Published in the July 18 – July 31, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Kerry Wallace

One of the best parts of being a member of the Morgan Hill Downtown Association is the opportunity to meet new residents and businesses. The Siam Thai Restaurant re-opened last year with new ownership and I wanted to get to know our new neighbor.

Ray and Dao Romero greeted me at the door early one morning. We sat at one of their tables and enjoyed Thai Tea as I learned about their history and what brought them to Siam Thai. Their restaurant is decorated with mementos from Thailand, a fountain, orchids and wind chimes. It’s homey and comfortable.

Ray and Dao met in Phuket Thailand in 2001. Ray was a CPA with Deloitte, living in Japan and working in Phuket four to six months a year. Dou was born and raised in Thailand and was working as a hairdresser when they met through a mutual friend. The two fell in love. In 2001, they decided to move to the United States and marry. They chose to live in Morgan Hill where Ray would continue with Deloitte, and the two started a family and now have three young children. Wanting to engage more in the community Dao began attending the Learning and Loving Education Center.  There she honed her English skills and took math, computer and enrichment classes. Among the many friends she made was the previous owner of the Siam Thai Restaurant.

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As their children grew Dao decided to go to work for her friend at Siam Thai to help her out on busy days.  Naturally curious, Dao learned everything about the business. A couple of years later the owners decided to move to San Jose and they asked Dao if she would be interested in owning the business. The time was right for their family and so Dao and Ray purchased the restaurant.  They loved the energy of the downtown, its location near the Community Center, and knew the time was right for a restaurant like Siam Thai to take off.

As soon as they took over they updated the restaurant and expanded the patio seating. They focused on making authentic Thai food using the freshest ingredients. Their cooks are from Thailand.  The menu is genuine Thai, with some heat reduced to accommodate the western palette, and has many items to choose from. In Thailand the mark of an excellent restaurant is one that makes you feel at home and where dishes are shared family style. Ray and Dao have adopted this philosophy and it makes their customers feel like they are coming to a friend’s home.

As the business has grown, Ray decided the time was right to hang up the daily commute into Silicon Valley and focus on the restaurant. Last month, Ray formally retired and is enjoying his time in a radically and refreshingly different way — at Siam Thai, getting to know the downtown businesses and local community. Both he and Dao are looking forward to a long and exciting second career in the downtown and experiencing the vibrancy of the downtown.

Kerry Wallace is a board member of the Morgan Hill Downtown Association and co-owner of Bubbles Wine Bar & Bistro.

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