A true taste of HawaiiA La Carte
May 26, 2019
Story By: Caroline Wright |
The beautiful motto of Waiahole Poi Factory, “Hanai ike ai hanai ike aloha,” roughly translates as, “To nourish with food, to nourish with love.”
A visit to this humble place is an unforgettable experience. Located at the corner of Kamehameha Highway and Waiahole Valley Road, it’s a restaurant whose breathtaking view seasons every bite of its authentic homemade Hawaiian cuisine.
Poi is pounded by hand here every day, rain or shine, using traditional tools and techniques, and it’s available by the pound, or as a side with plate lunches. “The most popular is our classic Laulau Kalua Pig Combo Plate ($12),” says owner Liko Hoe. “All our full plates come with lomi salmon and haupia, and your choice of rice or poi.”
For a broader sampling of Hawaiian food, try the Kanaka Nui Plate ($18). “It includes a bit of everything: laulau, kalua pig, chicken long rice, lomi salmon, haupia, and rice or poi, and a choice of either beef or squid luau,” says Hoe.
Add some greens to your plate with Ho‘io Salad ($3). Made with fern shoots harvested daily on the restaurant’s own farm, they’re blanched gently and dressed with tangy vinegar shoyu. “They have a nice crunchiness, almost like asparagus,” says Hoe.
And don’t miss the Sweet Lady of Waiahole ($4.50 for scoop; $6 for two scoops), made with warm kulolo and haupia ice cream. “Kulolo is almost like mochi,” explains Hoe. “It has a caramelized, well-cooked sugar flavor. That’s one a lot of people will travel for!”