Hospitality & Tourism

Published: August 24, 2020 | Updated: August 24, 2020

Even The Rolling Stones would get plenty of ‘satays-faction’ at Tom’s new Thai restaurant

Thai businessman and chef Tom Saengthong of Kala Thai with his kitchen team.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A post-lockdown launch proved different but a big success as Bournemouth’s newest restaurant and bar officially opened for business.

Kala Thai, in Old Christchurch Road opposite Horseshoe Common, is an independent restaurant operated by Thai businessman and chef Tom Saengthong.

The restaurant features a bespoke carved wood interior, metalwork art panels and authentic freshly prepared drinks and dishes.

All of the food is created fresh every morning by Tom and the chefs with even the spring rolls handmade on the premises.

Two separate launch events were held.

One for editors and bloggers and the other for a small group of invited guests to adhere to the government guidelines.

Tom, pictured right, said his restaurant prides itself on using only the finest produce with no bar syrups or bought in catering supplies.

He added: “We were not sure what to expect since Covid delayed our launch.

“It was such a shame that we couldn’t have the big launch party we’d originally planned.

“But we are most grateful that since we’ve opened we’ve been full almost every evening and we’re seeing repeat customers come back to us.

“We’ve seen support from the local community and the surrounding neighbourhood as well as local businesses, creatives, fellow entrepreneurs, and the holidaymakers who are enjoying the destination.

“They’re all making the most of our beautiful spacious and safe venue.

“We’re getting advance bookings for the government’s eat out offer.

“Thankfully we are not only full on the offer days, but people booked for the ensuing days and weekend. ”

Tom, who hails from Bangkok, Thailand, has settled in Bournemouth but previously operated several successful family run businesses in Bangkok.

Kala Thai is open seven days a week, from midday until late.

The menu features satays, stir fries, noodles, soups and rice.

The house signature dish – billed as ‘Chef’s favourite dish’ – is  Weeping Tiger (Thai style steak) which is a grilled sirloin steak marinated in coriander, cumin, Thai dark rum and light soy sauce and served on an oriental stone with asparagus and tamarind lime and chilli dip.

Lunch, from 12-3pm offers one and two-course options with favourites such as chicken satay skewers, chicken tom yum soup, green curry and pad Thai chicken at a price of £9.95 for two courses.

Beverages include an array of cocktails, soft drinks and drinks’ packages, such as six classic cocktails and six shots, or a bottle of different house spirit and mixers, Prosecco and six shots.

Tom said: “We could not have hoped for a better launch given the many challenges faced by the hospitality sector.

“We’re here serving quality genuine Thai food in a classic high end setting and that’s our goal.”