May 18, 2022

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Cooking is a hobby

Birds of a feather: Family’s Thai fried chicken eatery roosts in Palo Alto | Peninsula Foodist | The Peninsula Foodist

by Sara Hayden

Proprietor Brandon Poon’s family commences fresh soon after COVID closed their longtime restaurant.

The Peninsula has a new Thai-inspired hen spot with Roost & Roast.

“I figured in the Bay Space, you have your scorching rooster, you have your Korean fried rooster, your Japanese fried hen — but there was no Thai fried rooster,” operator Brandon Poon states.


Roost & Roast’s hat yai fried hen is created with potato starch batter, ensuing in an airy, crispy texture. The restaurant opened in Palo Alto in June. The recipes are created by proprietor Brandon Poon’s mother. (Picture courtesy of Roost & Roast.)

Roost & Roast aims to modify that. It opened in Palo Alto in June, showcasing hat yai fried chicken. Available as a meal with sides or a la carte, the batter’s created with potato starch, resulting in a texture that’s ethereal and crispy. BBQ and popcorn chicken are also on the menu.

Whilst chicken is the declare to fame, Roost & Roast also serves up egg-topped pad krawpow, stir-frying basil with rooster, pork or tofu, as nicely as pad thai, fried rice, salads and roti.


Roost & Roast’s pad krapow with tofu, stir-fried with basil and topped with an egg. It is really also available with chicken or pork. Owner Brandon Poon claims the new family members-operate cafe is an “endeavor to appear again” right after they had to near their longstanding small business in Mountain Watch because of to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Picture courtesy of Roost & Roast.)

“In this article we test to do points common,” Poon says. “We still use a mortar and pestle, palm sugar and coriander. We do a good deal of things by hand.”

Inspiration for the menu was planted whilst making an attempt street food stuff for the duration of a loved ones vacation a couple of several years ago. Poon’s relatives went to Thailand to take a look at the hometown Poon’s mom experienced immigrated to from Cambodia.

“The recipes are developed by my mom, to showcase her cooking,” Poon claims. “She’s cooking for the household, vs . us (now) cooking for the masses.”

Ramping up is not without the need of its troubles. Poon claims it is “back again to sq. a person,” even as seasoned restaurateurs who’ve been in the Peninsula hospitality field for decades.

“We crafted a thriving enterprise in the past. It is a new established of issues, but it is doable.”

In Mountain See, Poon previously had Buffalo, a burger bar. His mothers and fathers ran Convey 7, a “ma-and-pa Chinese cafe” that Poon afterwards rebranded as Srasa Kitchen area, a quickly-casual Asian eatery.


Roost & Roast’s pineapple fried rice. Owner Brandon Poon very first observed inspiration for his family’s most current restaurant concept for the duration of a family trip to Thailand. (Picture courtesy of Roost & Roast.)

They were being at that location for 17 years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic prompted them to refocus their enterprise model.

Product sales they counted on from tech companies dropped precipitously. They acquired a modest amount of money of funding from authorities aid in the early times, but “it was not rather adequate for us — we however experienced to walk absent. But I feel which is a presented. I seriously don’t know what they can do to assistance,” Poon states.

Relatively than serving 700 prospects a day as they did pre-pandemic, the family business now serves about 100. Setting up out new, which is to be expected, Poon states.


Roost & Roast’s popcorn fried rooster. For the reason that of the pandemic, operator Brandon Poon’s family moved their small business concentrate from serving providers in Mountain See to serving the community in Palo Alto, where Poon grew up. (Impression courtesy of Roost & Roast.)

“It can be just learning to start off around yet again that is the largest obstacle … This is our attempt to come back.”

They are discovering a stream. Some times the foodstuff sells out, and other people you will find a negligible quantity of prospects. Selecting is particularly tough as the restaurant sector faces a labor scarcity.

“Correct now it can be just difficult to find staff members. It is a genuine loved ones business enterprise. I am operating, my father’s performing, my mom’s performing,” Poon states. “It’s a legitimate compact business enterprise going on appropriate now although we try to figure everything out.”

They’re undertaking so near to property. Roost & Roast’s arrival in Palo Alto marks a homecoming for the Gunn Higher University grad and his spouse and children.

“We grew up in Palo Alto,” Poon claims. “It’s good to ultimately have a enterprise in the spot where by we grew up.”

Roost & Roast // City & Region Village, 855 El Camino Serious Suite 161, Palo Alto 650.485.2395

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