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Even though the new restaurant is located a couple hundred feet from the off-ramp to Interstate-90 west, the noise from the traffic is nothing compared to what he’s used to over in Seattle.

“I used to be right in the middle of it, the traffic, the road rage, the congestion. This is my first small town and my wife and I both love it,” Pino Sengsavang said, looking around the empty dining room of their new restaurant Seng Tong Thai Cuisine at 1713 South Canyon Road. “It might look like we’re slow, but we have been really busy with the takeout orders.”

It’s been a steady stream of customers coming into Seng Tong Thai Cuisine since Pino and his wife Gianna opened Dec. 15. He runs the front end, she does the cooking and runs the kitchen, creating authentic Thai dishes she cooked for her grandfather back in her homeland. The also do catering.

“Everything we do here is authentic Thai recipes with fresh ingredients,” Pino said. “I make two or three trips a week to Yakima for veggies we can’t find here. I still go over to Seattle once a week for ingredients you can only find on the West side.

“The main thing we want to emphasize is that everything is made fresh each day. We get in early and prepare for that day’s menu.”

The menu includes curry dishes of Red, Panang, green, pineapple and even pumpkin.

Entrees go in a number of different directions that include Phad Prik Khing which has stir fried fresh green beans, onions, bell peppers with khing paste. There is also Phad Gra Pao (Basil) comprised of stir fried ground meat with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms fresh basil leaves with an original sauce.

The menu offers a wide variety, including cashew, mix vegetable, ginger and other assorted dishes, along with rice, noodles and deserts.

“Our style of cooking is spicy, authentic, Thai cuisine. It’s my wife’s style because she’s been cooking for her grandfather since she was nine years old in his kitchen,” Pino said.

“I have a passion for cooking that I learned at a very young age. My grandfather was an excellent teacher,” Gianna said. “When I put together a dish for our customers, it’s like cooking for family.”

They like the idea of the smaller Ellensburg market as compared to the metro area and the hustle and bustle of Seattle in not just a business sense. But to raise their two small boys of one and four-years-old.

“I think one of the things that people have caught onto is our fresh ingredients,” Pino said. “Thai food differs from other Asian foods in that there’s different combinations of flavors. There’s a sour, there’s a sweet, there’s a spicy or a combination of flavors that go into the food.

“That’s what Thai cuisine is, it’s a combination of flavors that separates us from the rest. It’s different through slightly different spicing.”

“Some dishes only go with beef, others are better with chicken of seafood,” Ginna said.

They look forward to the day when they can serve customers in the large dining facility, but for the time being business has been regulated to takeout and delivery as it is with restaurants and dining facilities all over town.

“One of the things we want to do is promote Ellensburg. We have the television over the front counter that we want to convert to a slide presentation,” Pino said. “Right now, it has different pictures of dishes, but my wife is an incredible photographer and we want the make that slide presentation of her pictures of our town.

“We’re just getting started, but we have some ideas we’re working on that I think people will enjoy.”

Customers can visit to see the online menu.


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