When sister duo Patcharee Sintuwong (Kai) and Supranee Sritan (Kook) moved to Milledgeville, they gained experience about serving at other restaurants in the area. However, the two noticed that the town lacked a restaurant that served Thai food.
As Kook explained, the sisters, who are originally from Thailand, loved eating and cooking at home. So, they decided why shouldn’t they open their own restaurant?
She noted that while Thai food is known all over the world, when they arrived in Milledgeville, not many people knew about it. This observation, along with their love for cooking, led the sisters to want to create something new for their community that would allow others to taste and experience their food.
Kai and Kook opened Kai Thai Restaurant in May 2008, with the restaurant taking inspiration for its name partly from Patcharee Sintuwong’s nickname.
Kook runs Kai Thai while Kai runs their two sister restaurants,Thai Pepper andKin.D 96, in Warner Robins. WhenKai Thai first opened, business wasn’t great, but the sisters kept at it.
After a period of learning what customers liked and making adjustments, Kook said that the public response grew.
“We have lots of regular customers and new faces. Even though we’ve spent almost two years dealing with COVID-19, people still do support us. That’s one thing that we could not thank them enough for,” Kook said.
On the menu, customers will find both Thai and Japanesecuisine. Some of the restaurant’s more popular dishes include Pad Thai, fried rice, sushi rolls and ramen. Additionally, there are various types of soups and curry available. There is also iced tea, which Kook called a “must” andBoba milk tea. The variety of items on the menu is just one aspect that makes the food at Kai Thai unique in Kook’s mind, but that’s definitely not all.
“We use fresh veggies, quality meats, real spices and ingredients that we use to cook exactly the way we cook in Thailand and to cook the way customers like our dishes,” Kook said.
The restaurant also has daily specials, including some seasonal specials.
Kai and Kook are hard at work as Kai Thai Restaurant prepares to move to a new location between LongHorn Steakhouse and Buffalo Wild Wings near the Milledgeville Mall.
As Kook explained, there is a simple explanation for the move.
“Every day, we have more new customers and regulars come in and we don’t have enough seats for them, so we decided to move to the bigger space,” Kook said, adding that they hope to open the new location sometime next year.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kai Thai hosted sushi nights on Thursdays and Saturdays, but the sisters were forced to stop offering them due to the increased costs. Kook said that once they move into the new location, they might make plans to do something special.
In terms of why customers should visit Kai Thai over other restaurants in the area, it comes back to the quality of the food and the service offered.
“We choose quality over quantity. Our produces that we use and cook the way that customers want,” Kook said. “Our service and our friendly staff are some of things that customers are happy about too.”
Kook’s favorite thing about running Kai Thai has a lot to do with the environment of the restaurant but she also discussed the challenges.
“It’s fun to work; we all are like family, all of us help each other here at Kai Thai,” Kook said. “Moreover, it’s a challenge when unexpected things happen (like COVID-19) and you have to figure out how to solve problems.”
The sisters, as Kook declared, simply love what they do, and that’s part of what keeps them going and doing it every day.
“We do it because we love what we do, seeing the happy faces of customers, so our employees have jobs, are able to make money, and can provide foods to their families,” Kook said. “We’ll always keep going, and as long as our customers continue to support us, Kai Thai’s door is always open."