Giving Jai A Try

A La Carte Columns

December 15, 2015

Story By: Yu Shing Ting |

Lemon Grass  Tofu Cold Noodle ($10.25) Nathalie Walker photo

Lemon Grass Tofu Cold Noodle ($10.25) Nathalie Walker photo

At Fairwood Drive Inn, you’ll find a large menu of Canton-style Chinese dishes and local favorites, as well as a contemporary cafe inside serving pho and Vietnamese food. The locally owned restaurant has been open for about two decades, but relocated from Keeaumoku Street to Kaimuki four years ago.

Conveniently situated at Kaimuki Shopping Center (with Times and Longs Drugs), Fairwood Drive Inn boasts free parking and a fast-food, takeout counter with seating inside. There also is Pho27 Cafe, a dine-in eatery that takes up the back half of the restaurant.

For the holiday season and continuing through Chinese New Year (Feb. 8, 2016), Fairwood Drive Inn is offering vegetarian-favorite Jai ($9.25 with rice). It features black mushroom, snow peas, fungus, carrots, Chinese cabbage, bean curd, long rice, lily flower and tofu, not to mention tasty homemade bean curd and ginger sauce.

Owner and chef Tiffany Ko notes that Jai is not an easy dish to make, but she serves it because many Chinese patrons like to eat it to purify themselves with vegetables for a fresh, clean start in the new year.

Some other popular menu items are Beef Chow Funn and Singapore Noodles.


Lemon Grass Tofu Cold Noodle ($10.25) is a vegetarian creation offered year-round. It’s layered with bean sprouts and green leaf on the bottom, cold rice noodles in the middle, and basil, pickled carrots, cucumbers and tofu stir-fried with lemon grass, onions, bell peppers, peanuts, dried fried onions and yellow ginger on top. Since the Lemon Grass Chicken plate is one of the most popular dishes, Ko wanted to create a vegetarian version for those who prefer to not eat meat.

Fairwood Drive Inn

3221 Waialae Ave. Ste. 21, Kaimuki
Daily, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96816

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Hawaii's Best