Saturday, October 19, 2013

Kau Kau Hawaiian Kitchen カウカウハワイアンキッチン 022-796-2556


Address:  仙台市青葉区一番町2-7-3日泉ビル2F.   Located on Ichibancho between Aoba-dori and Minamimachi-dori, closer to the latter.
Map:  Scroll down below.
Lunchtime is from 11 am to 1:30 pm, but open till 4:30 pm, and reopened from 6:30 pm till 10 pm.
Today, while heading down Ichibancho to a tried and true meal at CoCo’s Curry, I stumbled upon a new scene, a Hawaiian scene.  What caught my eye was the tantalizing egg, bacon, and pancake set advertised on their outside blackboard.  
Could this be true?  An American-style breakfast?  
I had to forgo my original plan and divert my grumbling stomach to the second floor of the 日泉Building where I found Kau Kau at the end of the hallway.
I’ve never traveled to Hawaii, so I don’t know what those islanders eat, but according to this restaurant. it’s pancakes!
Upon entering, I found a few Hawaiian leis, palm trees, and two TV monitors displaying sights of Hawaii, as well as the two waitresses wearing Hawaiian shirts making up the motif of this restaurant.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, when you enter any ethnic restaurant in Japan, you pretty much have to be willing to overlook a few (or a lot of) things.  So I considered what was done to create a Hawaiian atmosphere as cute, and decided to focus on the food.  
Maybe I should have stuck to praising the decorations.
Kau Kau offers a number of lunch sets that range from 700 yen to 900 yen (tax not included), which come with a salad, drink, rice or pancakes (some only with rice).  The variety of options include:  hamburger patty, garlic shrimp, SPAM, coconut cheese risotto, アヒアポ丼,and モチコチ chicken, though I have no idea what the Japanese means on the last two selections.
Although the hamburger patty and chicken lunch options did look tempting, I stayed true to course and went with the sunny-side up egg, bacon, and pancake set  (800 yen + tax) from their regular menu.
After ordering, I was directed to help myself to some salad, which I thought was a nice service.  There were two big fish-shaped wooden bowls filled with loads of iceberg lettuce (the cheap stuff) with an eensy-weensy bit of color in it, perhaps a shaving of carrots or red cabbage.  But I was starving and so I loaded up my plate.  The dressing was tangy with an unrecognizable, yet pleasing flavor.  Next to the dressing was a big bottle of Heinz 57 Ketchup.  Do Hawaiians put ketchup on their salads?
While waiting, little by little the restaurant started filling up.  I noticed when a plate of banana-chocolate pancakes was brought to a table nearby.  I didn’t want to stare but, at a glance, the two pancakes appeared to be quite big and topped off with a volcano of whipped cream, yet the platter also seemed to be lacking in the banana and chocolate portions. 
When my meal arrived, I immediately started fussing with my camera to take photos for this post.  Apparently, that was time well wasted as a couple of minutes later the first forkful that entered my mouth with lukewarm egg and bacon told me I should have gone with the first shot and then dove into the food.


Hot breakfast food should be served very warm, not lukewarm, as it was in this case.  Luckily, the pancakes (actually, two halves of one big pancake) were served pippin' warm.   
Surprisingly, I was not given any syrup!  I don’t know if this was an oversight, but when I asked for it they didn’t apologize for not giving it to me originally.
Other than the serving temperature of the egg, I had no problem with it.  The bacon was Canadian bacon, limp yet tasty (no offense, Canadians) and not the traditional, crispy bacon served in America.
The pancakes were good, but not great.  Nothing wrong with them, but my local IHOP back in the States is much better.  In Sendai, more flavorful flapjacks can be found at Mitsubachi 38.
My platter also came with a salad that included a few more slivers of carrots and red cabbage, which made me wonder why they offer a free salad to begin with.
Kau Kau also provides a number of alcoholic and fluit (sic) beverages, if you so desire.  I also noticed Eggs Benedict at the bottom of the menu; a first in Japan.
Overall, this is not a bad meal; it’s just not a great one.  I’m tempted to return to try the hamburger patty and the chicken.  If you’re in the area and looking for something different, I think you should try Kau Kau and see for yourself.

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Michael Jones said...

Limp yet tasty.
That's what she said.

Picky in Sendai said...

Is that Canadian humour?

Anonymous said...

That place sucks! I will never go there again. I went there with a group of people and we all didn't like any food they served us. I wonder why they are still in business. One of the worst restaurants I'd ever eaten at. And they are pricey too. Waste of money and time.

Picky in Sendai said...

Anonymous, thank you for your critique.
I didn't want to write a bad review, since I am very picky and sometimes feel that it's MY pickiness that creates a negative opinion in my mind of the food.
But if you and your group didn't like the restaurant, then perhaps your assessment is accurate.
Might I suggest Mitsubachi 38 for pancakes?
And thank you for reading!