Creative Combinations Provide the Best of Both Worlds

Columns Foodie Fare

October 14, 2012

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

The lunch hours are winding down at Kit n Kitchen on a recent weekday, and the co-owners, husband-and-wife team Kit and May Yiu, are going about their usual afternoon business. Kit roams the dining room, making sure that his customers have everything they need, while May is in the kitchen, cooking up some of the restaurant’s Euro-Asian cuisine.

Kit n Kitchen’s menu features a range of options — everything from seafood pastas to Japanese-style rib eye steaks, as well as savory breakfast and brunch items.

Although the restaurant’s menu is already extensive, it seems that May just can’t stop getting inspired to cook up more Euro-Asian dishes.

“I love food — a lot,” May says.

She also loves creating new menu items, and draws inspiration from foods she grew up with, as well as from her travels. Recently, Kit n Kitchen unveiled a number of new dishes, including the Szechuan Spicy Shrimp Won Ton (six pieces for $8.95).

“I went to Hong Kong for three months, and I stayed in my friend’s shop. I told him, ‘I want to learn won ton,'” May says about the origins of the dish. “This is a very traditional Chinese plate, and Hong Kong’s is the best because they have big shrimp inside. I learned this won ton and I brought it back.” May was learning from the best: Her friend recently won a won ton contest in Hong Kong.

Another new dish is Spicy Habanero Shrimp with Baby Greens ($13.95). The habanero sauce certainly provides a kick. “It’s really spicy,” May warns. Prosciutto Salad Pizza ($12.95), which features mixed greens and a poached egg on top of a thin pizza, also joins the list.

Loyal customers — of which there are many — can still enjoy their longtime favorite dishes like Volcano Stone Grilled ($20.95), which features tender cuts of steak that are grilled to perfection right at the table on a hot plate. The chimichurri dipping sauce is a perfect complement to the dish, which also features enoki mushrooms.

Another tasty favorite that isn’t going anywhere is Seared Scallop Spinach Risotto ($14.95), which features seared-to-perfection scallops on a bed of fresh spinach and risotto that is bathed in a creamy white sauce.

Another great thing about Kit n Kitchen is its reasonable prices. One of its most cost-effective offerings for customers is the 99 cents menu: With the purchase of two entrees, customers can get a third dish for just 99 cents. “These are appetizer dishes that normally cost about $7, but now we have just made it 99 cents,” May explains. Third dish options include Escargot, Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza, Shabu Shabu Beef, Olive Eggplant and more. “People now are looking for good deals, and this provides good quality, too,” she adds.

On the Side

Kit n Kitchen has been cooking up Euro-Asian delights for the past 11 years. Co-owners Kit and May Yiu are a true culinary power couple. The two have combined their individual influences to create the perfect marriage of European and Asian flavors, and styles.

“He grew up in an Japanese-Italian restaurant, and I grew up in Montreal, Canada,” May says. “Basically, we just combined all of the food that we love together and put it all in the menu.”

The result has been an expansive, impressive menu that features anything you might be craving. “In the beginning, it was a smaller menu,” May says. “But then I travelled a lot. Every time I travel I bring back some new dishes.”

And it seems that their creative combinations provide diners with the best of both worlds.

“A lot of times, European food is a little bit more heavy, but we just try to keep the taste, but use some light ingredients,” May says.

For instance, she explains, Kit n Kitchen offers lighter approaches to pasta dishes. “It’s more like a Japanese influence in the pasta dishes,” she says, noting that this is something that Kit brought to the restaurant. May’s contributions include Osso Bucco Milanese ($16.95), which is one of her favorites.

In addition to using lighter ingredients, the restaurant also strives to offer a number of healthier items, including a wide selection of tasty salads. And to go along with those salads, Kit n Kitchen makes most of its salad dressings in-house, as well as a number of its sauces.

Kit n Kitchen

1010 University Ave., Honolulu
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; 5 p.m.-midnight
Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.; 5 p.m.-midnight

Honolulu, HI 96826

Ilima Awards
Hawaii's Best