My visit to Souvaly was pleasantly surprising. I have never had an appreciation for Thai food; however when I was invited to a bridal shower at Souvaly, I was open to trying it. Before eating at Souvaly, my only experience with Thai food was when I was living in Washington. There was a "Thai" take-out/dine-in restaurant a block from my school and everyone seemed to love it... except for me. The food was definitely not authentic, as dishes were ladened with heavy "sweet and sour" sauces with accents of pineapple. This is why my visit to Souvaly was quite refreshing. I had a newly developed appreciation for Thai food... so much in fact, that I visited Souvaly a second time one week later.
Souvaly is named after its owner, Souvaly Khamphoui and her dishes reflect her native roots in Laos. The restaurant itself has a contemporary "zen" atmosphere with vibrant, plush silk cushions, a waterfall, and orchids on the table. This setting sets Souvaly apart from the other mom-and-pop Thai restaurants on the island (and many of the restaurants in Pearl City).
The food was excellent and very reasonably priced (especially at lunch). At lunch, you can have the lunch special for only $9.95. From a set list, you can select one entree, one vegetable dish, one choice of rice, and a drink. I chose the yellow curry, basil eggplant, and brown rice.
On a subsequent visit we ordered sticky rice, which was served in a bamboo basket.
The crispy fried fish with curry sauce was delicious! Slightly spicy and delicately fried.
The mixed mushrooms with tofu (you can choose from chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu) was superb! It included straw mushrooms, button mushrooms, and broiler mushrooms. If you're a mushroom lover, you'll love this one!
Lastly, we had the tapioca with banana for dessert. I have to say, though, that I was a bit disappointed. After such a fabulous dinner, this dessert was a little strange. I wasn't served at the proper temperature, because I wasn't able to tell whether the dish was supposed to be served warm or cold. The tapioca was warm, but the bananas were half-frozen.
Overall, I am thankful for the invitation to the bridal shower, because it altered my perception of Thai food. I can now appreciate Thai food, and will surely be visiting this place again!
Souvaly Thai Cuisine
Pearl City Business Plaza (next to Flamingo's)
803 Kamehameha Highway
Pearl City, Hawaii