Eat Me: Thailand Cuisine in Kahului and Kihei

July 5, 2011, 9:29 PM HST · Updated July 5, 9:29 PM
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By Kristin Hashimoto

Sweet sticky rice and homemade coconut ice cream, photo by Kristin Hashimoto

With over 80 menu items, Thailand Cuisine has a taste of Asia for everyone, be they meat lover, vegetarian, or health conscious and seafood loving crowd. The décor is what one would expect of a Thai restaurant. Reds, gold and brown mingle with Thai pictures and faux elephant heads. The corner of the restaurant at Maui Mall in Kahului has a television, which quietly plays Thai music videos.

Crack the menu open and be overwhelmed with choices. Love curries with coconut milk? They have more than a few choices. Gotta have that Tom Yum? They have many incarnations of the flavorful soup with seafood, tofu, crab legs, chicken, or pork. Staples of Thai cooking require things like: ginger, lemon grass, kaffir lime, chili peppers, basil and mint. The resulting dishes that utilize such complex herbaceous combinations are intensely flavorful.

The Thai Spring Rolls for $8.95 arrive hot, crisp and accompanied with lettuce leaves, mint and cucumber. The sweet sauce with minced peanuts serves as a perfect dipping sauce.

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The Pineapple Fried Rice for $9.95 with chicken was flavorful, sweet, and a bit mushy. But it was still tasty and worth another try. Bits of chicken, peas, carrots, cashews, eggs and special sauce are fried together and presented in a halved and cored pineapple.

Their Matsaman Curry increases in price based on meat or seafood choice. Yet at $10.95 or $12.95, the coconut milk simmered yellow curry is a steal. For those used to the spice of Thai food, order it “Thai hot,” as the “hot,” barely tingled.

Tom Yum Ta Lay, photo by Kristin Hashimoto

The “medium” Tom Yum Ta Lay (Tom Yum Seafood Soup) seemed spicier than the “hot” of the Matsaman curry. Without the coconut milk to soothe tongues and tastebuds, the flavorful broth of the Tom Yum soup had a pleasing slow burn. The flavors of ginger, lemongrass and Kaffir lime, were pronounced in the seafood soup.

With so many food choices, it’s sometimes hard to save room for dessert. However, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you missed out on the sweet sticky rice, and their homemade coconut ice cream. For only $6.95, you can buy yourself a large smile. Other desserts include: fried bananas and tapioca.

The Kahului location is open daily for lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and for dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday. Add an extra half hour to closing time on Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information call 873-0225 for the Kahului location, or 875-0839 for their restaurant in Kihei.

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