Ann Sirinut Khamla learned to cook at her grandfather’s side in Thailand. Now she shares new creations and familiar favourites at the Mango Thai Bistro in Langford.

Time to try Thai! Langford restaurant serves up flavourful family recipes

Chef shares lessons learned in grandfather’s kitchen

Ann Sirinut Khamla is finally home.

The Langford chef has been cooking fresh, flavourful Thai food for years in restaurants in the Lower Mainland, but since opening the doors on the Mango Thai Restaurant in Millstream Village Mall in November 2018, things feel more settled. Teaming up with front-of-house manager Frank Jantzon was a great move, and the welcoming community in the West Shore has made her feel home at last.

Learning to cook at her grandfather’s side

Khamla lost both her parents young, and so she and her sister spent most of their childhood with their maternal grandparents in a Bangkok suburb. The loss was tragic, but Khamla found comfort in the kitchen with her grandfather, who shared his culinary tricks and recipes for authentic Thai cuisine.

“My grandfather taught me that meals should have contrasting textures, and the flavours should maintain a balance between strong and subtle, spicy and bland,” Khamla says.

At the age of 18, Khamla and her sister left Thailand for a new life with their two uncles in Canada, but Khamla didn’t leave the kitchen behind. In Canada she found hungry foodies eager to taste meals from around the world, and they loved her home cooking. She opened her first restaurant in New Westminster, but things really took off when she opened a Mango Thai restaurant on Davie Street in downtown Vancouver.

Khamla’s authentic Thai cooking and affordable prices made that location a fast favourite with locals, but when rents started to skyrocket she was forced to find a new home. Khamla searched everywhere from Surrey to Nanaimo, but the only spot with everything she needed was the 50-seat space in the mall, next to TD Bank.

Try Thai!

Love a Thai curry but can’t decide between Green, Yellow and Red? Mango Thai offers a new Trio Sampler with a bowl of each, made as spicy as you like with your choice of chicken or vegetable. In the mood for something new? Try the Thai Me Up Roll with “can’t stop dipping sauce” or check out Khamla’s daily chalkboard specials. If you’re a real Thai enthusiast, ask about ordering “off the menu” for unique, authentic cuisine. And if you love the classics, you have to give the pad thai a try.

Check out the full menu at mangothai.ca/menu, and download the brand new Mango Thai app to place orders for pick-up. The free app is available for Apple and Android, and will make ordering, payment and scheduling pick-up a breeze!

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Ann Sirinut Khamla and her sister were raised by their grandparents in a Bangkok suburb. Khamla learned to cook the traditional Thai cuisine that she serves at Mango Thai Bistro today.

Mango Thai Bistro in Millstream Village Mall serves daily lunch and dinner specials. Try the Thai Me Up Spring Roll with “can’t stop dipping sauce.”

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