Much of what we tend to think of as Thai food is actually a North American mash-up of Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai dishes that has only a passing resemblance to the traditional cuisine of the country.

Sam Chanhao, who at an early age was introduced to the complex flavours and beautiful colours of authentic Thai food by his mother, thought Canadians deserved better and he opened his own restaurant in Calgary in 1989. 

Sam named his restaurant Thai Sa-on (meaning ‘craving delicate and beautiful food’) and began serving authentic Thai cuisine based on his mother’s traditional family recipes. More than 25 years later, Sam is still passionate about introducing Canadians to real Thai food.

With the 2015 opening of Tuk Tuk Thai, the flagship of a new takeout concept, on 17th Ave SW in Calgary, Sam is taking his mission to the next level. The focus at Tuk Tuk Thai is ‘fast and flavourful’ featuring authentic Thai dishes handmade with natural ingredients on site, in a real kitchen.

Chef Chalermphon Limsrijamrern, Phon, moved over from his duties as Head Chef at Thai Sa-on to lead Tuk Tuk Thai. Working together, Sam, Phon and their team designed a menu for fast takeout and delivery based on the most popular dishes from Thai Sa-on.