If you already like Thai food, you can be sure that you will get good eats here. The usual suspects—pad thai, soups, curries—are freshly made and well spiced (we like it “hot” or “Thai hot,” but even the milder versions are flavorful). We love the tom ka gai, the spicy coconut soup studded with big, fresh mushrooms, slices of ginger, basil leaves, and your choice of chicken and/or shrimp. The tom yum is another comforting brew, this one spicy and sour (from the kaffir lime) rather than spicy and sweet.
The green papaya salad is perfectly sour-spicy and studded with finely chopped peanuts. It wakes up our palate for whatever main course we’re ordering. The yum nuer, or beef salad, comes with marinated sour beef on top of a delicious medley of vegetables. We love the spice and the sour together, and often order this cold dish if we’re in the mood for a light entrée.
The crispy chicken is a generous mound of deep fried chicken that comes with a complex, spicy red dipping sauce. We also like the Evil Prince curry with tofu, a blend of lemongrass, basil, chilies and coconut milk. The pad pet is one of our favorites—a savory brown sauce with choice of protein (we prefer pork for this one). Dishes are served family style, and you can get sticky or brown rice on the side. We honestly have never ordered anything that we did not enjoy.
The ingredients are fresh and local, with many coming from the owner’s garden. If they can’t get an ingredient on Maui, they import it, which is why this is such authentic Thai. Beer and wine are limited, but they always have the Thai beer Singha on hand, which is, of course, perfect. For dessert, we often order the coconut milk tapioca pudding or the mango over sticky rice.
Their combination dinners (for two, for three, for four) include some of the best items on the menu, and we recommend them for their value. Vegetarians love this restaurant, where they can order any dish vegetarian and know it will be both delicious and satisfying as a main course.
Thailand Cuisine is located at 70 E. Ka‘ahumanu Ave. in the Maui Mall in Kahului (873-0225) and in Kīhei in Kukui Mall, 1819 S. Kīhei Road (875-0839).
The moderate prices, excellent service, and delicious food make us very happy.