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Road trip episode 2 : Where it all began

Thursday, February 1st, 2024

Growing up on a farm in Khao Khor

Thai lady holding turmeric in grassy turmeric garden



Our story began in a very small mountain town called Khao Khor in the Phetchaboon province, in northern Thailand. Our co-founder, Saiphin was born here into a loving family of passionate farmers. This passion set the foundations for Saiphin’s culinary ambitions. Surrounded by fresh, locally grown produce, she would wake up at 5 a.m. to go to the local market and buy fresh ingredients for the day’s lunch.

The Rock

A Thai woman looking at a mountain range in Thailand


“There is this rock situated between the cabbages and coriander on our farm, overlooking the whole of Khao Khor. I can just about see our tiny house at the foot of the mountain. When I sit there at dusk, I can slowly see the light fading whilst the lights from the city start to twinkle, and I often thought to myself, how much I wanted to cook in a house with electricity and what would I have to do to achieve that. This is why this rock is so special to me, it’s where I came to dream, little did I know that one day those dreams would come true”… Saiphin Moore, co-founder Rosa’s Thai

Rosa's Thai was born

black and white photo of cafe



After the move to London Saiphin challenged herself to cook authentic Thai dishes with seasonal British ingredients and it reminded her of being back on the farm in Khao Khor, where the family would use whatever produce was in season at any given time. She started selling home-cooked meals at offices and markets. Although she’d make quite unusual dishes, she’d often sell-out before lunchtime. Within a year, she was recruiting friends to help deliver food to offices. A permanent market stall on Brick Lane in East London in 2007 would soon become a stepping stone to bigger and brighter things. In 2008, just two years after arriving in London, Saiphin found a site for a permanent restaurant, which is the first Rosa’s Thai on Hanbury Street in Spitalfields.

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