Mega MocoStep Up to the Plate
October 20, 2019
Story By: Don Robbins | Photos by: File photo
A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: HAPA MOCO ($10.75)
You can taste the love that goes into the delicious local comfort food served at Cafe Kalawe, a family owned and operated restaurant cozily nestled into the Kaneohe community on Kawa Street.
Raymond Kalawe and his wife, Nani, opened the business in January 2018, and their whole ohana pitches in to make the eatery a success. The couple has six daughters, nine granddaughters and sons in law that help run the cafe.
“That’s the workforce that we have,” Raymond shares.
He explains that the family felt that momand-pop family-style restaurants were diminishing across Hawaii and they wanted to turn that trend around.
Kalawe adds that all the food at the cafe inside the Territorial Savings Bank building is cooked from scratch daily and as ordered by the customers.
“We wanted to offer that to the community,” Kalawe emphasizes. “We wanted to bring mom-and-pop back.”
Guests give the restaurant high marks for its comforting hearty Saimin, BBQ Beef Sticks and much more.
Cafe Kalawe has many signature dishes that customers clamor for, such as the Koolaupoko Sandwich. This mouthwatering meal that you can eat with your hands is enveloped in toasted Punaluu sweetbread. It includes cheese, a fried egg, your pick of bacon, ham, a pork sausage patty, Spam or turkey bacon.
Another popular item in the eatery is the Kapoho Moco — crafted using a pair of homemade corned beef hash patties, gravy and eggs served up on a bed of rice to soak up all that appetizing flavor.
Kalawe shares that the restaurant’s flavor-packed Hapa Moco features one corned beef patty and one hamburger patty.
“That can only be found in our restaurant. No other establishment has anything similar or close to that,” he adds.
RICE IS NICE
The Hapa Moco is served on a bed of rice, and guests can order either white, brown, fried, kimchi, or lap cheong fried rice.
SHRED AND FED
Mouthwatering corned beef and baked potatoes are shredded and mixed together with salt, pepper and spices to create one of the patties in this hearty menu item.
The Hapa Moco gets bathed in flavorful, homemade brown gravy that serves as the perfect topping for all the other ingredients in this delicious bowl of goodness.
An integral part of this delicious dish is the two any-style eggs that customers can order as they please.