Kit n Fixins’

Columns Veg'n Out

March 23, 2014

Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

I have the fondest childhood memories of Sunday afternoons in the South. Every “Lawd’s day” you would find me, my sisters, every female cousin and my mother all huddled in Nana’s kitchen — intently observing every move she made in hopes that we could one day emulate her culinary magic. And boy did you have to pay attention, because there’s a sneaky secret about Southern women — they “nev-ah, no ne-vah use recipes!”

From a “dash” of salt and a “tad” of turmeric, to just a “smidgeon” of sugar and a “pinch” of pepper, imagine the agony of trying to crack that culinary code! This gaggle of girls was no better than ten chickens running around with their heads cut off in a barnyard at midnight. But, “By gosh,” said Nana, “the only way to learn is to do.” And we did, painstakingly perusing every move she made — yet somehow still to this day, it always tastes better when Nana makes it.

No stranger to such hands-on instruction is Kit Yiu, owner and chef of Kit n Kitchen, a local restaurant earning rave reviews for its eclectic array of menu items featuring European fare with a side of Asian flair. Yiu started out as a waiter in an Italian Japanese restaurant before striking up a unique friendship with its chef. This camaraderie quickly turned into an apprenticeship of sorts, transporting Yiu from the front of house to the bustling back kitchen and igniting a culinary love affair within Yiu’s heart that has burned bright and steady ever since.

“The chef kind of tricked me,” chuckles Yiu. “It was very busy one day and I was asked to help out in the kitchen — and never left!”

Part of what Yiu loves so much about cooking and the restaurant business in general is that, “there are so many inventive ways to create food and different menus.” This mind-set shows when one marvels at the kaleidoscope of cuisine offered on Kit n Kitchen’s own. It’s impressive to say the least. Take a look at two of its tempting dishes this week:

• Mix Mushroom Spinach Spaghetti ($12.95): An anti-oxidant and nutrient-rich powerhouse, this dish features a mountain of mouth-watering spaghetti paired with simmered spinach and a smattering of shiitake, enoki and button mushrooms — all tossed in a light and zesty garlic oil.

• Vegetarian Pizza ($10.95): It’s all about you when it comes to this create-your-own 9-inch, hand-rolled, thin crust pizza. Pick a sauce base with cheese and any three or four toppings, and you have a personalized pizza perfect for your unique tastes. Featured here is an Italian pie with tomato base and bell pepper, mushroom, olives and tomato perched atop.

From breakfast Belgian Waffles to noontime soups and salads, and evenings packed with pasta delights, Kit n Kitchen has a little bit to offer everyone. So, in Southern speak, one could say this eatery offers “Everythang but the Kit n sink.”

Contact Andy Beth Miller at diningout@staradvertiser.com

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 am.-10 pm.

Pearl City, HI 96782

Honolulu, HI 96826

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best