Jutarat Suwankeeree, known affectionately as ‘R’, grew up in Hua Hin, a coastal city at the top of the southern Malay peninsula and later Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand. Her partner, Conor Sexton, grew up in Kildimo, a small village just a few miles outside Limerick city. They met when Conor was running his restaurant Koh in Dublin city centre and R came to work with him as duty manager. With the arrival of their daughter Emily, Conor and R decided it was time to focus their efforts on finding a great location near their home in Ranelagh, where they could open a small restaurant together in the heart of their own community. R wanted her Irish family and friends to experience the genuine flavours of Thai home cooking, to create a restaurant that was authentic and real, where people could gather to enjoy the tastes and flavours of her homeland.
In February 2017, 120 Main Street, Ranelagh became Nightmarket, named after the buzzing, vibrant night-time street markets found across Thailand, where everyone comes to shop, eat and socialise at colourful stalls brimming with fresh produce, meats and fish, vegetables and fruits, street food sizzling in the night air. Nightmarket Restaurant in Ranelagh introduces the authentic dishes of regional Thailand to Dublin, original Thai ingredients cooked with the very best of fresh Irish produce, dishes packed with big, punchy flavours, pungent aromas, honest, tasty food that will satisfy the Thai – Irish community and spark memories for those who have travelled to R’s incredible country.
R started cooking at the age of 6, alongside her grandmother, each and every piece of meat, vegetable and fruit carefully prepared, nothing ever wasted. Her grandparents had a stall at a food market in Chiang Mai, she would go with them to buy produce at the early morning market at 4am, then return home to prepare and cook the food with her grandmother. Next, they would leave for the Chang Mai food market, to set up the stall and sell their food. When this was done, R would set off for school. A simple, hardworking life, but one that R remembers fondly. She attributes her attention to detail in cooking to her grandmothers guidance, that the best of food comes from time spent carefully preparing and patience invested in developing flavours. R spent six years at the famous Shangri La Hotel in Bangkok, before answering an advertisement for a position in a hotel in Waterford, Ireland. That was sixteen years ago and during that time she worked in many kitchens around Ireland, before joining Koh and meeting Conor.
Conor grew up in the small country village of Kildimo in west Limerick, starting his hospitality career with the Fitzgerald Family at the Woodlands House Hotel in Adare. He attended Shannon College of Hotel Management and went on to complete a Degree in Commerce at UCG, followed by five years with Great Southern Hotels in Parknasilla Co. Kerry and Eyre Square, Galway. Moving to Dublin, Conor helped open Diep Noodle in Ranelagh and ran it for five years before taking the step into restaurant ownership when he opened and ran Koh Restaurant and Cocktail Bar in Dublin city centre. Leaving Koh behind, building Nightmarket into a dynamic local restaurant, hand in hand with R, will be his proudest working achievement.