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Off to a Healthy Start at Kaew’s Thai Villa

Columns Order of the Day

January 1, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

With the start of a new year, people often make the resolution to “eat healthier” … but what exactly denotes “healthy food?”

At Kaew’s Thai Villa, customers will find out.

While it only opened about seven months ago, with “Healthy Thai Food” as its tagline, Kaew’s Thai Villa, located on Liliha Street, has quickly attracted individuals craving healthy Thai dishes that do not compromise on taste or flavor.

  • Basil Calamari ($10.95)
  • Egg Noodles with Seafood ($13.50)
  • Egg noodles with seafood (part of the dish) ($13.50)
  • Crab Fried Rice ($12.95)
  • Chef and owner Kaew Anuttsara
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Restaurant owner and chef Kaew Anuttsara offers customers her perspective of what makes a healthy dish.

“In our restaurant, we use lots of fresh vegetables and lots of fresh Thai herbs,” she explains. “We make everything homemade-style — very fresh and healthy. To me, healthy means eating a lot of vegetables … but meat and fish also can be healthy. We don’t use MSG in our dishes. ‘Healthy’ ultimately means balanced meals for your body.”

Not only are the meals at Kaew’s Thai Villa healthy, but the eatery provides dishes at reasonable prices. Anuttsara is quick to point out that the restaurant features daily lunch and dinner specials ($7 for lunch, $8 for dinner). The majority of the specials are served with Thai Jasmine or brown rice and customers can choose the degree of spice (mild, medium or hot). Of the restaurant’s specials, the Pad Thai — famous Thai noodles with egg, tofu, bean sprouts, peanut crunch and the eatery’s pad Thai sauce (made fresh daily) — and the Green Curry (kang kaiew wan), or sliced meat marinated in green curry sauce, non-sweetened coconut milk, kaffir lime leaf, basil, peas and eggplant, are some of the most popular items.

“People love the curry; the Green Curry is the most popular,” Anuttsara says. “People also love the Hot Evil Jungle Prince (pad peth) — stir-fried with curry paste, vegetables and lightly non-sweet coconut milk.”

In addition to its daily lunch and dinner specials, Kaew’s Thai Villa offers customers a variety of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, curries, rice and noodle dishes on its dine-in menu. The Fried Calamari ($9) is a popular appetizer, while Basil Calamari ($10.95) is a hit entree.

Anuttsara also mentions the restaurant’s daily chef signature dishes are frequent orders among customers.

“The Crab Fried Rice ($12.95) comes with the crab claw and the natural crab meat,” she says, of the dish that includes stir-fried rice and green onions. “The Tom Yum Hi So Seafood ($16.95, serves two to four people) is very healthy with fresh vegetables. It’s in a Thai hot pot and served family-style.”

After Jan. 1, the eatery will offer its customers a new dine-in menu. While the new menu will feature most of the same items as the current menu, it also will include new dishes such as the chef special Thai Steak with Grilled Shrimp.

“The new menu will have a few changes, just to try out the different dishes,” Anuttsara says.

While the eatery currently offers both dine-in and takeout menus, Anuttsara says the takeout menu differs slightly, as it does not offer the daily chef signature dishes. She says that Kaew’s Thai Villa also provides customers with a catering menu, which can be found online (kaewsthaivilla.com). The catering menu includes customer favorites such as Vegetable or Pork Spring Rolls ($35), Spicy Fried Rice with Green Curry ($40) and Grilled Salmon Panang ($75). Each tray equates to approximately six orders, and the eatery’s catering service is perfect for special events, parties and conventions.

“People can look at our website and order online,” Anuttsara says.

Kaew’s Thai Villa

  • Where
    • 1502 Liliha Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96817
  • Call
    • (808) 535-9928
  • Hours
    • Monday – Saturday
    • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Lunch)
    • 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Dinner)
    • Sunday
    • Noon – 9 p.m.