Adored Windward Eatery Enters a New ChapterFeatures Order of the Day
February 15, 2015
Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: Bodie Collins
Teamwork. It’s a concept that unifies the world’s entire society. From workplaces to schools, and even in marriages and family, we as humans have learned that working together can accomplish far more than an individual alone ever could.
Dining Out had the privilege of seeing this in action at a local Windward restaurant this week, and take it from us, the culinary crew at this establishment is coming together to build something beautiful — and delicious.
Tucked away in Kaneohe’s Windward Shopping Center, Mama Toy’s Chao Phya Thai has enjoyed a long legacy of dishing up diners edible love. And it’s just that nourishing “love factor” that has kept the eatery as a cherished landmark in locals’ hearts. Much of this is due to co-owner Angoon “Mama Toy” Coppedge herself, whose warm smile still greets you daily, an emotional touch-point that initiates your dining experience far better than any appetizer.
And just like any recipe, Mama Toy’s Chao Phya Thai started from scratch, with the timeless ingredients of hard work, tradition and love. Adding impeccable authenticity to the mix is Aniruth “Chef Tui” Bunmee, a Thailand native and confirmed aficionado of fine Thai cuisine. Together, Mama Toy and Chef Tui have been baking up classic comfort dishes to the delight of Windward diners.
2015 brings a new and exciting chapter for Mama Toy’s, with the addition of Guy Smith, an accomplished executive chef and true victual visionary. Smith sees his role in the Mama Toy ohana as being a bridge-builder of sorts, “keeping the classics, and collaborating with Chef Tui to introduce new and eclectic items to the menu.”
And it’s not just the fare that is being infused with fresh flavor and style. The team also is incorporating extra flair with its new specials table, where diners can view each menu item on display as they order, as well as Thai tapas, Chef tastings, and even an outdoor dining section.
Now that our curiosities have been piqued, Mama Toy, Smith and Chef Tui invite us to sample just what’s cooking in their kitchen.
White Miso Oxtail ($16.95) presents a heaping bowlful of rich, hearty broth paired with tender oxtail, Hamakua mushrooms and North Shore sugar sweet tomatoes garnished with green onion. Smith lets us know that this dish is “quickly becoming a new favorite requested daily.”
A Mama Toy’s classic, Basil Mahi ($11.50) is an aromatic entree featuring a plentiful portion of fresh caught Mahi in a succulent, flavorful marinade with basil-toned bliss infusing every bite. A customer favorite, Smith assures us that this oldie but goodie “is not going anywhere!”
For dessert, Coconut Creme Caramel ($7.95) is a whipped and cloud-like confection infused with coconut flavor, topped with a drizzle of decadent caramel and served alongside fresh seasonal fruits. Plated to aesthetic perfection, it’s an ethereal offering that makes for any meal’s heavenly ending.
“We want to give folks on this side an option of enjoying a modern and sophisticated, authentic dining experience, without having to go all the way to town,” Smith explains. He personally invites you to join the eatery tonight (5-9 p.m.), as it celebrates its Valentine’s weekend special with a Sweetheart Menu featuring a phenomenal five-course meal and live music of local legend John Cannizzaro. Call to RSVP.
Mama Toy’s Chao Phya Thai
45-480 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe
Daily, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.