Although former Siam Thai owner Nat Buraprateep closed his two restaurants and went home to Thailand in March 2015, the dishes his customers grew to love continue to be served in South Bend.
Before leaving the country, Buraprateep gave the green light to his chef, Juan Duran Sr., to reproduce his recipes. Duran remained in South Bend and is overseeing kitchen operations at his son’s downtown restaurant, Cinco.
- RELATED: Siam Thai closing downtown South Bend restaurant, Jan. 28, 2015
Now, some of Siam Thai’s most popular dishes, like the chicken cashew nut entree, pad perik pao and pad thai, are on the menu at Cinco.
112 W. Colfax Ave., South Bend
HOURS:11 a.m. to 3 p.m Monday and Tuesday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
The restaurant opened in October 2014, specializing in multiple international cuisines, including Mexican, Italian and American. At 112 W. Colfax Ave., it’s just a few buildings away from Siam Thai’s original downtown South Bend location at 211 N. Main St.
“It’s the same style of cooking, same everything,” said Cinco owner Juan Duran Jr. “My dad worked with Nat for six to eight years at the Siam in Granger, the Siam here in downtown and Club Noma. So, that’s where he learned all these dishes from and that’s why he’s able to do them.”
Cinco employs two of Buraprateep’s former chefs, including Juan Duran Sr. But personnel wasn’t all that Buraprateep passed on to the young entrepreneur.
“I needed help, basically, since this is my first time owning a business,” Juan Duran Jr. said. “Things like picking an insurance company and getting all the paperwork ready for me to open; making sure everything was checked off the list.”
Inheriting the cuisine of a restaurant that sustained success for more than 19 years?