Thai New Year is celebrated each April in Southeast Asia with a festival during the hottest part of the year.
Called Songkran, it's a way to cool off as kids squirt each other with water pistols and throw water balloons. They also perfume water with flowers and place the aromatic mix in elders' hands.
"That's what we did last year and it was so much fun," says Pad Thai owner Jonkonnie Nishimura, who will host a Maui-style fest at her restaurant Wednesday in Wharf Cinema Center in Lahaina.
Songkran dancers Parichart Jares (left) and her mother, Pon Jares (right) flank Jonkonnie Nishimura, Pad Thai’s owner, at her Wharf Cinema Center location.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Pad Thai regularly presents Thai dance on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m., and next week it will be extra special with the Songkran touch.
"Since our restaurant is called Pad Thai, we will offer specials prices on our Pad Thai noodle dishes," she says.
Basically, rice noodles are stir-fried with egg, bean sprouts, green onions and ground peanuts in a special sauce and topped with fresh bean sprouts and a squeeze of lime. You choose toppings such as spiced shrimp or chicken or beef.
"Curry is also a top seller here and you may order it green, red or yellow as well as mild, medium or hot."
Savor the coconut-milk curry base with your choice of duck, scallops, shrimp or fish. Or opt for other curry styles such as Masman or Panang - the latter with kaffir lime and sweet basil.
"My favorite is tom yum seafood soup with fresh lemongrass and shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels and fish - all simmered in a rich bouillon," says Jonkonnie.
For a table or takeout, call 661-9911.