Hearty and Healthy Thai Food

Digest Foodie Fare

November 12, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Kaew’s Thai Villa offers customers a little slice of Thailand right on Liliha Street. The eatery serves up both classic Thai dishes and innovative creations in a casual, tranquil setting.

  • Kaew's Thai Villa presents a plethora of Thai favorites.
  • Tom Yum Soup (seafood, $13.50)
  • Hot Spicy Fried Rice with Chicken ($9)
  • Grilled Salmon Filet, Panang ($12.50)
  • Whole Fish (price ranges from $25 to $30, depending on size)
  • Owner and chef Kaew Anuttsara with the Whole Fish (price ranges from $25 to $30, depending on size).
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Owner and chef Kaew Anuttsara, who is originally from the Thailand countryside, boasts years of experience and training, and her restaurant’s cuisine reflects that.

One of Kaew’s Thai Villa’s most popular dishes, and one of Anuttsara’s personal favorites as well, is the Grilled Salmon Filet, Panang ($12.50). The dish features a succulent piece of grilled salmon, bathed in a panang sauce with coconut milk and full leaves of fresh basil that perfectly complement the slightly spicy flavors.

Another popular dish is the Whole Fish (Pla Sam Rod), which is a whole deep-fried Red Snapper with the house special sweet and sour sauce ($25 to $30, based on size).

The Hot Spicy Fried Rice (Kao Pad Keaw Wan) with chicken ($9) or shrimp ($10) is another tasty option. The rice has a

Owner and chef Kaew Anuttsara with the Whole Fish (price ranges from $25 to $30, depending on size).

subtle spice that adds to the dish while allowing the peas, green onion and green curry flavors to shine through.

Anuttsara says that another must-try dish is the Hot Evil Jungle Prince Curry (Kang Peth). This curry comes with vegetable and tofu ($8), beef, chicken or pork ($9), shrimp ($9.50), fish ($10.50) or seafood ($13.50). The ingredients are marinated in red curry sauce, non-sweet coconut milk, mixed vegetables and basil.

And if you’re looking for standby Thai classics, Kaew’s also has Pad Thai ($13.50 with seafood) and Green Curry (Kang Kaiew Wan) ($9 with chicken).

Kaew’s also offers lunch and dinner specials that serve Jasmine rice or brown rice with a variety of dishes, including Mixed Vegetable, Spicy Ginger, Eggplant and Basil. The restaurant also caters all types and sizes of special occasions.

Currently, Anuttsara is in the process of creating a new dish — her own rendition of Evil Jungle Curry with Pumpkin that will be unveiled by Christmas.

On the Side

The restaurant may have just opened its doors five months ago, but owner and chef Kaew Anuttsara brings years of cooking experience and knowledge to the kitchen. She first became interested in cooking while watching her father prepare meals as a child growing up in northeast Thailand. “I used to see my dad cooking, and I wanted to cook just like my dad,” Anuttsara says. “I loved my dad’s cooking.”

As she got older, she started making meals for her family. She then went on to study culinary arts and has trained with some of the best Thai chefs.

“I love to cook for the people,” Anuttsara says. “I love to see people happy when they eat my food.”

In addition to her passion for cooking, Anuttsara also brings her love of healthy ingredients to her dishes.

“I love fresh vegetables,” Anuttsara explains. “I don’t like oil, and I don’t use MSG at all. I want my food to be healthier.” Kaew’s Thai Villa gets much of its produce from local farms. Anuttsara gets many fresh vegetables from friends and family who work on local farms. And, she goes to the farmer’s market daily to gather fresh ingredients.

Anuttsara says that one of the healthiest dishes at the restaurant is the Tom Yum Soup that is served with chicken or vegetables ($8), shrimp ($10) or seafood ($13.50). Tom Yum Soup features kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, cilantro, ginger, tomato and mushroom.

“I just want people to eat fresh and healthy food,” she says. “These are simple dishes, but dishes that are fresh and taste good.”

Kaew’s Thai Villa

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

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