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Sisters bring a taste of Thailand to south Guelph

They call everyone on the Makin team family

Sisters Chalisa and Sara Tripoonsin remember helping their parents at their family-owned restaurant in Bangkok. Now that legacy continues with their new Guelph restaurant, Makin.

This is the first time the sisters have owned a restaurant and they've wanted to bring a taste of Thailand here since they first moved to Canada 11 years ago.

They looked for a restaurant location for nearly a year, not having much luck.

With the help of their mom, Benja Laver, the Tripoonsin’s found a location to lease at 79 Clair Rd., in the Pergola Commons plaza, and was formerly a Thai Express.

Makin is authentic Thai food, the sisters said.

“Well, we just wanted to show people the real taste of Thailand. How good Thai food can really be and how it's actually made. The way it is made in Thailand,” said Chalisa.

They used to drive to Toronto for authentic Thai food so this is what prompted them to open their restaurant in Guelph.

Their mom loves to cook and whenever there is a party or family gathering there is always plenty of food and conversation.

Chalisa has lived in Guelph for two years and Sara has lived in Cambridge for three years.

They both work full time at other jobs.

Laver is proud of her daughters and she’s always there if they need advice.

Makin means "let’s eat" or "come eat", in Thai. It opened Monday and the restaurant had a full house just with Laver’s friends alone.

The open concept kitchen is run by “chef Oh” as he is known at the restaurant. Oh Khamdee moved to Canada five years ago and was a chef in hotels in Thailand. He is quite well known in the Thai community here, that people come from Toronto just to try his food.

“He has the biggest smile on his face when someone compliments his cooking. And he loves to just stand there and watch people eat,” said Chalisa.

The Tripoonsins' brother Zac is also a chef and works at the restaurant too.

They call everyone on the Makin team family.

The ingredients are sourced from Guelph and Waterloo. They try to support local as much as they can but their fresh noodles are from Etobicoke.

Pad thai is the most popular dish at the restaurant so far and it isn’t made with ketchup like some westernized restaurants make it. It’s made with a Thai tamarind sauce with rice noodles, egg, tofu, beansprouts, peanuts, radish and red onions.

A staff favourite is khao soi. It’s a northern Thai golden curry with coconut milk, pickled cabbage, cilantro and house-made chili oil.

The restaurant doesn’t have a target audience. They want everyone to come and enjoy the food even if they’ve never tried Thai food before.

Sara has friends from a variety of different cultural backgrounds. She wasn’t sure what they would think of the food but her friends who are vegetarian came and finished everything off their plates.

In the future the sisters want to open more restaurants and bring the taste of authentic Thai food across Canada.