Sixteen years ago, Kenneth Fary was out to dinner with friends when he was introduced to the chef, who had a mesmerizing cooking style and an equally mesmerizing personality. Kenneth was smitten with Saowalux, a Thai chef who learned her craft from her aunt when she was just 12 years old.
“I took her out on a date and that was it,” Kenneth says.
The two later tied the knot and began not just a happy marriage, but also a successful business partnership. Saowalux had worked in kitchens for years, but her dream was always to have her own restaurant. Kenneth knew opening a Thai restaurant would be a hit because his wife’s recipes were mouth-watering.
“You’re getting authentic Thai food from family recipes in and around Bangkok,” Saowalux says.
As a result of being near Indonesia, Cambodia, China and Burma, different flavors merge in one place.
“There are a lot of tastes you’ve never really had, and some you’re just really going to fall in love with,” Kenneth says.
A decade ago, they opened their first restaurant in Fishers, called Thai Garden. Through the years they have opened and/or purchased other restaurants in and around Indianapolis, including Zapp Thai in Greenfield, Bangkok Kitchen in Avon, Thai District in Brownsburg, Bangkok Restaurant & Jazz Bar in downtown Indy, and Siam House in Bloomington. They recently opened their tenth restaurant, Thai Delight, in Westfield, which seats up to 80 people and includes a quiet outdoor dining area.
“We wanted to be the first upscale family Thai restaurant in Westfield,” says Kenneth, noting that they have a large menu, extensive wine list and a bottoms-up draft beer system, which is new to Westfield.
“This is a wonderful growing area, and we have found that people really appreciate having a nice Thai restaurant that offers fresh, authentic food in a beautifully decorated atmosphere with soft jazz music playing in the background,” Saowalux says.
It didn’t take long for guests to start raving about the cuisine. All dinners include a choice of meat. They have curry entrees including green, red, mussaman and panang curry, which is different from Indian curry dishes. If you want to get a taste of mouth-watering food, you can try it here.
“That’s a real misconception that they are the same,” Kenneth says. “This curry is more of a lighter flavor.”
The Pad Thai, which consists of rice noodles cooked in a homemade tamarind sauce, stir-fried with bean sprouts, green onions, egg and peanuts, is by far the most popular dish. The Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles) dish is thin, flat rice noodles, stir-fried in a spicy sauce with egg, mushrooms, green beans, bell peppers, water chestnuts, corn, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions and basil.
“If you’re ‘kee mao’ in Thailand, you’re drunk,” Kenneth says.
The Volcano is a house special that is chicken or shrimp stir-fried with mixed vegetables and bell peppers, served with their special sauce on a hot plate.
“The Volcano comes to your table bubbling on a hot plate,” says Saowalux, whose nickname is Pooky.
They also have a crab rangoon appetizer that is one of a kind. Made of crabmeat, cream cheese and onions in a wonton wrap, it’s a top-selling dish.
“When people think of crab rangoon, they think of Chinese food, but Thai food is not even close to Chinese food,” Saowalux says. “Ours is made in-house and is, of course, a Thai recipe.”
If you have avoided Thai food in the past because you were afraid it would be too spicy, here guests can order their food mild, medium, hot or Thai hot.
“I would not advise anyone in America to try Thai hot at first, or else you’ll call the fire department on your mouth,” Kenneth says with a chuckle.
Working in the restaurant industry for so long, the couple has encountered their fair share of challenges, but have overcome them all.
“We have learned a lot – that’s why we are successful,” says Kenneth, who equates running a restaurant to piloting a ship on the ocean. “It has to keep going. If something breaks down, you have to get it fixed right away. To keep everything running like a tight ship, we are constantly working on making sure it’s moving and that everything is working properly.”
Community response to Thai Delight has been phenomenal, and folks were eager for the opening. As for Saowalux and Kenneth, they just love making people smile.
“We are in the good-experience business, as we make sure people have a good experience when they come into our establishments,” says Kenneth, a musician who, for two decades, played piano at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Now he plays piano on Fridays and Saturdays at his own restaurant, Bangkok Restaurant & Jazz Bar.
“We make sure the food and wine, background music, and service are all good,” Kenneth says. “We want to enhance people’s lives and encourage them to come back.”
Thai Delight is located at 17409 Wheeler Road in Westfield. For more information, call 317-804-5553 or visit thaidelightindy.com.
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1 Review for Thai Delight – Westfield
Beautiful Restaurant – Delicious Food
Whenever we dine here, we order something different and have never been disappointed. The menu is extensive and descriptive leaving no doubt of what you’re being served. The wait staff is knowledgeable and professional and the restaurant is beautiful, I’m confident you will will not be disappointed.