Tani’s Roast Pork with Mushroom Gravy, $6.00
Surprisingly, although The Tasty Island has been online for just over a year now, the humble, yet oh-so-ono local style lunch wagon grinds hasn’t been covered here yet. Well, we’ll start it off in high gear with Tani’s Lunchwagon!
According to their menu, they were voted #2 in KHNL’s Cheap Eats Lunchwagon battle, so they gotta’ be good!
I ordered the highly recommended Roast Pork with Mushroom Gravy shown above. Excellent choice! Folks, if you remember how delicious the roast pork was at the former Kanda’s “Kewalo” Lunch Wagon, Tani’s does them proud! Fork-tender, very flavorful with that hearty and comforting brown mushroom gravy. The gravy itself has just the right thickness to adhere and coat the tender slices of pork, and salted just right – something that can often be a hit-or-miss. This they nailed.
Fork-tender roast pork… doesn’t get any better than this.
Luckily, my friend doesn’t eat onions, so he gave me the (very sweet!) sauteed onions from his Teriyaki Hamburger steak plate, which went quite nicely with my roast pork plate.
Teri Hamburger Steak, $6.00
My buddy ordered the Teri Hamburger Steak plate shown above, which was one of their Friday specials. The hand-made patties were generous in portion, though not flavored with anything that stood out. They did have a nice char on them. Otherwise, they were mostly dependent on the Teriyaki gravy that covered them, which had a sort of hybrid brown-meets-teri’ zip to it. Again, good viscosity, and not too sweet or salty.
What initially stood out as soon as we opened our plate was how honkin’ HUGE the two scoops of rice were. We’re talkin’ BASEBALL huge. They’re not using the average rice scooper here. They’re obviously out to please the hungry working man. lol I could barely finish just one scoop.
Their macaroni salad was very good. It had this crispness to it, versus the usual creamy type, but otherwise retained that neutrality that we like in mac’ salad. No “5th wheel stuff” like tuna or peas. Just the mac’ and a some grated carrots. Nuff.
Tani’s daily menu includes Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy, Teri Meatloaf, BBQ Chicken, Roast Pork with Mushroom Gravy and Teri Roast Pork.
It gets really interesting with their daily specials, which includes everything from Garlic Mahi with Ginger Soy Cream to Roasted Rosemary Chicken to Kim Chee Fried Rice with Seafood Croquettes. Or how about Baked Macaroni with Sausage & Peppers, Cajun Chicken with Guava BBQ Sauce or Furikake Salmon with Wasabi Aioli. Oh my…must try!
The gourmet influence comes from the son’s side of this mother and son team, where Tyler honed his craft working at Mariposa restaurant (Neiman Marcus Ala Moana) and other fine dining establishments.
According to my lead, Tani’s Lunch Wagon is a big hit with the lunch hour crowd in the industrial Kalihi area. They’re located right in front of Eki Cyclery on Dillingham blvd.. You can’t miss ‘em.
We’ll certainly return to try more daily specials as well as that excellent roast pork!
1603 Dillingham Blvd. (front of Eki Cyclery)
Monday – Friday 11:00am to 1:00pm
Phone orders welcome: 285-5255
Monthly menu available by email request to:
Tasty Island rating: