AJ Thongprayoon opened Ros Niyom Thai on September 4, 2018 in Round Rock after realizing he could use his culinary skills to create a unique Thai menu for the area.
Thongprayoon was born in Thailand but honed his craft working in several different restaurants in San Francisco.
Before moving to the Austin area in 2017, he said he traveled across the state looking for a place to set up his own restaurant, but he fell in love with central Texas.
“For three years before [moving to Austin]I would fly back and forth [from San Francisco] and try different Thai restaurants,” he said.
He concluded that his traditional Thai recipes would do well at Round Rock. So far, he said business has been great even during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I want to present not only the taste [of traditional Thai food to customers], but also our culture,” he said. “How we eat the curry – we don’t put the rice in the curry – I like to let customers know about that stuff.”
Although he mainly focused on Thai cuisine, Thongprayoon said he can be flexible with his dishes.
“In our restaurant, it’s important to me…if a customer tells me it’s too spicy, we change it right away,” he says.
Some of Ros Niyom Thai’s most popular dishes include an appetizer called curry puff, a pork dish called pad moo krob prik pao, and a traditional Thai soup called tom yum goong which has a creamy broth.
Importantly, Ros Niyom Thai’s tom yum goong broth is different from the broth at many other restaurants, he said.
“In Thailand you have east, south, north, west and central. I come from central Thailand,” Thongprayoon said. “That’s why we have the creamy broth.”
Ultimately, he said the most important thing to do at Ros Niyom is quality. That’s why he always seeks out the best, freshest ingredients and why he’s always ready to adjust a dish if needed.
“I’m proud of my dishes,” he says. “All [we sell], we make ourselves. Here, everything is done by hand. »
Ros Niyom Thai
2000 SI-35, Ste. C-1, round rock
Opening hours: Tue.-Thurs. 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pm; Fri. 11am-3pm, 5pm-10pm; Sat. 11:30am-10:00pm; Sun. 11:30am-9pm; closed Mon.