Thai restaurant makes debut in Port Orchard

Port Orchard has never been short of Asian cuisine, but for one reason or another Thai food has not made its way to Port Orchard.

Until now, that is. The Original Thai Taste restaurant opened its doors Feb. 27.

Located at the East Port Orchard Plaza, across the street from the armory on Mile Hill Drive.

Seek Kumlue, owner of The Original Thai Taste, is no stranger to Thai restaurants. He and his wife, Suehamas, own the Ni-Thai-Na in Belfair.

With Thai restaurants in Gig Harbor, Silverdale, and Bremerton, Kumlue said he was surprised Port Orchard didn’t have one.

Expanding to Port Orchard was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

It helped that the offer to come to Port Orchard fell on his lap.

“When we bought land in Belfair, the owner also owned this place and he asked if I wanted to try here,” Kumlue said. “Many of my customers (at Belfair) are from here. Now they don’t have to drive to Belfair.”

Thai food cannot be mistaken for Chinese food.

While Chinese food depends largely on cooking oils, Thai food is famous for its special herbs and spices that are grown in Thailand.

Famous for its curry and noodle dishes, the spice level is determined by the patron.

Customers will find many items that are also found in Chinese food.

Kumlue said the most popular Thai food items include sat-ay, grilled chicken on a skewer, marinated in a curry powder and served with cucumber salad and peanut sauce.

It’s the peanut sauce that hooks customers, Kumlue said.

The food is prepared by Suehamas.

“My wife is the chef here,” Kumlue said. “She trained at college for Thai food in Thailand and in the states.

Next month the Original Thai Taste will open its bar when it receives it’s liquor license.

A tinted window separates the bar from the restaurant. Kumlue said the bar will have a television, featuring sports such as kickboxing and boxing.

Happy Hour may be the biggest attraction, Kumlue said.

An array of free appetizers will be offered while patrons can sip away on a cold one.

“People might come just for the appetizers,” Kumlue said. “They won’t have to eat dinner.”

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