Kapao Thai Restaurant
Nir Hajbi, the owner of Kapao Thai Restaurant,
fell in love with Thai cuisine when he was on vacation in Thailand. He was so taken with the cuisine, he changed his plans and attended cooking school in Bangkok to perfect his skill. Anxious to share his love of this cuisine with Israel he brought the cuisine back home and opened Kapao restaurant in Bet Shemesh. Seven successful years later he opened the second branch in Petach Tikva.
It is a pleasure to hear
Nir talk about his customers in Beit Shemesh. Dati couples respect one another, he says. The partnership between husband and wife is apparent when they come to the restaurant and he loves to serve them. In addition to seating in the restaurant, Kapao does a lively take away business with customers ordering food from the US in advance of their travel to Israel.
How does Thai cuisine differ from other Asian cuisines?
What characterizes Thai food is the contrast in flavors in a single dish and the combination of hot and cold temperatures in a single dish. Thai food often pairs hot spices with sweet, light citrus flavors like lime and mango. Foods are both spicy and sweet. Hot soup is paired with rice at room temperature.
And the amazing dessert described at the end of this page pairs warm sweet rice with cold mango sorbet.
The business lunch at Kapao is the best deal in town. For the price of your main course you get a small starter of your choice. If you prefer sushi, you get two rolls for the price of one. This is an offer that you cannot refuse. My companion chose one of the main courses with a starter of wings and I chose two sushi rolls.
I want the California roll, I said, but with baked fish instead of the raw fish on the menu. Not a problem. Any of the sushi rolls listed on the menu with uncooked sushi, the waitress told us, can be made with cooked salmon instead. I chose the California inside out roll, listed with raw fish, but prepared with baked salmon. Just right. The sushi was exacting, tight, and in perfect bite size pieces.
Now choose a second roll, she said. You get two rolls for the price of one during the business hours. eLuna members showing the coupon can enjoy this offer throughout the day. Now that's a deal! I quick chose the tempura roll with baked salmon. How much sushi can one person eat? Not a problem for my companion.
While I worked on the sushi rolls my companion dug into his portion of Pik Gai glazed chicken wings. The small portion was more than enough for a lunch with a full main course.
For his main course my companion chose the Gaeng Kio Waan Gai
a soupy stew with chicken and vegetables in a curry sauce with coconut milk and basil. Out came a covered soup tureen with a large mound of jasmine rice on a separate plate. This dish was a Thai version of chicken soup - that my grandmother never envisioned. All the dishes on the menu can be tweaked to your taste. Dishes with chicken can be made with tofu (veggie) or, for another 10 shekels, Entrecote beef.
This dish is marked "spicy" on the menu which turned out to be an understatement. As he ate tears ran down his face.
He balanced the spicy dish by spooning some of the rice into the soup mixture, combining the jasmine flavor of the rice with the flavors of the soup. With tears rolling down his cheeks I would have thought that he was suffering but the opposite was the case. He enjoyed every last bite of this dish.
At eLuna we know desserts. With respect, most Asian
restaurants buy the desserts from the same third party supplier and once you have tried one, no need to go back again. Perusing the online menu while my companion continued with his main course, my eyes fell on the Mango Sticky Rice dessert. That's a dessert? bring it on!
The sticky rice, served warm, is sweet, cooked in coconut milk and is sprinkled with crunchy coconut flakes. The scoop of cold mango sorbet is a great contrast. It was so delicious I had to ask how they made it. And don't tell me with milk. This is a special dessert from the Thai culinary tradition and is not to be missed. It is unique and we have not seen this in any other restaurant.
Location: Kapao is a corner restaurant on the first floor above ground. An escalator will take you up one flight or take the glass elevator up from the underground parking. . .
The Business Lunch and eLuna Discount: From noon till 5pm the restaurant offers 2 sushi rolls for the price of one and a small starter of your choice with your main course. The restaurant will extend the 1 + 1 on sushi rolls from 5pm - 7pm for eLuna members presenting the eLuna coupon (printed or on the phone)
From the Menu
Popiah tod Eggroll starter NIS 27
Pik Gai chicken wings
starter NIS 39
Gaeng Kio Waan Gai
( chicken stew and rice) NIS74
spicy avocado sushi Roll lNIS 49
California roll NIS 49
Mango sticky rice dessert NIS 36