Food from Thailand: Try Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar opens in downtown Front Royal

Jiraporn "Nat" Srisiriwongchai holds a plate of pad thai soft shell crab that features two crispy soft shell crabs with stir-fried thin noodles in homemade pad thai sauce inside the new Try Thai restaurant in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – A new business has caught the attention of residents and visitors walking the streets of downtown Front Royal. Perhaps it’s the authentic aromas escaping through the cracks or the modern decor, but Front Royal’s newest restaurant, Try Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar,  is attracting foodies from all over the valley.

The Srisiriwongchai family – Jiraporn ‘Nat’, her brother Pojwaroon ‘JJ’ and her mother Jutarat – opened Try Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar in mid-April. The restaurant takes an authentic but modern take on Thai food with dishes such as pad thai, curry, fried rice and ice cream.

“We picked Front Royal because we see the change it’s undergoing,” Nat Srisiriwongchai said. “But we also know that it’s a destination. People come for many things here. The mountains, biking, camping. There’s much to do and see. We wanted to be a part of that change.”

Not to be confused by Try Thai in Winchester, owned by Nat’s aunt, the Srisiriwongchais moved to Front Royal last year after living in Winchester for over two years. Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, the family said they have traveled the world experiencing various types of cuisines. Nat Srisiriwongchai said she thinks that helps with their authenticity.

“Our food is fresh. Our service is friendly. And our atmosphere is relaxing,” she said.

Aburi oshi salmon sushi is prepared using a flame-seared technique with local wood. Rich Cooley/Daily

Todd Scarborough, of Linden, said in one week he had already eaten at Try Thai three times.

“I just keep coming back,” he said. “The food is incredibly fresh and very authentic to what Thai food should be.”

The new restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating and serves a wide variety of popular Thai dishes including pad thai, a Thai national noodle dish; poh tak, a medley of seafood in a spicy lemongrass broth; kra pow,  sauteed with peppers, garlic and basil leaves; and crispy whole flounder, served in sauce.

Something Nat and JJ Srisiriwongchai said that sets them apart from other Thai restaurants is that they are a family owned and family run small business that believes in giving the best quality and authentic Thai food possible.

“It’s a representation of who we are and where we come from,” Nat Srisiriwongchai said.

Bangkok wings are chicken wings marinated with spicy basil sauce. Rich Cooley/Daily

“Our dishes are direct family recipes from our grandmothers and their mothers,” JJ Srisiriwongchai said. “We think that it gives us another level of authenticity which allows us to be our own.”

Sophia Conrow, 16, of Front Royal, was excited when Try Thai came to Front Royal — so much so she decided to get a job there.

“I hadn’t really experienced Thai food before,” Sophia said. “But now that I work here, I’ve been able to experience something I might not of otherwise.”

Try Thai is located at 205 E. Main St. in the old Weaver’s Building purchased by Tim and Karen Barnhart. The Srisiriwongchais said one of the reasons they chose this location was for its small-town friendly charm but also for its unique character. The 100-year-old beams and windows can still be seen today when guests walk in.

“We’re not like most restaurants here. And we know that,” Nat Srisiriwongchai said. “We’ve brought more of a modern take on Thai food to a small town. Our hope is people will appreciate what we offer. And keep coming back.”

This premium burger sushi is marinated with teriyaki and loaded with lettuce. Rich Cooley/Daily