After a career spent working as a chef, television host and musician, Roger Mooking’s homecoming found him being greeted by a very different city than the one he left behind.
“I hadn’t been back to Edmonton in over a decade and the food scene changed a lot,” says Mooking, who first left home to pursue a Juno-award-winning hip-hop career, but returned an internationally recognized chef with credits on Good Morning America, Iron Chef America, Top Chef Canada and Chopped Canada.
Unsure of where to dine in a new-look Edmonton, Mooking decided to follow his instincts.
“I was hunting for some food near where I was at the time and just walked in with zero knowledge of this gem,” he says. “It was worth every penny and then some.”
The gem Mooking is referring to is authentic Thai and Lao restaurant Syphay, and the particular treasure that he stumbled upon was their pad siew, a rice noodle stir-fry made with light soy sauce, egg, bean sprouts, carrots and chives, all topped with peanuts and cilantro.
And although Mooking was back home in Edmonton for the first time in years, the flavours at Syphay had him right back on the plane again, this time with a more distant destination in mind.
“Pad siew at Syphay Restaurant was as good as it gets for authentic Thai cuisine that I’ve had outside of Thailand.”
Over the better part of a decade, the 25 Best Things to Eat feature was a summer staple for Avenue readers. Edify keeps the spirit of that program alive in 2021; we will feature the food picks of prominent Edmontonians throughout the spring and summer. Keep checking the food section at EdifyEdmonton.com for weekly updates to our Best Things to Eat recommendations!
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