Thai street food van gets residency at pub with plans for delivery too

Mike and Joy Bowen, owners of Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering at The Swan Inn in Long Stratton.

Mike and Joy Bowen, owners of Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering at The Swan Inn in Long Stratton. - Credit: Danielle Booden

A street food business is bringing a taste of Thailand to a Norfolk town thanks to its new residency.

Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering is run by Mike and Joy Bowen, who live in Forncett, and their van is now in the car park of The Swan Inn in Long Stratton.  

Some of the food made at Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering.

Some of the food made at Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering. - Credit: Danielle Booden

They operate out of a van which was previously used for removals, with Mr Bowen spending the last two years converting it into a catering unit. 

The pair are at the pub from 4pm until 8.30pm every Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday and customers can either enjoy the food in the pub or collect, with pre-orders taken from 12pm.

Joy Bowen, one of the owners of Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering, cooking one of the dishes. 

Joy Bowen, one of the owners of Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering, cooking one of the dishes. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Bowen said: "We offer a traditional street food menu and everything is freshly cooked to order.

"The reaction has been 100pc positive so far and people have said it is nice to have something different to burgers, kebabs and pizzas."

Mrs Bowen is from Thailand where she was taught to cook by her mum and then trained as a chef.

Mike and Joy Bowen, owners of Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering, met in Thailand.

Mike and Joy Bowen, owners of Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering, met in Thailand. - Credit: Danielle Booden

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She met her husband Mike while he was in Asia for work and they have been living in Norfolk together since 2010.

Mrs Bowen, who is also a qualified hairdresser and masseuse, has since worked in several Thai restaurants around Norwich. 

Joy Bowen, one of the owners of Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering, with some of the food they cook. 

Joy Bowen, one of the owners of Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering, with some of the food they cook. - Credit: Danielle Booden

The couple started Joy Thai Food in February 2020, one month before the start of the pandemic, and took over the kitchen at The Rose and Crown in Frettenham.

They are there on Thursdays to Saturdays from 4pm to 8.30pm and you can eat-in or takeaway.

Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering at The Swan Inn in Long Stratton.

Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering at The Swan Inn in Long Stratton. - Credit: Danielle Booden

They then expanded to The Swan Inn in January 2022.

The menu includes starters, such as chicken satay and spring rolls, mains, including a Thai Green Curry and Pad Thai, and chef's specials such as crispy duck and weeping tiger beef. 

Food being made at Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering. 

Food being made at Joy Thai Food Mobile Catering. - Credit: Danielle Booden

They are also planning to launch delivery from The Swan Inn and want to extend their opening hours. 

Mr Bowen added: "It seems the takeaways business has boomed because of the pandemic." 

To pre-order for collection at The Swan call 01508 292930 or visit joythaifood.co.uk