Unwrapping the Joy of Shrimp Scampi

Columns Ono, You Know

December 24, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Merry Christmas, Ono readers! By now, you’re probably rubbing the sleep from your weary eyes ready to see what Santa left for you under the tree. Or perhaps the presents are already unwrapped and scattered remnants of wrapping paper lead a trail to smiles of loved ones enjoying their gifts. Above all else, I truly hope you’re enjoying this holiday with family and friends, and, of course, feasting as if there’s no tomorrow.

On Christmas Day everyone is allowed to be a kid again, that means putting all cares and worries aside, and instead rejoicing in all things that make you happy. For me, that means indulging in one of my all-time favorite dishes on earth — shrimp scampi. Yes, sinking my teeth into succulent pieces of shrimp flavored with an abundance of garlic and butter is all my appetite could ask for on this Christmas Day.

So, without further ado, I share with you some of my favorite Ono, You Know establishments that serve up some of the best shrimp scampi you’ve ever tasted. Trust me, with just one bite, it will feel like Christmas morning every day!

Kit n Kitchen

  • The editor is eager to take a bite out of Kit n Kitchen's Shrimp Scampi ($9.95).
  • Kit n Kitchen's Shrimp Scampi ($9.95)
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Known for its exemplarily Euro-Asian cuisine, Kit n Kitchen blends the best of both culinary worlds to create absolute perfection that patrons have come to love — and crave. Owners Kit and May Yiu are geniuses in the kitchen, and the remarkable cuisine is proof. The menu is diverse, with everything from Osso Bucco, pasta, seafood entrees and more — this University Avenue establishment definitely knows how to work up an appetite.

On my most recent visit to this alluring hot spot, my palate wanted nothing more than Kit’s onolicious Shrimp Scampi ($9.95). The sight and smell of this dish alone will have your mouth watering, as the aroma of fresh garlic and butter is too much to bear — I just had to take a bite.

“This is a very popular dish here,” says Kit. “It’s one of those that you definitely can’t go wrong with.”

Intrigue your senses and enjoy every aspect of this dish, featuring six magnificent morsels of shrimp and two pieces of steamed broccoli swimming in a pool of savory garlic butter sauce. The meal comes complete with a side of toast that’s great for dipping, and you can add on a side of pasta for an additional $1.95. If you’re a seafood/crustacean lover like I am, then I promise you, you’ll absolutely love it! And it’s Christmas Day, for goodness sake, go ahead and spoil yourself silly with shrimp scampi that’s bound to make it on to your favorites list!

Kit n Kitchen
1010 University Ave., Varsity Center
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Anytime Cafe

  • Anytime Cafe's Shrimp Scampi Spaghettini ($10.95)
  • Anytime Cafe's Cindy Wong
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Hunger strikes anytime and anywhere, and Anytime Cafe in Market City Shopping Center has everything to satisfy all your cravings. Those who know me well know that I am the No. 1 fan of the Caprese Pasta here, however, owners Ken and Cindy Wong also make an out-of-this-world Shrimp Scampi Spaghettini that makes for some steep competition.

Anytime Cafe’s Shrimp Scampi Spaghettini is priced at $10.95, and presents diners with an ever-so delicious work of art. Six pieces of shrimp lie atop a bed of pasta doused in an alluring olive oil with white wine butter sauce, seasoned with hints of zesty garlic and lemon, and garnished with sprinkles of chopped parsley. Be sure to squeeze an extra bit of lemon juice to the dish for that additional burst of flavor.

And while my loyalty still remains with the Caprese Pasta, I must say the Shrimp Scampi Spaghettini is definitely a winner in my book — because, come on, what’s not to love when you have loads of carbs, savory butter, garlic and juicy pieces of shrimp all piled onto one dish? It’s pure bliss! And who’s counting calories at this time of year? Definitely not me. So, bring it on — I’m ready to tackle the Shrimp Scampi Spaghettini and savor each and every bite.

Anytime Cafe
Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd. #218
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Paesano Ristorante Italiano

  • Paesano's Shrimp Scampi ($17.90)
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Enter into a pasta haven at Paesano Ristorante Italiano, where diners can sample the tastes of Italy right here at home. Elaborate renditions of Eggplant Rollatini, Linguine with Meat Balls and Chicken Alla Parmigiana, to name a few, fill the cozy dining room and appease the appetites of those who are enjoying a meal with family and friends or a romantic dinner for two.

Owners Billy Rattanasamay and wife Nila opened the eatery’s first location in Manoa Marketplace in 1992, and in 2008 took it upon themselves to open a second location in Waimalu Plaza Shopping Center. For the Rattanasamays, customer service is the key to success, along with top-notch cuisine to match. Therefore, whenever I set foot into this award-winning establishment, I know I’m in for a treat.

While it’s almost impossible to select a favorite entree here, when I’m yearning for an entree from the seafood portion of the menu, Shrimp Scampi wins every time. Available for lunch ($17.90) and dinner ($20.90 small, $25.90 regular), Paesano’s Shrimp Scampi consists of seven delectable jumbo shrimp adorned with a wine, garlic and butter sauce, paired with your choice of pasta, potatoes or vegetables. The half-Italian gal in me always chooses the pasta. And if I must say so myself, it’s the sauce that makes the dish. If you’re a garlic fanatic, you’ll simply adore the finely chopped slivers of garlic that add a bit of punch to the entree.

Paesano Manoa is open Christmas Day from 5 to 9 p.m., and the Waimalu location is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner.

Paesano Ristorante Italiano
Manoa Marketplace, 2752 Woodlawn Drive
Waimalu Plaza Shopping Center, 98-1277 Kaahumanu St.
988.5923 or 485.8883
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