Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Scratch KitchenRestaurant Insider
July 12, 2020
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: Scratch Kitchen
ANNE LEE speaks with Scratch Kitchen executive chef BRANDON MEZURASHI
Scratch Kitchen at South Shore Market is open for dine-in service, featuring new items, as well as classic favorites for returnees. Executive chef Brandon Mezurashi shares what’s good on the menu and the restaurant’s limited-time specialty dish for Dining Out readers.
AL: What type of cuisine does Scratch bring to Hawaii’s food scene?
BM:Modern Southern comfort food with local flair, and everything is made from scratch, hence our name. We take comfort food favorites and give it a new twist, making delicious cuisine for every palate, young to old, vegan to carnivore, we have something for everyone.
AL: What is your bestselling item?
BM: We are known for our Spicy Southern Fried Chicken N’ Waffle, which sells for $18. You get a generous portion of spicy Southern fried chicken on top of a crispy, chewy waffle, with greens, jalapeños, pickled onions and spicy chili glaze. You can also add two eggs for an additional $2. Our famous Milk N’ Cereal Pancakes ($14) are another fan favorite. This item has been on the menu since the beginning. You get a stack of fluffy pancakes, topped with slices of fresh bananas, strawberries and served with our famous milk syrup and plenty of fruity cereal. We have a new vegan dish, called the Pretty Boy Wrap, created by one of our sous chefs, Anthony. This consists of heart of palm, pico de gallo, tempura black beans and onions, avocado, mixed greens, bean sprouts, eggplant and mayo wrapped in a spinach tortilla, three chili salsa, and choice of house fries or salad. This is $16.
AL: What are the vegan options?
BM: The Pretty Boy Wrap is a new vegan option, and most of our salads can be modified to a vegetarian/vegan option.
AL: Scratch is also known for its cocktails. What do you recommend?
BM: We have a mixologist in house, Jay, that creates most of the drinks. Our classic Kim Chee Bloody Mary ($13) is made with Tito’s vodka, our secret Scratch kim chee mix, gochugaru salt and pickled daikon (we pickle this daikon in-house!). The Traveling Plum Lilikoi Margarita ($11) is made with Jose Cuervo tequila, sweet and sour, and topped with li hing mui. (See breakout box for recipe.) For the Applewood Bacon Old Fashioned Bourbon ($12), we marinate the bacon in the bourbon for 24 hours, mix with orange bitters, maple syrup and an orange twist, and top with a slice of the applewood bacon. We also have a good wine list with white, red, rosé, sparkling varieties, as well as sake and a good mix of beer options.
AL: You also carry Lemon Supply fresh-squeezed lemonades. Can you tell me more about this refreshing drink?
BM: Lemon Supply is a refreshing lemonade that is offered in many different flavors. Each lemonade is made from fresh lemons from local farmers. Our owner had a location in Shirokiya Japan Village Walk, but due to COVID-19, they had to close until further notice. So, now five flavors are available to our guests at Scratch Kitchen: the original flavor, Yuzu, Basil, Li Hing (can be shaken or blended) or Pinky Raspberry (can be blended). You can order by cup ($5) or in a collectible mason jar ($12). Mason jar refills are also available for $5.
AL: What measures have you implemented to ensure the safety of your guests?
BM: We have separated our tables 6 feet apart, our kitchen staff is downsized, and they keep face coverings on. We have handwashing stations in the back for our staff, as well as hand sanitizing stations all over the restaurant. When guests and employees come in, we take their temperature, and all the staff on the floor wear gloves and masks at all times.
AL: Anything else you want to share?
BM: Once or twice a month, we add a new special and see the response of the guests. For right now, we are focusing on the menu staples to elevate and make it consistent. We offer live music every Friday outside on our patio from 5 to 7 p.m., not only for our guests but also for the community. We see families sit in the park and enjoying the music. We had to close due to the pandemic, but little by little we see more familiar faces coming in to the dining room. As guests feel more comfortable and safe, we are getting more people coming in. We are open for in-room dining, but we are also offering takeout options through Grubhub, DoorDash, or Bite Squad. You can also order online at scratch-hawaii.com. The South Shore Market parking lot has designated stalls that are reserved for guests that want to pick up takeout. Reservations are accepted through OpenTable and on our website Monday-Friday only, Saturday and Sunday brunch, no reservations accepted. We also have a special promotion. Monday-Thursday, if you order the Teppan Ganule Rice entrée for $12, we will add 10-ounce fried pork chop for free when you mention Dining Out. This expires July 23.
Traveling Plum Lilikoi Margarita
• 1 1/2 ounces tequila
• 3 ounces sweet and sour
• 1 teaspoon lilikoi
• 1 teaspoon li hing mui
Rim glass with li hing mui. Shake. Pour over ice and garnish with a lime wheel.