10 With… Kasama’s Thai Kitchen!
Even more reason to get excited at the Inglewood end of Beaufort Street! Another business has opened its doors to the locals. We catch up with the newbies in the ‘Wood.
We have been long time fans of Kasama and her food truck at the Inglewood Night Markets for the past few seasons. Nothing can beat her and the team’s enthusiasm for authentic, freshly made-to-order Thai food – all served with her trademark winning smile.
Not to rest on their laurels, Kasama and her partner Neil have over the last few weeks been setting up their first bricks and mortar shop on Beaufort Street, so we had a sit down in the ‘nearly finished’ space at 850a Beaufort Street to talk about the journey so far…
1. What’s the story so far?
Kasama’s Thai Kitchen is about three years old and there is no sign of slowing down for the pair! But Kasama’s journey with food started at a much earlier age. For Kasama’s formative years, she was raised by her grandmother (Kasama lovingly refers to her as ‘Granma’.) and she taught her to cook in a very holistic way. When she returned from school she would help her Granma in the kitchen – but she was only allowed to observe for many years. This taught Kasama that creating food dishes is creative, soulful and comes from the heart. All of Kasama’s inspiration comes from her Granma and her teachings. It has given Kasama a unique way to cook and she says it’s a “spiritual experience”.
2. Why did you choose Inglewood?
After looking around in neighbouring areas (Neil and his family have been in the Bayswater area for 25+ years) they decided upon the Inglewood Beaufort Street strip because of the regeneration of the old Bunnings site to a Woolworths, as well as its proximity to the Monday Night Markets. The area is on the up in their eyes and they want to be part of the reinvigoration and be part of the hustle and bustle.
3. What is a typical day for Kasama?
After getting a daily fresh food delivery, Kasama preps all of the food for their upcoming events. Kasama doesn’t stop thinking up ideas and dishes so she is constantly on the go!
The food truck is in use up to 5 days a week and as Kasama makes everything to order, the prep work is chopping, peeling and making sauce bases from scratch every day.
4. What’s the most surprising thing about owning your own business?
Both Neil and Kasama love the freedom that comes with being your own boss. They are producing a quality food product and that takes time and effort to make sure it is perfect, every time. Kasama sometimes cooks until 3am in the mornings to cater for the 360 meals made to order in the food truck on any given night!
5. What are your business neighbours like?
Neil and Kasama have not wasted any time in introducing themselves to their neighbours; Alan the hairdresser directly opposite, Tom at Hoodburger and the neigbourly love is being reciprocated with the boys from the tattoo shop helping with the shop fit-out, Fitness 858 donating a whiteboard for the kitchen and Natalie from Vintage Hairess already having Kasama in for a little pamper! It’s safe to say that they are making themselves at home in the ‘hood!
6. What will be the food theme of the shop?
Kasama has a strong vision for the shop food – and that is to showcase her Granma’s unique Thai food. Unlike Westernised versions of Thai food, Kasama grew up in Bangkok and the food from that area is the recognised national food of the country. Granma’s style and freshness is as authentic as it gets and that may be very different to what Australians are used to!
7. Have you met any Perthanalities yet?!
While scoping out the area, Neil and Kasama were enjoying a spot of salami at Mondo’s Butchers. We all know that if Vince is in, he’d love to meet you and that’s exactly what Neil decided to do!
8. Any funny stories?
With Kasama being Thai and Neil a local Aussie boy, there is sometimes a little lost in translation moments! One such moment was when Neil was sent out for ‘coconut’ and trawled several places looking for a whole coconut. Coming back empty handed, Kasama was surprised that he couldn’t find any – so sent one of the staff out to get coconut. And soon came back with a can of coconut milk, just as Kasama wanted!
9. Just how many food trucks have you owned?
In just three short years, not long after meeting, Neil and Kasama quit their day jobs (office work and Baldivis Farm respectively) and bought a small food truck to start trading from. Kasama cooks EVERYTHING in the truck and it became apparent after one full season on the Perth food scene that a bigger truck was required! Operating for two years as a food truck vendor has made them realise that in order to cater to their growing devoted authentic Thai food fans, they need even bigger premises to cater from, and the restaurant/shop was created to fill that need. Working as a professional kitchen to cater for their food truck business, they will also have approx. 30 covers in their restaurant!
“It seemed like the next step on our journey” Neil.
10. Company Motto?
Fresh and healthy.
“Everything is made with love, just like Granma taught me” Kasama.
11. Favourite Kasama’s Thai Kitchen dish?
Kasama is a BIG fan of fish and eats that most of the time. The favourite of the markets is the Pad Thai, which uses authentic Bangkok ingredients and that is what differentiates it from the rest. But Kasama couldn’t choose her favourite as she loves everything that she makes. To her, they are all as good as each other.
12. What has been the best thing about starting Kasama’s Thai Kitchen?
Both Neil and Kasama have lots of people that have been huge supporters of their venture – the patrons that keep coming back for more and telling their friends to try it. But behind the scenes the best thing has been their families. Kasama’s Granma who raised her in Bangkok and shared her amazing gift with food with a young Kasama and her father who let Kasama trade a little food shop next to his aged 14. Neil’s family have been instrumental in making Kasama’s Thai Kitchen a success; supporting the talent and abilities of Kasama and even helping out in the food truck in the early days.
They opened its doors in Late March. It’s was delayed due to making sure the kitchen and fit out is as they wanted it. The site was quite messy (and very pink!) and the team have been transforming the space into a pleasant place to sit and enjoy some authentic Thai! The food truck is also being catered for, with a new paved area to the rear to call home, so paving has been put down to make sure the truck is as comfortable in its new home as the patrons will be in the restaurant area!
From looking for premises to opening in just 8 WEEKS. Amazing work guys!
What is plain to see about Kasama’s Thai Kitchen is the passion that stems from everyone involved. The boundless energy and belief in the food and HOW it has been produced. Quality and authenticity is what makes Kasama’s food different from the rest and I bet that million dollar smile will win the hearts of many an Inglewoodian along the way!