120916WHT_D01

bie

Your Foodie Guide t to great eating in West Hawaii ONO-LICIOUS! LICIOUS!December 9, 2016 Royal Thai Café LANDMARK RESTAURANT IN KEAUHOU SPICES THINGS UP BY KAREN ANDERSON SPECIAL TO WEST HAWAII TODAY Where: Keauhou Shopping Center 78-6831 Alii Drive Phone: 322-8424 (THAI) Hours: Open daily for lunch and dinner Notes: Menu can be viewed at RoyalThaiCafe.com While most Thai restaurants offer “spicy” as an option, Royal Thai Café at Keauhou Shopping Center truly spices things up for its loyal customers. “If you want your dish ultra-spicy, we absolutely offer you that,” said Chatcharat “Yam” Chantaraviboon, owner/ chef of Royal Thai Café. “We prepare all our food mild, but we also offer options of five different levels of spicy. We will give you truly ultra-spicy if you ask for it.” Because so many of Royal Thai Café’s repeat customers love the ultra-spicy option, the landmark restaurant in Keauhou also hosts an infamous Spicy Eating Contest annually in which the winner takes home a $300 cash prize. The next contest will be held sometime in the first half of 2017, says Yam. “Our contest has three courses,” he explained. “Whoever can eat the most spicy, wins.” Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, Yam grew up in a culinary family, helping out at his mother’s restaurant beginning at age 10. Wanting to branch out and learn English, Yam moved to Kona in 1999, first employed at the original Royal Thai Café before working for five years at Chef Alan Wong’s Hualalai Grill at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. In 2008, Yam purchased Royal Thai Café from the original owners. He kept the menu the same to accommodate the restaurant’s loyal, repeat customers. Two years ago, he completely remodeled the front of the house and the kitchen, creating an even more intimate atmosphere for fine dining. “The dining room has a high ceiling, just like you would see in Thailand,” he said. “The chandeliers are nice at night. At Royal Thai Café, you feel like you’re actually in Thailand.” Owner/chef of Royal Thai Café, Yam Chantaraviboon (left) works alongside his father, Wanchai, at the landmark restaurant in Keauhou Shopping Center. Karen Anderson/Special to West Continued on page 7 Hawaii Today ROYAL THAI CAFE


bie
To see the actual publication please follow the link above