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Currying favor
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A marriage of two distinct flavors is hard to pair on one beautiful plate. Just like the marriage of two different people, you need the right amount of fiery spiciness, chemistry, and palatability.
Luckily, Chiriya’s on the Southside has found the perfect match. Chiriya’s pairs Thai and Hawaiian cuisine to perfection.
This union is right and just, and will undoubtedly stand the test of time. The bright bold sassiness of Thai cuisine pairs perfectly with the earthy and colorful flavors of Hawaiian comfort food.
I was overcome with the smell of fresh curries and a bold sweetness in the air when I approached this little hideaway. Even the décor is a marriage of dark rich woods and minimalism, aired with bright, flowering orchids.
I know I was in for a treat from the moment I met my very friendly hostess, who sat me outside at a cute table, near a bold statue. She quickly brought my Thai Iced tea, thick with creaminess and bursting with the herbal flavors of this traditional treat.
I ordered the Panang Curry, which is always my favorite. A bold dark pink orchid adorned my plate of heavenly flavors. The food looked so good I wanted to take a picture and not disturb the plating.
Nothing prepared me for that first bite. It was bursting with the rich coconut flavors of a traditional Panang its crispy vegetables was a nice surprise. My dish was oozing with bright colored pods and strong curry.
The next time I went in I tried the pineapple curry. I was expecting it to be too sweet, but it was far from that! The curry was bold and bright, and the pineapple gave every bite a sweet and sour punch.
I was surprised that such exotic taste can be so inexpensive. Most entrees for lunch are $7.95 to $9.95.
And there are salad and soup options that are definitely affordable and unique. The Spicy Lemongrass Soup is saturated with fresh herbs and can be served with shrimp, seafood or chicken. It was incredible.
Make sure to try Chiriya’s signature Spicy Noodle dish -- it’s sure to wake up your senses. This bold, but not brash, stir fry dish is bright and colorful and bursting with fresh spices.
The garlic shrimp is another one of Chiriya’s top entrees in my book. The garlic tastes slowly roasted into Chiriya’s coconut milk, pepper and mixed with abundant straw mushrooms. The result of this concoction is a mild and very savory stir fry for us garlic lovers.
Chiriya’s offers many vegetarian dishes. From eggplant, tofu options to noodle dishes, the vegetarian can feel at home trying any of Chiriya’s flavors.
And if you want to try some Hawaiian style food, look no further. Even if you’ve never visited Hawaii’s abundant islands, Chiriya’s Hawaiian Fried Rice can transport you. All of the flavors of Hawaii sit on one dish, fresh pineapple, cilantro, bright vegetables, marinated meats, or seafood and a heaping pile of sweet jasmine rice. You just cannot find any better comfort food.
With the Ono-licious Pot Pie, you can forget the expensive airfare and sand in your shoes, but still smell the ocean in the distance. The pot pie is filled with scallops, potatoes, calamari, shrimp and a creamy, dreamy, coconut milk. It all comes together in a flaky pastry shell.
From soft bright summer rolls, to heart warming Thai curries and bright Hawaiian treats, Chiriya’s has something for every palate. I keep going back thinking I might find something I don’t like.
It hasn’t happened yet. I don’t think it will. 
Chiriya’s is at 7805 Abercorn St, across from Oglethorpe Mall. Monday-Saturday 11am-2:30pm lunch and 5-10pm dinner. On Sundays open from 5pm until 10 pm for dinner. Takeout available. Call 305-0555.