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Foodie Fare

Traditional Thai Treats

Story By Christina O'Connor Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
April 22 - 28, 2012

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Foodies who can’t get enough Thai food will be happy to know that there is a new Thai restaurant in town. Thai Town Cafe, which recently opened in Kalihi, serves up tasty Thai cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. The venue has the feel of a comfortable corner diner. On one recent weekday, a couple of families leisurely enjoyed a meal together while a few workers from the area stopped by to grab a bite.

Owner and chef Lumphai Denson describes Thai Town Cafe’s cuisine as traditional Thai food, featuring a wide array of appetizers, curries, soups and salads, and noodle dishes.

Popular dishes include Tom Yum ($7.50) with a choice of beef, pork, chicken or tofu with vegetables, and Chicken & Garlic Rice (Kao Man Gai) ($8.50). The restaurant offers many Thai favorites, such as Pad Thai and Cashew Nut Stir-Fry. Both are priced at $7.50 with beef, pork, chicken or tofu, or $8.50 with seafood shrimp or calamari. Another must-try is Po-Teak ($7.95), a spicy basil soup mixed with lemongrass, ginger, onion, kaffir, lime leaves and a choice of seafood or fish fillet.

In addition to these dishes, Denson says that Thai Town Cafe is striving to go beyond the basics to offer a number of more unique creations. One example of such offerings is Shushi Pla (fish), a deep-fried fish with special sweet chili sauce ($8.75 for a fillet, or $22 for a whole fish as pictured).

For dessert, try Mango Sticky Rice ($2) or Tapioca Pudding with Banana ($2.95).

Thai Town Cafe also is currently working on a new menu, which will be unveiled soon. One of the forthcoming menu items includes Ob Shrimp ($9.75), which is Thai-baked shrimp with glass noodles. Denson says that she currently is busy in the kitchen cooking up more new items. Among the dishes that she plans to add is a crispy catfish and shrimp sauteed with ginger sauce.

In addition to these tasty options, Thai Town Cafe also features more great deals for its lunch combination specials. The restaurant offers lunch specials daily from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with an extensive list that includes, for example, Red Curry Beef with Rice & Crispy Fried Chicken ($6.75) and Spicy Basil Eggplant Beef with Rice & Crispy Fried Chicken ($6.75).

And with the Thai Town Cafe coupon that can be found on Page 6, dessert is free when you spend $10 or more until April 26.

On the Side

Lumphai Denson brings years of experience in the local Thai cooking scene as owner and chef of Thai Town Cafe. In addition,

Denson also has extensive culinary experience that extends to her youth in Thailand.

“My mom was a food vendor in Thailand,” Denson says. It was there that Denson began to learn to cook, and she aims to bring traditional, authentic Thai food to the table at her new restaurant.

“We wanted to add some unique things to the menu that are examples of more traditional Thai food,” Denson says.

Denson continued to cultivate her talent while working at a number of local Thai restaurants throughout the years. But she always wanted to have a restaurant of her own.

“It was my dream, actually,” Denson says. “It’s my dream from a long time ago. Finally, my dream has come true.”

Thai Town Cafe

  • Where
    • 1311 North King Street #F-06
    • Honolulu, HI 96817
  • Call
    • (808) 842-4049
  • Hours
    • 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Monday – Saturday
    • 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Sunday