WALLINGFORD - For the family that owns Roodle Rice & Noodle Bar, having customers leave full and happy is the main goal.
“I like to cook and I’m very happy when I see my customers eat and be happy and say ‘this is great, wonderful food,’”said owner Papada Apiwat.
Apiwat, who runs the 1263 S Broad St. restaurant with her husband and sons, said the menu at Roodle is authentic Thai and Asian cuisine customized for customers.
The family has selected dishes for the menu based on their years of culinary experience. The majority are items they make at home.
“Every year, my family and I develop a special menu which features dishes that are unique to different regions of Asia,” Apiwat said.
Apiwat and husband Monkhon Saeng ran two other restaurants before opening in Wallingford three years ago. They currently still run Bangkok Boulevard in Hamden and food carts around New Haven.
Apiwat’s oldest son, Nattapong Chien, is usually head chef in Wallingford. Her younger son, Siam, who is 9, said he has learned to cook a few things too – mostly classic American dishes like mac and cheese and breakfast sandwiches. He loves the rice they cook at Roodle.
When putting together the menu, Apiwat said they like to use the unique flavors and ingredients found in various regions of Asia, which they cook based on their Thai heritage. Many of the ingredients are imported from Asia.
Some menu items are inspired by customers. Pad Thai traditionally has crushed peanuts on the side to mix with sugar and chili flakes, but is served with peanut sauce because that’s what the family has found customers in Connecticut desire.
“I like to see that customers try to learn,” Apiwat said. “We like them to create what they want to eat that day to make them feel happy.”