“Amena”, who is Thai, had very humble beginnings, when we say humble, we mean she didn’t have much at all. Just a fire in her eyes, a dream in her heart, and a passion for food.
She was the eldest of 5 kids and started cooking and feeding them at the age of 9 since her mama was always out trying to bring money home.
When we were just kids back in 89’ she used to sell “Hainanese” style chicken and rice (Khao Mun Kai in Thai) at the doorstep of our house just for us to get by, and people would flock in from all over town and queue up just to get some before it all ran out. When times were hard that’s what pulled us through, her food. 14 hour days, 7 days a week of prepping, cooking, and serving, and always with a smile on her face, because she loved it so much. We had enough to eat and enough to feed, and we were happy.
All my life growing up, everywhere we went or moved to, the food would always precede my mama. Just give her a kitchen and that woman could make it anywhere. We’ve seen her literally feed hundreds of people and it’s always the same look of joy that we see her wear when she sees them eating her food.
Everyone who had ever eaten her food had always encouraged her to open up a small restaurant instead of just making home food, and just like that it became her dream and her obsession her whole life. Now here we are, 45 years later since my mama started cooking, her dream finally come true, and we’re proud to be a part of it.
So come down, pull up a chair, and maybe try some of that Hainanese style chicken and rice 45 years in the making that small town couldn’t get enough of, and wash it all down with some fresh hearty chicken broth soup.