Salt Lake Community College welcomes a new food establishment to the Bruin Bites food court at Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
Thai express eatery Ekamai is open for business and ready to add some spice to the school day.
“We just want students and employees to have [a] different type of food here [at] the college,” says Weeraanong Pongsawan, the owner and operator of Ekamai.
The SLCC location is the third for the local family business.
The original Ekamai in downtown Salt Lake City provides Thai curry for people on the go, while the Sugarhouse restaurant features a fine dining experience and an expanded menu.
Pongsawan compares the SLCC location to their downtown operation.
SLCC customers will get more food for less money, meaning fuller stomachs and wallets.
Because Pongsawan knows that students are on a tighter budget, prices from the downtown menu have been modified for the SLCC food court.
The menu offers a wide variety of combos, specials and sides, creating a personalized experience for each customer.
“Drunken Noodle is one of the top sellers,” Pongsawan proclaims.
The dish contains a hearty portion of rice noodles, stir-fry vegetables and a choice of protein. The different protein options are chicken or beef. Seafood lovers can add shrimp for an additional $2.
Ekamai also provides complimentary samples of their curry for new or undecided patrons.
“[Customers get free samples] so they know which one they like the most and can enjoy their food,” Pongsawan explains. The massaman curry is mild, while the yellow curry, according to Pongsawan, “has a little bit of a kick.”
Customers can cool their palates off with a traditional Thai dessert like ginger crème brulee or coconut cake. Pongsawan says the mango sticky rice is their most popular sweet treat.
After a rigorous proposal process between previously established Chinese vendor Golden Seas and newcomer Ekamai, Food Services director Kevin Doney says the decision was not an easy one.
“When it came right down to it, [the proposals were] very close, but there was one clear winner [Ekamai] so they moved in,” Doney says.
The new establishment is already pleasing the taste buds of students and faculty.
“I’ve had several people catch me and say they’re pretty excited about it,” Doney says. “They like the change.”
Doney is not the only one who has experienced the excitement surrounding Ekamai.
The owner, Pongsawan, concurred that business is off to an exceptional start with delicious food that has customers returning for seconds.
“We try to serve everybody, make everybody happy, so just come and try our food,” Pongsawan says.
Ekamai is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus.