..It's a journey after all.. : Food and Travel Blog based in Jakarta: Hawaiian Bistro : Native chef serving authentic Hawaiian delicacies

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Hawaiian Bistro : Native chef serving authentic Hawaiian delicacies

Don't you just love that feeling of visiting some place new? The experience of absorbing all the details that lies upon you. That certain "oh, that's so cute; that's so nice" kinda comments you keep to yourself, maybe you share with a friend or two. Or just simple long conversations with someone you just met. Well, all of what I just typed happened to be my private cognizance when I first visited Hawaiian Bistro (the second time as well).

The eyes tell it all..
I really appreciate all the beach decorations, from stacking 15 years old trunks (perfectly straight 15 years old trunks, just imagine how tough it was to find those trunks) as foundations and wall decorations; putting hays on the ceiling (which made it felt like we were actually in a beach house); putting paintings of dancing lei Hawaiian ladies; till hanging the eye-catchy orange lifebuoys. The wooden vintage furniture with a touch of aquatic colors compliments the whole ambiance, which is another plus point!

I first visited the place at 9 p.m on a weekday. I was tired and sleepy but forced myself to keep my Canadian friend a company. The thing was, at night time, the dim warm yellow tone from the lighting really accentuates the coziness of the whole place. If they put a hammock in the middle of the second floor, I would gladly sleep there soundly. 

On my second visit, which I got the chance to talk with one of the owners, Michael, and the chef, I accidentally lost the sense of timing. We talked almost everything about the restaurant, the food especially. Never have I really put any thoughts about Hawaiian food and never have I been so wrong in my life. At first, I thought the menu was Japanese fusion menu (since the native chef is actually a Japanese-born Hawaiian). Let me save you from all the unawareness. Being an archipelago itself, Hawaii has been a melting pot for visitor's customs. That explains the reason of Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese influence in their food. And that is just to name a few. So if you encountered nori in a spam musubi (pictures below), well, that's just how the Hawaiian originally eats it.

Another thing I like and just discovered on that day was how they also included the little details of Hawaiian culture in the plating. They will serve you with two scoops of rice and one scoop of salad per dish which is actually how the Hawaiian usually serve their carbo. They are also very close with the terms of sharing food. Thus, you'll meet a selection of big plates combos of half and half. Meaning, half of chicken, half of pork, half of beef and it's all based upon your freedom to choose. The Ohana (family) nature is definitely embraced, as I shared all the meals with Michael as if we were related. Lol! (besides, I didn't have to capability to finish all the meals he ordered)

Signature 'Kalakua' Ice Tea (32k), at last not another lemon tea. This signature drink has that fresh new kick from the pineapple sorbet. Refreshing for a hot day indeed!~
Spam Musubi (22k). With a touch of teriyaki sauce in the middle. You can say it's the Hawaiian onigiri. 
Makaha Mochiko Chicken (32k). Fried battered chicken smoldered with a balanced sauce of sweet and savory.
Now, this intrigued me. I was aiming for the traditional dish, other than Loco Moco. So, enter Ko'olau Kalau Pork (52k), another traditional Hawaiian dish. The salty shredded pork was full with intense smoky aroma. Conventionally, they cooked it underground for seven hours. Well, since ain't nobody got time for that, the chef cooked this baby for four hours on the stove and VOILA, same thing! Hah!
Half and Half of BBQ chicken and dori katsu with pineapple curry sauce (58k) with green salad. I personally prefer the macaroni salad (happened to forget to take the picture) which has tuna spread in the mayo dressing, yummy. 

The pineapple curry sauce was definitely something new. You can smell the hint of pineapple scent, but a bit weak on the taste.
Coffee Jelly with Kahlua and Vanilla Ice cream (25k). I shamelessly gobbled this to the very last drop, even after all the ice cream has melted, even when the chef was talking to my face, even when my friend kept calling me to pick her up. LOL. The slightly bitter coffee jelly was a perfect match to the vanilla ice cream. "Mix it altogether", ordered Michael when these babies were put on the table. I hesitantly obeyed (I didn't want to demolish its layers), but OH DEAR LORD, NOT A SINGLE REGRET HAVE BEEN GIVEN ON THAT DAY! It was the perfect dessert to end the day. It was actually the chef's creation and has nothing to do with Hawaii, but this is just one of the simplest thing you got to try, just to make yourself smile..
A fresh taste to taste. Every menu that I tried on that day was a new thing to me. It is definitely a rare thing to see a Hawaiian restaurant in Jakarta, right? Since I have never set foot in Hawaii, this restaurant gave me a glimpse of what's happening on that island. To be able to learn, to know and to exchange information about, not just Hawaiian authentic food, but also Hawaiian cultures really fascinates me on our curious nature as humans.

It may looked simple but going back to the very first paragraph of this entry, I guess, we (or at least I) will never stop learning or encountering new things to keep ourselves fascinated.. That's the real deal of living, isn't it?

Hawaiian Bistro
Rukan Garden House St.
Blok A No.25
Jakarta Utara 14470
P : 29033185
website : www.hawaiianbistro.com

P.S: I would recommend you to go for the authentic classic dishes. Challenge yourself to have something new, taste something different! Your choice might fascinates you as they have fascinated me..


  1. Loving the pics! Never tried Hawaiian cuisine before but this one looks like to be worth the try :)

  2. aw aw thanks irene! Nanti pulang jakarta kita makan bareng2 lah..

  3. Such a great compliment from the goddess of food! :) Thanks ya El and let's hangout again sometime :)

    1. Thanks, Mike! You're being too kind.. Biasanya gw malem ke Hawaiian.. hehehehe