So most of you are probably familiar with Kua ‘Aina just off Carnaby Street that opened in 2011, but did you know that they have a branch on Goodge Street too? Well, I didn’t, until I was invited to celebrate their 1st birthday on Goodge Street where I go to sample their new menu and Christmas specials.
In the last 12 months since it opened, Kua ‘Aina in Goodge Street has served up 11,548 signature Avocado Burgers: chilled, pulled and poured 9,245 craft beers from Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Company, and stacked 16,936 sweet and savoury all-day American Pancakes (!) – now that’s definitely worth celebrating.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the original Kua ‘Aina on Hawaii’s North Shore which was started in 1975 by terry Thompson.
I remember first visiting Kua ‘Aina almost three years ago with my friend, Lili, who mentioned that it was a favourite of President Barack Obama when he’s back home.
Well, if it’s good enough for him…
The Goodge Street branch is much larger than the one off Carnaby Street, and is spread over two floors. After a warm and welcoming ‘ALOHA’ at the entrance, I headed downstairs where I was greeted with a multicoloured Hawaiian lei slipped onto my neck before being served a huge goblet of “Juicy Red” Hawaiian Punch, a U.S. imported world famous canned drink.
Upstairs at the bar, we were able to get a taste of some of their cocktails. I love avocado, and I ordered the Avocado Wave which was blended with rum, mango, orange and lime. It was thick and creamy unlike some other places that I have tried that are sometimes too watery.
If you love avocado as much as I do, then this is the cocktail for you.
I’m also a huge fan of lychee, and the Lychee Collins just happens to be one of the customer favourites, also a new addition to the drinks list.
We then proceeded to the kitchen area where all the delicious food is cooked and prepared: burgers, chicken, fish and veggie dishes grilled over lava rocks to lock in moisture and tenderness, producing a smoky, rich flavour together with exclusively homemade marinades, rubs and seasonings. The temperature of their lava rocks apparently can go upto 380 degrees – I kept a safe two-feet distance away from it to avoid any mishaps.
Freshly prepared dishes were laid before us: Longboard Beer Battered Onion Rings, Salt and Pepper Squid, and Coconut King Prawns with Sweet Chilli Sauce, all made in-house from scratch. I have tried their popular sweet potato fries in the past, and now there happens to be a new dish, Chilli Cheese Fries which is said to be just as good.
I tried a bit of the Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich and Beef Burger which were both really tasty. I don’t really eat burgers that often, but I did enjoy this. Their juicy burgers are 100% grass-fed aged beef from their butcher in Devon, made to Kua ‘Aina’s recipe of premium cuts without fillers or preservatives, and hand-pressed in two sizes (1/2lb and 1/3 lb). They are served on semi-brioche seeded buns which are freshly baked daily from Paul Rhodes Bakery.
I missed trying the Avocado Burger, but I’ve heard that it’s pretty amazing.
Moving on to the sweeter dishes, I sampled some of their Fluffy American Pancakes which was served with maple leaf syrup and topped with crispy bacon, which seems like a great breakfast or brunch option.
I don’t usually order milkshakes at restaurants, but I couldn’t resist trying the Real Banana milkshake, alongside some shots of the Coconut, Pina Colada, and MINCE PIE milkshakes. Anything with mince pies has my name written all over it.
New additions to their dessert selection included the Eton Mess with Pineapple and Passion Fruit, Spiced Apple Crumble Pot, and Warm Hazelnut Brownie – all three were tasty but my favourite was probably the Spiced Apple Crumble Pot, as I really love apple crumble.
For those of you who work in the area, Kua ‘Aina do a breakfast menu all week until noon which includes scrumptious options such as the Aloha Lava-grilled Breakfast, Fluffy American Pancakes with a choice of different toppings, and even porridge for those looking for something lighter.
And as Christmas is soon approaching (less than a month away!), why not check out their Christmas Specials such as the Festive Burger, Turkey Sandwich, Eggnog Cocktail and that amazing Mince Pie milkshake (made from real mince pies, mmm…)
The Kua ‘Aina Christmas Luau, three-course set menu is also available for groups of 10 or more until 24th December. Check out their website for more details.
Their unique cooking method, mouthwatering seasonings and flavours and friendly vibe makes Kua ‘Aina a great place to visit for some non-fussy and unpretentious good valued food.
Mahalo Kua ‘Aina for a lovely evening, and I look forward to returning soon.
The Cheekster, signing out x