May 14, 2016

Johnny Kahuku's Hawaiian Shrimp House

Hawaii... it is one of my dream destinations and for real, who doesn't? I know a little info about Hawaii, like this is where Pearl Harbor is, it's got the best beaches and swells that beach lovers and surfers crave for, the luau, the lei, pineapples, red volcanic soil and amazing landscapes. Also, I am familiar with Hawaii because it was my grandma's, aunts' and uncles' home when they first migrated to the States. They used to live in Kauai, a small island that is part of the Hawaiian Islands where the beach is just behind their house.

But as for the cuisine, I know nothing about it except that I know what poi is, that add a pineapple to a dish and it's Hawaiian already and that it is heavily influenced by Asian and Pacific Islander cuisines. Since there are a lot of migrants from the Philippines as well, I have read somewhere that Ilocano food and dialect has also been a part of its culture and food which is pretty amazing if you ask me.

There isn't many Hawaiian-inspired restos here in Manila so it was cool to finally find one near where I live. Johnny Kahuku's Hawaiian Shrimp House recently opened its doors to the foodies of Manila. I have passed by their branch at Eastwood Mall a couple of times before but only a few weeks ago that I finally got to try what they have to offer.

The restaurant has a cool, colorful and tropical vibe that's very inviting even from the outside. I think it will remind anyone of a beachfront restaurant because of the decorations that is inspired by the surfer or a beach-goer mixed with industrial materials to make it fit into the city scene. Music and lighting is provides a relaxing ambiance as well.

Now on with the food, Johnny Kahuku's has extensive menu choices to pick from. Here are the dishes that we got to try:
Tuna Ahi Poke - Chilled ahi tuna, fresh seaweed, toasted cashew, ginger shoyu dressing. TBH it was my first time to try tuna poke and I thought it would taste like ceviche or our local version called kilawin which is citrusy or sour. So I was surprised that it wasn't sour at all which is ok with me, it was like eating tuna sashimi but with more flavor

Special Seafood Poke - Seared blackened tuna. salmon sashimi. grilled squid, white shrimps, miso shoyu dressing. Enjoyed this mix just like the regular tuna poke.

Oysters Kilawin - Chilled oysters, coconut lime dressing, roasted corn, peppers, cucumber, Jicama, chili oil. . I really don't like raw oysters but since this has added spices I was good.

Pacific Chicken Wings - Fried chicken wings, Sriracha honey, toasted sesame, veggie sticks. 

Combination BBQ Platter 1Beef short ribs, Mochiko chicken, pork belly, Hawaiian rice, macaroni. Johnny Kahuku's platters can actually feed two people! I don't know why my sibs ordered two variations of this for each of them. I love the grilled items of course. The chicken was OK and so was the shrimp.

Combination BBQ platter 2 - Beef short ribs, Mochiko chicken, shrimp Kahuku, Hawaiian rice, macaroni. Just enough spiciness with thick sweet and sour sauce. This is a winner for me next to the Szechuan crab.

Spicy Szechuan Crab - Stir fried crab, house blend Szechuan sauce, dried chilies.  I have seafood allergy and thank God I took an antihistamine that morning so I was able to enjoy this magnificent crab dish. A huge crab in a sweet and a bit spicy Szechuan sauce was fantastic!

Condiments in each table, towels and lemons. For added flavors and the towels and lemons to remove the somehow stinky smell of seafood from your hands and fingers.

I have read mixed reviews about their food and service but this is what my verdict is. OK we dined here with our American friend who happens to be a well known chef back in Texas and he loves to make tuna poke, and Johnny Kahuku's versions and their Szechuan crab earned his approval. For the rest of us, we found everything good and filling as well.

The servings vary, some are a bit small but their big plates are literally huge and can already feed two persons. As for the price, it might be quite steep for some, but well it is from the same company that brought us Sumo-Sam so the price was not a big surprise. Nonetheless, expect nothing less than quality food. We pretty much had happy tummies for our late lunch. So yeah talk about overdoing our Sunday cheat day...

Ground Floor, Eastwood Mall, 
Libis, Quezon City, Philippines
Contact No: (063) 856 0087

For more information, full menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Johnny Kahuku's Hawaiian Shrimp House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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