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Order of the Day

Say “Hi” to a World of Sandwich, Smoothie Delights

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Leah Friel
January 27, 2013

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After spending more than 25 years cooking a variety of tasty dishes at home for her family, Kim Nguyen decided to share her passion for food with the general public.

The restaurateur opened Hi Sandwich & Drink in the Waimalu Shopping Center about a month ago, and customers are raving about what Nguyen describes as Vietnamese fusion food.

“I really like to cook at home, and I decided to open the restaurant so that I can share that passion with my customers,” says Nguyen, who also owns the popular eatery Pho Five-O in the same shopping center.

Freshly made French bread, which is gently toasted so the bread remains soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, and buttery croissants set the stage for the more than 20 sandwich varieties available at Hi Sandwich & Drink. After just a month, customers are already developing a following for the freshly made sandwiches, including BBQ Chicken Sandwich on French Bread and Smoked Ham Sandwich on Croissant Bread. All sandwich selections, including the aforementioned favorites, start at $6 and vegetarian options are also available.

The Vietnamese Special Sandwich ($6.75, noted on the menu as the Hi Special) brings together pate, char siu pork and steamed pork that are then topped with vegetables. Other sandwich varieties include Meat Ball, Tuna, Ham & Cheese, Turkey Cheese and Turkey Breast ($6 each).

Nguyen explains that she utilizes fresh vegetables in her sandwiches, including cucumber, carrots, white onions and Chinese parsley. The veggies are prepared with a special blend of seasoning to enhance all the flavors.

The restaurant also specializes in real-fruit smoothies, and features 22 varieties of the flavorful beverages. With each selection, including Honeydew Smoothie and Thai Tea Smoothie ($4.95 apiece), diners may also add their choice of black jelly pearls, grass jelly or colored fruity jelly. Customers may also add an additional jelly flavor to the 24-ounce smoothie for just 35 cents more.

“Before I opened this restaurant, I visited some other places that served smoothies using powdered flavoring,” explains Nguyen. “I wanted to use real fruit, because it tastes much better and is healthier for you.”

The vast beverage menu at Hi Sandwich & Tea also includes Bubble Teas ($4.95 for each 24-ounce serving), which are available in a host of flavors such as Vanilla, Cafe Latte, Strawberry, Green Apple and Mocha Coffee. The Bubble Tea selections are crafted with a blend of black and green tea, which Nguyen brews daily in house.

Nguyen also recommends Condensed Milk Iced Coffee ($3.50), a Vietnamese java drink that offers a cool rush of bold flavors.

“Our customers can enjoy some of the same food that I love to cook at home,” says Nguyen of the Hi Sandwich & Drink experience. “The real-fruit smoothies are delicious, and you can really taste the difference.”

Hi Sandwich & Drink

Waimalu Shopping Center
98-042 Kamehameha Hwy., Aiea
487.7372
Open daily, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.