About Keo's   



Keo's Bronze Collection


What is the secret to the success and the unique appeal of Keo's Thai cuisine?

"It's in the herbs and spices" according to Keo Sananikone, author of the international best selling Keo's Thai Cuisine cookbook and owner of the restaurant of the same name. And to assure that these ingredients are always available and of the quality he demands, for over three decades Keo has been growing the herbs and spices himself.

Keo, nowadays as much farmer as restaurateur, has two farms on the North Shore of O'ahu. At these farms he grows Thai fruit trees, vegetables, flowers, as well as every single herbs and fresh spices used in his restaurant. Most of the flowers, potted trees, and plants in his Honolulu restaurant also come from these farms, in addition to the fifty pounds of basil and thirty pounds of mint picked and delivered every evening.
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Keo explains that "Even on my day off, I go to the farm to pick the herbs and spices, especially the mint and basil. which wilt if picked too early. I'm tempted to skip it sometimes, but I don't because many of my customers appreciate and expect the fresh herbs in my dishes."

Keo. who holds a degree in architecture from the University of Washington, learned about farming through borrowing books from the public library and through trial and error. He now thinks of his farming as a `necessary hobby'. saying "When you grow your own, you can afford to be picky."

Keo's enviable reputation has spread both locally, by word-of-mouth across the island, and in the national and global press. You can ask almost anyone on the island about this gourmet eatery, which caters as much to locals as it does to visiting celebrities.

Unquestionably one of the most well known and most beautiful restaurants in Hawaii, its interior is not only lavishly decorated with colorful orchids and other Hawaiian flowers and plants, but also displays part of Keo's impressive collection of Thai and local art, including woodcarvings, original paintings and embroidered tapestries.

The result: a restaurant that has been written up in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and in a range of national and international publications including Newsweek, which describes Keo's as "One of the choicest dining spots in Honolulu."

Keo explains the business philosophy that has made his restaurants an enduring success for over seventeen years: " I offer great food at affordable prices, served in an interesting and attractive setting by a friendly but professional staff who are dedicated to treating every customer like a star!"

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