Cooking With Love at Thai 5 Café

By Chef Kevin


When I was just 16 years old, I moved away from home. I went to another country for a better education. By the time I graduated from university, the most valuable thing I gained was knowing who I would call my wife.

It’s hard to believe it all started with fish sauce. 

 
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The first date

Fish Sauce

1978

I didn’t have much money as a student. I worked at a bookstore and rode my bicycle everywhere. The bus was a luxury.

On my first date with my wife, I couldn’t afford to pay for our meals and take the bus to a restaurant. Luckily, I knew a place near our school where we could get some delicious Thai food.

My wife had never tried fish sauce and thought it smelled bad, but in Thai cuisine, it is a main ingredient used all the time. So in addition to making her walk to a tiny food stand and sit outside on broken plastic chairs, the food on our first date was made with something my date really didn’t like. 

Don’t worry! We ended up having a great time, and when it was time for me to move out of the country for better work, I wasn't on my own anymore. 

 
 

Working Together

Balance & Harmony

1980

Thai cuisine is the harmony of sweet, savoury, salty, and spicy all in one bite.  Actually, that's where the 5 in my store's name comes from. As a chef, I love how Thai cuisine focuses on creating complex and beautiful dishes through an understanding of how there is a place for everything.

Embracing this mindset for over 45 years in our own lives has helped me and my wife meet the challenges that come with immigrating across the world, raising a family, running a business and more.

 
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Something special

A Hidden Gem

2018

Thai 5 Café is now in its 6th year. We are the 1st quick-service restaurant to have the Thai Select award in Canada and although our customers describe us as “authentic”, “tasty” or “very friendly”, I most often hear them say we are a “hidden gem”.

This makes me very proud, because just like where my wife and I had our first date, despite Thai 5 Café being in a tiny mall, with styrofoam plates, takeout boxes and homemade store signs, you know the food you are eating is made with something special.

Maybe it’s the fish sauce. 

 
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Thai 5 Café

High Fives!

2012 - Now

2012

  • Thai 5 Café officially opens for business on January 8th.

  • Reported in the Ming-Chef Magazine insert found in the Ming Pao Newspaper.

2013

  • Reported by The Epoch Times article for "Where to find the best and authentic Thai food?"

  • Attend the Thai Food Festival in Paris, France.

2015

  • Become the 1st fast food Thai restaurant in Canada to earn a THAI SELECT award, recognition by the Thai Government as authentic cuisine.

  • Mayor D. Barrow of the Town of Richmond Hill presented us a special certificate to recognize our Thai Select award. We are featured in Snap’d, the local paper.

2016

  • Featured on ThreeBestRated.ca in their Top 3 Restaurants of Richmond Hill

2017

  • Travel to Thailand where Thai 5 Café's Chef Kevin polishes his culinary skills and receives a certificate from Thailand's famous Blue Elephant restaurant.

2018

  • Featured on ThreeBestRated.ca in their Top 3 Restaurants of Richmond Hill