Kit n Kitchen’s Labor of Love

Features Order of the Day

February 23, 2014

Story By: Michelle Lee | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Ask May Yiu, chef and co-owner of Kit n Kitchen, what her favorite type of food is, and she probably wouldn’t be able to give you a straight answer. “Every country in the world has something special and tasty to offer,” says Yiu. “Great food knows no boundary.”

In harmony with Yiu’s thinking, it is no surprise that the chef’s own restaurant is not limited to one type of cuisine. With dishes spanning from the depths of Europe to Asia and everywhere in between, Kit n Kitchen pays homage to some of the world’s most flavorful and beloved meals.

Perhaps one of the eatery’s most popular dishes is Yiu’s rendition of Sizzling Seafood Paella ($15.95), a medley of shrimp, squid and mussels with saffron-infused rice and sun-dried tomatoes.

“We serve the paella on top of a fire-hot skillet,” says Yiu. “It’s a dish that really utilizes all the senses because you are able to see the smoke, hear the sizzling of the rice, and smell the different herbs and spices.”

Another crowd pleaser is Osso Bucco Milanese ($16.95), thick tenderloins of beef served atop a bed of rice or spaghetti.

“This dish requires a lot of technical skill, because we have to simmer the meat all night long in a marinade of tomatoes, celery and carrots with the bone marrow,” says Yiu. “We use only grass-fed beef from Maui to keep everything fresh.”

For pasta fans, Kit n Kitchen’s create-your-own-spaghetti menu is an ideal choice, with more than 150 possible variations to choose from, including six types of homemade sauces, and toppings such as shrimp, mixed mushrooms, grilled chicken, bacon and fresh vegetables.

Diners also will appreciate the chef’s personal twist on several classics, including Red Wine Oxtail Stew ($14.95), a lighter take on the traditional version. “We call it a stew, but it’s more of a broth,” says Yiu. “The alcohol from the red wine evaporates during the cooking process, and you’re left with something really flavorful, yet light.”

When Yiu is not busy cooking in the kitchen, one can find her chatting with diners, sharing advice and the personal anecdotes that have led to the shaping of the menu.

“Being that we are in Hawaii, we have customers from all over the world,” she adds. “My aim has always been to embrace diversity with high-quality ingredients for a reasonable price.”

Kit n Kitchen’s Pearl City location now offers breakfast every Saturday and Sunday from 8 to 11 a.m. Each breakfast item comes with a free serving of pancakes.

Kit n Kitchen

1010 University Ave.
Open daily, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-midnight

1029 Makolu St.
Open daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Pearl City, HI 96782

Honolulu, HI 96826

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