Classic Thai dishes are boldly-spiced and cooked to order
Husband and wife Nattawut and Siriporn Yimsamrarn don’t try to entice diners by offering obscure Thai dishes. Instead, they try to prepare the freshest, most flavorful versions of all the classic Thai favorites, like curries, chicken satay and pad Thai, to name a few. The couple, who have both worked in Thai restaurants their whole life, married in 2011, and opened Thai Heart a few months later. It’s a modest, small restaurant quietly tucked away in King’s Village Shopping Center in Scotts Valley, and the couple works well together, with Siriporn in the kitchen and Nattawut running the front of the house. We interviewed Nattawut about Thai Heart.
GT: What’s it like working together?
Nattawut Yimsamrarn: She’s great. She’s a great cook. We both grew up in families that owned restaurants. We both teamed up and we opened this Thai restaurant. It’s based on love. That’s why we have this restaurant.
How are you different than the other Thai restaurants in the area?
The difference is the way that we eat. We like it a little bit more spicy—tastier than the other places. Most Thai restaurants are sweeter than ours. We try to bring the way that we eat to the people, which is more balanced.
A lot of people have complimented you on your brown rice. What’s so special about it?
We use a Thai jasmine brown rice, which is imported from Thailand. I also mix it with the wild black rice. It costs a little more, but it’s worth it.
You have several interesting soups. Tell me your favorite.
The most common soup that we get the most compliments on is our coconut soup, Tom Kha Gai. We have a little bit of chili in there. It’s a little bit spicy. It’s not just plain coconut soup, like other Thai restaurants around here have. You can taste the sourness a little bit, but it’s not too sour. It’s just right. It has lemongrass and galangal root in it. Once we scoop to serve, we try not to scoop the root because we want people to enjoy the good soup, not the root. If people like it, you have to ask us so we can just put it in for them. We want them to be able to finish the bowl without the distraction of the root getting into your mouth and chewing on it.
PHOTO: CHIP SCHEUER