Not your average Thai food restaurantA La Carte Columns
May 8, 2016
Story By: Caitlin Basilio | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
If you want to dine like Thai royalty, make your way to Noi Thai Cuisine. It’s only fitting that the eatery is located in Royal Hawaiian Center, because from the minute you walk through the door, the décor and atmosphere will impress you before you even sit down.
Noi Thai Cuisine first opened its doors in Hawaii last October, but has been sharing its rich cuisine with the world since 1989. Owner Noi Chadillada Lapangkura’s mother, known as “Mom” to everyone in the family business, moved from Bangkok, Thailand to Seattle, Washington to open casual Thai eatery Bai Tong. After Mom retired, Lapangkura and her husband and fellow owner JJ Chaiseeha took over the eatery and decided to expand the family business.
Noi Thai’s Hawaii location emphasizes quality service and presentation, specializing in dishes that highlight the central region of Thailand.
“We differ from other Thai restaurants because of the experience you get here, our quality of food, presentation, you name it,” says bar manager Michael Thananan. “We’re trying to give our customers a fine-dining experience.”
Consider Pineapple Fried Rice ($20.95), which is served in half of a pineapple. It’s made with jasmine rice that is infused with yellow curry flavor, stir-fried with pineapple, cashew nuts, raisins and onions, and topped with shredded pork. Diners also may choose from chicken, pork or tofu, or add beef for $7 extra, prawns for $5 or seafood for $8.
“It’s like art, and tastes good too,” says Thananan, who also is husband to general manager Ying Rosawan. “This dish is popular here because of the pineapple. Especially being in Hawaii, we make sure to consistently get sweet pineapple.”
Other customer favorites include Crying Tiger ($36.95) and Yellow Curry Crab ($35). The Crying Tiger presents tender flat iron steak grilled to perfection and served with Thai-style dipping sauce infused with roasted ground rice. As for the Yellow Curry Crab, it’s made with an abundance of Alaskan crab meat cooked with coconut milk and betel leaves, and simmered in an aromatic yellow curry.
Noi Thai Cuisine
Royal Hawaiian Center, Building C, level 3
2301 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki
Daily, 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Lunch menu served 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner menu available all day; happy hour all day in the bar and lanai only
Validated parking available