Chinatown Dining Week Feature: Syphay

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be featuring each of the 10 businesses who are participating in Chinatown Dining Week, running January 14-24, 2021. All businesses are offering special takeaway deals during this period for $10 and/or $18. Check out all of the menus here.

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 opened the Jasper Ave location 7 years ago [which will be the one participating in Chinatown Dining Week].  

We also opened a new south side location last year (a relocation after closing our other location of 15 years).

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. 

What have you changed about your business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

We’ve had to adjust to the ongoing government regulations by moving towards mainly takeout and delivery, offering promotions, and increasing our social media posts to engage our customers more.

How has your business been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

I’d say the pandemic has greatly affected us emotionally. It has put a great deal of stress on us and our staff. We had to constantly change and adapt but we are grateful for our supportive customers.

Syphay will be offering the following $18 special during Chinatown Dining Week:

Special: choose from Choice #1 or #2
Choice #1: Tohm Yum (Chicken or Vegetable), Phanang Curry (Chicken, Beef, or Tofu), Coconut or Steamed Rice, Meat or Vegetable Spring Rolls (3 pieces)
Choice #2: Tohm Yum (Chicken or Vegetable), Pad Thai (Chicken or Tofu), Meat or Vegetable Spring Rolls (3 pieces)

Check out other special menus, here.

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