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 8.30pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 3pm to 8.30pm. It offers a variety of traditional Thai dishes and weekday lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., including a small appetizer, appetizer, and salad.
According to Jay, traditional Thai food can be bold in taste. Dishes are sweet and sour, salty and spicy. To appeal to a variety of palates, he prepares the dishes with less spices, but makes sure they are just as flavorful. Customers who like their food with more heat can order by using a spiciness level from zero, meaning not spicy, to four, meaning extra hot.
Many of the restaurant’s spices come straight from Thailand, including curry. Monroe’s Noah McLaughlin recently stopped by to place a takeout order.
“I like Asian food, but this is my first time trying Thai,” he said. “I ordered Red Curry with beef. I like curry and I’ve eaten both Indian and Japanese curry so thought I’d give it a try.”
For new customers, Bennie recommends ordering authentic Thai fried rice made with jasmine rice, egg, onions, green onions, and a light brown sauce, served with your choice of meat: chicken, pork, beef, duck, or a combination of chicken, beef, pork and shrimp.
Jay, who does most of the cooking, said customer favorites are Pad Thai noodles and Mussamun Curry, a dish served with mussamun sauce made from yellow and red chili peppers mixed 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 pop in.
“We’ve never had Thai food before, but thought we’d stop in and give it a try,” Walters said. “It seems like a very nice place. I hope it ends well.”
“My daughter and her family live in England and they eat Thai all the time,” added Hugley. “She suggested we give it a try.”
The first guests 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, coriander, 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 soda, and mineral water.
“Our dishes are authentic, traditional Thai recipes. Jay makes the brown sauce with soy sauce, sugar, and some other ingredients,” Bennie said. “Our sweet mango sticky rice 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 California’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, where she ate from a bowl of sticky mango rice onstage while playing 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.sirithacuisinemonroe.com†
Siri Thai cuisine
Owners: Bennie and Jay Veetasaveera from Monroe
Place: 315 S. Telegraph Rd, formerly 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., including a small appetizer, entree, and salad
Hours: Open Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 8.30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 3pm to 8.30pm