Fun Food 4 Kids

Columns Ono, You Know

July 28, 2013

Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Leah Friel

Many Honolulu restaurants are making a mark on the local dining scene with contemporary eats that are trendy, delicious and intricate in preparation and presentation. And while grown-ups may rave about these glamorous eats, they may not necessarily be kid magnets. Living in such a family-oriented community, we can’t forget about the keiki and what satisfies their tummies.

So, this week, being a kid at heart, I ventured to some of my favorite Ono, You Know establishments that I know children will love and can’t wait to chow down at. These following eateries are sure to impress even the most finicky of eaters as these kids meals highlight everything from grilled cheese sandwiches and fries to spaghetti and meatballs, and even steak and shrimp.

It’s time to indoctrinate the next generation of foodies with these kid-friendly favorites!

Kit n Kitchen

We’ve hit the jackpot with Euro-Asian cuisine at Kit n Kitchen, as husband-and-wife team Kit and May Yiu continuously present their diners with a variety of new and lavish masterpieces, as well as your go-to classics. Located in Varsity Center on University Avenue and with its most recent location in Pearl City Shops (1029 Makolu St., Suite B) that opened earlier this week, Kit n Kitchen appeals to the masses. Adults love the hearty fare and decadent desserts here, and the late-night hours are a plus. Kids also adore the exclusive menu available for those ages 10 and under. And although a little one’s palate may only be developing, Kit n Kitchen presents six delicious entrees for them to select from, including Mini Chef Pizza, Mushroom Alfredo, Meatball Spaghetti, Chicken Tomato Spaghetti, Meat Sauce Spaghetti and Garlic Chicken Wings Rice. All priced at $5.95 each, these entrees are kid tested, mother approved!

“Mini Chef Pizza and Meat-ball Spaghetti are the most popular. The kids really enjoy these,” Kit says.

Mini Chef Pizza features a personal 8-inch thin crust pizza topped with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni slices, chicken and mushrooms, and a dash of parsley adds the finishing touch. Then, for the keiki who are oodle for noodles, Meat-ball Spaghetti offers good old fashioned spaghetti doused with tomato sauce and homemade meatballs.

“We really do our best to make the kids feel at home here,” Kit confirms. In fact, each table is lined with sheets of white paper and a cup of Crayons, so the young-ins’ can doodle away between bites.

Kit n Kitchen
Varsity Center
1010 University Ave. (and Pearl City location)
942-7622

Kobe Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

Magic happens every night at Kobe Steakhouse & Sushi Bar in Waikiki as top chefs enthrall diners young and old with a show unlike the rest. Here at this award-winning teppanyaki-style restaurant, each teppanyaki table serves as a stage on which chefs slice, dice and toss an array of ingredients together to create ideal surf-and-turf dinner entrees right before your very eyes.

For the keiki, especially, excitement kicks up a notch as chefs such as Master Chef Lester Nishida interacts with them, telling jokes and performing magic tricks. However, it’s the Kobe Loves Kids section of the menu that wins major points with these young food enthusiasts.

“The concept started with the original restaurant owner Rod Gardiner, when he had two children of his own,” says general manager Roy Nakamura. “He wanted a no-fuss dinner for the kids — which Kobe made no profit from — just to aid the parents. We have continued this concept and by popular demand actually added a Child Teppan Shrimp dinner (seven pieces, $18.95).”

Original entrees specifically for children also include Child Hibachi Steak (5-ounce top sirloin, $16.95) and Child Teri Chicken (4-ounce portion, $13.95). No matter what your child’s dinner preference is, each meal also comes with a grilled shrimp appetizer, shabu shabu soup, teppan vegetables and ice cream for dessert.

“Child Steak and Child Shrimp Dinner are enjoyable for the kids,” Nakamura says. These two dishes are seasoned much like our adult dinners, with some butter and a little salt and pepper. We also serve them with our mustard and ginger sauces.”

From the interactive dining experience to the kid-friendly cuisine, there are so many reasons why kids love Kobe!

Kobe Steakhouse & Sushi Bar
1841 Ala Moana Blvd.
941-4444

Wailana Coffee House

No matter the time of day, Wailana Coffee House is buzzing with a melting pot of patrons, all with one common thread — they’re all anticipating the local comfort food the acclaimed restaurant is known for. Situated in the heart of Waikiki on the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard and Ena Road at what was once the original Kapiolani Drive Inn in the 1950s, Wailana Coffee House boasts friendly service and yummy grinds at affordable prices. Now, that’s a winning formula.

And the keiki (ages 9 and under) will get a kick out of Wailana’s kids value meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We all know that dining out with the children can cost big bucks, but for only $2.25, youngsters can rise and shine with a choice of Pancake, Link Sausage and One Egg (choice No. 1) or Two Strips of Bacon, One Egg and Toast (choice No. 2). Then, for lunch and dinner, the options are endless. Cutie patooties will jump for joy over Grilled Cheese Sandwich with fries, Hot Dog with fries, Cheeseburger with fries, Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Garlic Bread, Fish and Chips, Beef Stew and Rice, and Macaroni and Cheese. All lunch and dinner options are priced at $2.50 each and are served with a small soda.

These simple classics are sure to appease young palates. Oh, to be a kid again!

Wailana Coffee House
1860 Ala Moana Blvd
955-1764