Restaurant Duo Leaves Diners HappyFeatures Inside Feature
March 22, 2016
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
Fairwood Drive Inn, which draws inspiration for its name from the Chinese word for “happy,” and its in-house sister restaurant Pho 27 Cafe serve up a host of tasty options as diners arrive hungry and leave with smiles on their faces.
Conveniently located on Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki Shopping Center, patrons have the option of picking up a quick meal to go at Fair-wood Drive Inn’s speedy-service counter, or sitting down with family and friends in the inviting Pho 27 Cafe dining room. The joint restaurant space is situated just minutes away from University of Hawaii, Chaminade University, Saint Louis School and Sacred Hearts Academy, and the dining haven has gained popularity among students, educators and nearby residents.
“Customers are able to come in and order everything from Vietnamese food to Hong Kong-style choices and local dishes,” says Tiffany Ko, the owner who brings two decades of experience to the table after initially operating Fairwood Drive Inn on Keeaumoku Street. “There are also those who have to go back to work quickly or take home meals for their family, so we came up with the idea of offering both sit-down and takeout dining. It’s really convenient for our customers so they keep coming back.”
Fairwood Drive Inn has lived up to its reputation for offering local-style comfort food and Chinese-influenced plates, including Crispy Gau Gee Mein ($9.50). The dish features a hearty portion of flavorful noodles topped with fresh vegetables, shrimp and large gau gee.
“It’s a big menu and customers are presented with a lot of choices,” Ko explains with a smile. “Sometimes, families come in and they all want to eat different things. We offer many choices so everyone is happy, and we make sure that the quality is good.”
Pho 27 Cafe also has a full menu from which to choose, and offers enticing “sizzling platters” options such as Chicken Steak ($10.95), which is accompanied by french fries, broccoli, tomato and a choice of onion, tomato or black pepper sauce.
Diners also flock to Pho 27 Cafe for its vast assortment of soup creations, including inside scoops for Dining Out readers that aren’t on the regular menu. Ko recommends Pig Feet Pho ($9.95) and Oxtail Pho ($14.50), the latter of which includes a large portion of oxtail, carrots, peanuts, black mushrooms and Chinese cabbage. Both specials can be ordered as soup dishes or with rice, and Ko notes that these and other entrees on both menus are composed of high-quality ingredients to enhance freshness and flavor.
Fairwood Drive Inn & Pho 27 Cafe
Kaimuki Shopping Center
3221 Waialae Ave. Ste. 21, Honolulu
739-6688 or 738-0027
Daily, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.