Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring each of the 16 businesses who are participating in Chinatown Dining Week, running January 9-19, 2020.
We spoke with Katherine Sayaphet of Syphay, 9441 Jasper Avenue.
Why did you decide to open the restaurant?
I am the second generation owner of Syphay – my mom opened the restaurant 15 years ago. She’s always had a passion for cooking and she started this business without any experience and just learned along the way.
How long has the restaurant been open?
We had the Southside location on Calgary Trail for 15 years and recently closed that one in September 2019. We opened the Jasper Ave location 6 years ago [which will be the one participating in Chinatown Dining Week].
We also have plans to open a new location (a relocation of the Calgary Trail one) in spring 2020 so stay tuned for that! It will still be in the Southside of Edmonton.
What is the style of cuisine served at the restaurant?
We are unique because we are both Thai and Lao style cuisine. My mom was born on the border of Thailand and Laos so the when she developed the menu, the dishes had both Thai and Lao influence. If someone orders a dish and they would like it more Thai flavor or more Lao flavor, we are able to accommodate that. It all depends on the customer’s preference on the flavor and what they like so don’t be afraid to ask staff for recommendations!
What makes your restaurant special?
Syphay’s name comes a combination of both of my parents’ names. It is family owned and operated, which I think makes this restaurant feel genuine and unique. The food is authentic and the staff is always friendly. We have lots of new customers who come in to dine and we work hard to have the staff be informative and help explain the menu if needed. Sometimes it can be intimidating for people to try new restaurants so we have friendly and welcoming staff to help alleviate that.
Why do you think people should dine in Chinatown?
Edmonton’s Chinatown has a sense of community and there are so many unique restaurants, bakeries, and little shops. I think everyone in Edmonton should visit Chinatown at least once to experience the different types of cuisines and cultures.
Do you have any hopes for the future of Edmonton’s Chinatown?
I really hope that Edmonton’s Chinatown continues to improve in the next few years. There is so much opportunity and it really does have so much to offer. I’m hopeful that through events like Chinatown Dining Week, people will discover new favourite dishes or restaurants.
Syphay will be offering the following 2-course dinner menu for $18 during Chinatown Dining Week:
Appetizer: Small Tohm Yum Soup with Vegetables and 2 Pork or Vegetable Spring Rolls
Main: Choice of Thai Phanang Curry with Chicken, Beef, or Tofu (served with Coconut or Steamed Rice) or Pad Thai with Chicken, Beef, or Tofu
Check out other special menus, here.