Author: Jesse Mallare
Farmhouse Kitchen was originally positioned as a casual Thai counterpart to other popular SF eateries, like Kitchen Story and Blackwood. Comforting and homey, definitely, but Chef Kasem “Pop” Saengsawang’s most recent venture feels more captivating than casual.
Like the diverse flavor of Thai cuisine, Farmhouse combines elements from both the exotic and the familiar to create an exciting, yet homelike environment. Chef fashioned Farmhouse Kitchen to incorporate an old-school aesthetic that celebrates his childhood nostalgia in Loei, Thailand. Iing Chatterjee, co-owner and Saengawang’s wife, says:
“From the design and deco itself, you would see some vintage pieces like the 1930 Singer Sewing Machine ([Saengsawang’s] grandma has that at home), aluminum shades, et cetera to the modern pieces. We designed the restaurant and handmade many pieces ourselves with the help of our friends and employees. Many memories were created under one roof.”
The Farmhouse team is a prime example of “the New Thai Generation”, an emerging class of entertaining entrepreneurs and optimistic leaders that sticks true to the authentic flavors from traditional Thai cuisine. Each meal is packed with a wide arrangement of flavors - spicy, salty, sour, sweet, and umami- meant to intrigue your sense. Family style orders are recommended for the ultimate experience. The menu stands by Thai classics such as tom yum noodle soup, yet introduces new signature dishes like the fan favorite hat yai fried chicken.
Farmhouse’s presence in the Mission continues the Thai immersion into the City’s cultural and culinary hubs. Chatterjee cited the concentration of great Mexican food as her favorite part about the Mission. She also welcomes the ever-evolving state of the Mission, as older influences meet new perspectives: “Impermanence is nature,” she says.
Chatterjee envisions Farmhouse Kitchen as a destination, a true taste of Thailand home cooking not too far from home: ”Our hope is our guest come in with open mind and open heart to enjoy the experience.”