Nong Thongkraing

Head chef and owner of the Siam Village Thai Restaurant

Since I was young I have always had a passion for cooking. I used to help my mother prepare meals and I enjoyed that a lot. After finishing my education in 1990 I was given an opportunity to join a catering team to work in a Thai restaurant in Israel.

I started as a kitchen assistant; this was a fantastic opportunity for me to learn the basics. Throughout my time there, I realised that there were so many skills and many things I would need to learn in order for me to be successful in the future. My aim then was to become a head chef one day.

As a kitchen assistant, I learnt to select the best ingredients, how to prepare them and keep them so that they remain fresh. I also learnt to rotate stock, do stocktaking, and about the organisation of a professional kitchen and food hygiene. Sometimes I even helped out in the restaurant when the restaurant was short -staffed.

I had been working there for three years when the head chef then gave me extra training in terms of starter preparation, which I enjoyed very much as this was the closest I got to real cooking. It was challenging as I needed to learn and know all the ingredients used for each starter. To be honest, learning to roll spring rolls was not as easy as it looked, but it did not take me long to master it. I had become more and more confident and was asked if I would like to be a sous- chef working in a Thai restaurant in Greece, and I gladly accepted it.

Working as a sous-chef was a new challenge; however my basic knowledge did help me a lot by then. I furthered my skills by learning with my head chef to prepare and cook main courses. Also, I developed a passion for fruit and vegetable crafting. I managed to get hold of a book to study and in combination with asking and observing the head chef, before long I had mastered that skill. Then two years later I was promoted to head chef at the same restaurant in Greece as the head chef had resigned. This was like a dream come true for me. It was hard to be in charge of the whole kitchen but I enjoyed it so much. Thankfully I have started from the bottom and worked my way up so I now know all that needs to be done in the kitchen and am able to use my own influence to create fantastic Thai food with great presentation.

In 1997 I decided to go back to Thailand to be with my family and there I continued to work as a head chef. To be honest it was great to be back home again and cook Thai food with all the authentic ingredients. As while I was abroad there were many ingredients that I could not get hold of. Best of all I got to be with my wife and family again. Then I thought to myself how nice would it be if I could own a Thai restaurant so that my wife and I could work together.

In order to achieve that new goal my wife and I decided to come to the UK in 1999 to work together and see if she would be happy working in and running a restaurant. We started working together in a Thai restaurant in Nottingham and we had been in a few other restaurants until August 2012 when we both were given the opportunity to own and run Siam Village.

My new goal now is to make Siam Village a successful Thai restaurant. I am hoping that my interpretation of Thai food will make all my customers as satisfied as if they were eating in Thailand. I would like to present this authentic Thai cuisine through my own style for everyone to try.
Nong Thongkraing
Reservations & Takeaway
To book a table or order a takeaway please call: 01702 342968
Opening Hours
Tuesday - Thursday:
  • 12:30 - 15:00 PM
  • 17:30 - 22:30 PM
Friday - Saturday:
  • 12:00-15:00 PM
  • 17:30 - 23:30 PM
Sunday:
  • 12:00 - 21:00 PM
We are closed on Mondays.
Reviews
Echo - Taste Test
Thursday 5th June 2014
Restaurant Photo 1
Restaurant Photo 2