By Lenée Son
Anyone who has been Thailand can tell you how significant food is to Thai culture. Particularly in Bangkok, food is a social affair and both locals and tourists alike can be found in the lively city enjoying and sharing food – and you can get a taste of the dishes they share in Surrey.
From the crack of dawn to all hours of the night, the streets of Bangkok are constantly stirring with street vendors. Food is the social glue in Thai culture, and dishes are made to share with friends and family. Whether it’s a steaming pot of joke (Thai rice congee) for breakfast, fresh fruit for a mid-day snack, a bowl of Gang Dang (red curry) for lunch, or heaping plate of pad kee-mao (drunken hot and spicy noodles) after a night out, Thai dishes are a social occasion.
In Surrey, many of these Bangkokian casual favorites are available at Snak Shak restaurant where the Thongprasert family is bringing Thai traditions of socializing and food to the neighborhood.
Before it became a hub of authentic Thai cuisine, the Snak Shak Restaurant has been a community favorite for nearly thirty years. Locals have been making a stop at the Snak Shak Restaurant for their quick and delicious Canadian breakfast and lunch dishes like eggs benedict and roast beef dip au jus since the 1980s.
After emigrating from Bangkok to Surrey, the Thongprasert family saved up their earnings to purchase the Snak Shak restaurant. Many of the classic Canadian diner favorites are still on the menu but the Thongprasert family have also added dishes reminiscent of the food they ate daily back home in Bangkok.
The blend of menu items reflects the dual Canadian and Thai identities of the Thongprasert family. “We wanted to have both Canadian and Thai dishes on our menu because we embrace being both Canadian and Thai,” said Supakan Thongprasert, owner of the restaurant.
Supakan, his wife Jeerya, and their children run the restaurant together. Their daughters Kathy, Dorothy, and Sarah help with maintaining the restaurant website and serving customers while their 20-year-old son and recent culinary school graduate, Ohm helps his parents cook.
Customers who have been going to the Snak Shak for the past thirty years are still coming in for classic Canadian dishes but Snak Shak’s Thai dishes are quickly becoming new favorites among long-time customers. One of the most popular dishes is their Pad Thai. This stir-friend rice noodle dish, commonly served as street food in Bangkok, has become a national Thai dish and the generous portion that Snak Shak serves makes it the perfect meal to share. You can learn how to make it yourself here.
Kathy Thongprasert says her dad’s Pad Thai is her absolute favorite. “It reminds me of home and it’s very flavorful,” she says.
Whether it is Canadian diner classics or Thai casual eats, the Snak Shak restaurant serves up mouth-watering homemade comfort food. If you’re in the neighborhood wondering where to eat at next, the Snak Shak restaurant is a hidden gem definitely worth making a stop at. “From our family to yours, we welcome you to come get together, catch up, and share a bite to eat at the Snak Shak restaurant,” says Kathy.
Snak Shak Restaurant
13560 77 Ave, Surrey
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