First Look: Noi Thai Cuisine in Waikīkī
This new upscale Thai restaurant is heavy on the presentation—and price.
Another popular dish is the yellow crab curry ($31). Served in a beautiful, gold-laden porcelain bowl, this aromatic curry boasted a generous helping of tender Alaskan crab meat cooked with coconut milk and betel leaves. There was almost too much crab—if that’s possible!—though the spicy, smooth curry created a nice balance for the sweet crab meat.
Don’t expect large, family-style plates here, though the portions are just big enough to split between two. Unless you’re starving, in which case you’ll likely polish off this bowl of curry all by yourself.
Noi Thai serves three desserts (not counting several Häagen-Dazs ice cream flavors): black sticky rice pudding served hot with coconut milk, mango sticky rice, and gluay baud chi ($9), a dish with half-ripened banana simmered in coconut milk and palm sugar. Served warm and without much ado, this was a nice, comforting ending to a very decadent meal.
The restaurant also has a decent lunch menu, serving smaller portions of its popular dishes such as the crispy garlic chicken and prawn pad thai, with combo sets for $17.95, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. It also has a variety of vegetarian options, including a spicy Thai basil stir-fry ($22) and a rich red curry ($23) with red chili paste, bamboo shoots, kaffir lime leaves and fried tofu with pineapple rice. Happy hour runs from 3 p.m. to closing at the bar and lānai seating only, with discounted cocktails and appetizers.
This isn’t the first place I’d hit up to satisfy an emergency Thai craving. And it’s too upscale and pricey for a casual weeknight dinner. But for special occasions—birthdays, anniversaries, big Vegas wins—this would be definitely be a consideration. The menu here is interesting enough to make the meal memorable, and the ambiance and impeccable service elevate the entire experience.
But if I just want chicken pad thai, stuffed chicken wings or panang, I have other places in mind.
Royal Hawaiian Center, 2301 Kalākaua Ave., Building C, Suite 308, 664-4039, noithaicuisine.com