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Shrimp Truck Eats: Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Co.

Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Co. Shrimp Truck, with Fisherman’s Warf Restaurant in the background (they’re stillllll there) at Kewalo Basin

If you’ve passed through or by Kewalo Basin lately, you may have noticed this aquatically-themed blue “lunchwagon” parked smack in the center of the parking lot there. Well, obviously not your typical panel truck style lunchwagon, but more like a mini-bus. And not your typical lunchwagon eats either.

What we’re talking here is made-to-order GARLIC SHRIMP, BABY! Brought to you by the good folks from Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Company. Which seems to be one of the hottest trends taking the north shore of Oahu by storm lately, where as you see this post is categorized within its title as a “Shrimp Truck”.

As you also see emblazoned (no pun intended) on a big yellow banner in front, they also feature the other trend taking Oahu in general by storm, the ‘$6 grilled steak plate’. Just when I thought I couldn’t turn my head without seeing another Starbucks on every corner, now I can’t look anywhere without seeing another one of them ‘Blazin’ Steaks’ franchise open up in town to entice the inner-carnivore in me.

Yet of course, as the name ‘Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Co.’ implies, the star of the show here is the Garlic Shrimp, hence the category this eatery-on-wheels falls under: “Shrimp Truck”, made ever-so-popular by a number of operations on the North Shore of Oahu.

“Ladies and gentlemen, step right up, step right up. get your Garlic Shrimp! Get your Garlic Shrimp!” (sounding like an obnoxious salesman shouting out over a megaphone lol) Let’s look at their menu…

Pretty straight forward. Not confusing at all. I like that. More often than not, I find eateries who have a simple, minimal selection on their menu WAY BETTER than the ones who have too much. They know what the they do, and they do it well, as opposed to those who are the “jack of all trades, but masters of none”. Ya’ know?

Speaking of trade, here’s just a peek at the equipment in this mini-bus’ kitchen these guys have to work with…

Gas stoves and grills? Check. Working sink? Check. Industrial-grade stainless steel materials? Check. Waterfront view of Kewalo Basin? Check. Hungry Diner A, E and P about to make an order? Check!!! lol

Getting right to it, Diner E went Surf ‘n Turf, choosing the Steak ‘n Shrimp Combo…

Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Co. – Combo Steak & Shrimp (6 oz./4 pcs.), $9.95

Diner A decided to go “Surf ‘n Surf”, choosing the Fish & Shrimp combo…

Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Co. – Combo Fish & Shrimp, $10.95

Last but not least, yours truly (Diner P) kept it simple yet abundant and chose the 9-piece Jumbo Garlic Shrimp Plate…

Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Co. – 9-piece Jumbo Garlic Shrimp, $9.95

As the menu states in its description, these shrimp are “Lightly breaded in a butter creme sauce”, where you can choose, mild, medium or SPICY HOT. I’m not really sure if “Lightly breaded” was just phrased incorrectly, as I didn’t sense any kind of breading on it. Perhaps they meant “Lightly sauteed in a butter creme sauce”, whatever that may be.

One thing’s for sure: after that recent bowl of Tofu Soup I had from “Korea Joe’s” in Dole Cannery, I wasn’t about to take any chances with ordering this SPICY HOT, and expressly ordered my Garlic Shrimp to be MILD, lest they unleash the “Scoville Demon”. lol

Let’s take a closer look at the shrimp, starting with Diner E’s plate of 4…

and my plate of 9…

As you can see in this next photo, each shrimp tail is deveined (cleaned), with the thin shell still on, requiring you to remove them to eat it…

Size-wise, I’d say they’re in the U21-25 category.

Now you might be asking “how’s their Garlic Butter Creme Sauce?” Good question. Here’s a look at it sitting at the bottom of my plate…

Yeah, I now, that doesn’t look very glamorous on styrofoam, but flavorwise, it’s certainly fit for any white tablecloth setting. Delicious! The sauce has great viscosity (thickness), while having a hint of mild spices I can’t quite put my finger on. Perhaps Old Bay? Somethin’ a little Cajun, but not quite that characteristic. Very subtle. Garlic-wise, it SCREAMS GARLIC. In fact, just driving back to our office, the aroma of our food wafting out of the package had us all lickin’ our lips in anticipation of the Shrimp Fest we were about to partake in. God, I love moments like that!

Blue Water’s shrimp was very fresh-tasting and sauteed in that garlic butter creme sauce to perfect doneness. Very moist and tender, while not being much as far as sweet is concerned. More neutral. The slight thickness of sauce helped it coat each shrimp nicely, permeating every bite with that creamy garlic butter flavor. Simple, yet it doesn’t get any better than that. YUM-OH (in the words of RR). I’m now a Blue Water Shrimp fan for sure.

Here’s Diner A’s Mahimahi that was part of his Fish ‘n Shrimp Combo…

It looks like some sort of salsa was added on it, to which Diner A noted otherwise tasted as though was seasoned with simple salt and pepper. He said it was cooked to moist and tender perfection. Still, just looking at it, I’d wish it has some grill marks on it for added flavor. Based on how this looks, my guess it they work with a flattop, not an open fire gas grill. What I would have asked is that they cook my fish in the same garlic butter creme sauce as the shrimp. In fact, just saute it all together – fish ‘n shrimp ‘n garlic butter creme sauce – to keep it simple. Next time I’ll order that.

Speaking of grill, here’s a closer look at Diner E’s steak…

Looks cooked to perfectly-done medium-rare. Diggin’ the sauteed onions mixed in there. Nice touch!

Diner E shared some with me. Let’s have a bite…

Surprisingly very tender considering how lean it tasted. Certainly no Ribeye, but more like sirloin. I thought it could have used more seasoning though. Out of the box it was a bit under salted and peppered. Of course, some A1 on the side and I would have been very happy camper. That aside, Diner E really enjoyed his entire plate, saying he’d go back again for more.

The Furikake on the rice was a nice touch, as well as how they placed the rice in separate locations on the plate. Rather unique.

The tossed green salad (sorry Mac’ Sal’ fans, none here) was very fresh, albeit basic, with two dressings to choose: Ranch or Italian. We all opted for Italian. The entirety of it tasted store-bought (probably from Costco or Sam’s), which is fine. It works.

Of course garlic shrimp is a very easy thing to make at home. All you need is a hot wok or pan, some shrimp, garlic, butter, creme and/or wine, plus a few of your favorite spices and you’ve got yourself a mighty tasty (<—nice adjective!) meal.

Yet, unless you live near the ocean, it can’t compare to the feeling of ambiance in getting your Garlic Shrimp groove on from a Shrimp Truck parked near your favorite surf spot, as it is at Blue Water Shrimp at Kewalo Basin…

You’ll also notice there’s another “lunchwagon” (actually a converted passenger van) right (actually on the left) next to Blue Water Shrimp…

Come to find out, these folks are also owned by Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Company. As the banner states, their specialty is plate lunches. Here’s the menu…

Wow, those prices are GREAT! $3.95 for a Loco Moco? Nah, I’ll pass. I’d rather walk across the street to the Pineapple Room in Ala Moana Center and get (essentially) the same thing for $18. Yeah, right! lol

According to the gal serving us, Blue Water Shrimp operates 14 wagons across Oahu, plus one stationary kiosk located in the International Market Place in Waikiki. With that, until I get off my lazy weekend okole and drive to the north shore to sample the likes of Giovanni’s, Macky’s and Fumi’s, the Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Company’s “Shrimp Truck”, located conveniently within just minutes of my home and workplace in the parking lot at Kewalo Basin is absolutely GREAT with me. I’m a fan!

Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Co.

Kewalo Basin

Honolulu, Hawaii (located across Ward Warehouse, near Ala Moana Shopping Center and beach park)

The Tasty Island rating:

(3) Very Good. Considerable of another visit or purchase. (Supah’ Ono!)

Related links:

Shrimp Trekkin’ on Oahu – Metromix

Honolulu Shrimp Trucks – Yelp user reviews


8 thoughts on “Shrimp Truck Eats: Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Co.

  • September 5, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Pomai, another good deal. People can enjoy fine food at take out fast food price. Low overhead is the way to go now days for many businesses. People can take it home and place on nice plates to feel like dining in fine restaurants. Too bad yet to find a place that serve crab at takeout price still.

  • September 5, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Pomai, this is good entry of how lunch truck food have change. I readed on internet that Ting Yin Chop Suey had a lawsuit in Chun vs Lee. maybe reason restaurant folded. Which is stange for Hawaii Chinese Chamber of Commerce still have Ting Yin Chop Suey still listed on their 2009 map for tour of Chinatown. Thanks for trying to look it up.

  • September 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Betty, lunchwagons are becoming more and more scarce in the urban Honolulu area, yet there are still a few around if you know where to look. I hear Campbell Industrial Park is still SPRAWLING with lunchwagons. As for Ting Ying Chop Suey, I’ll ask fellow food blogger Nate the “HWN Pake” about them. He would know for sure.

    Amy, I read where Blue Water Shrimp also offers clams at the Waikiki location. Not sure about crab, although it would make sense.

  • September 24, 2009 at 6:55 am

    wow, I am supposed to be coming out to Hawaii for the 1st time this winter and better yet I’ll be there for a couple weeks. I cant wait to get at these shrimp trucks and lunch plates along with everything else. Ill be using your wonderful site as my resource. Always checking in, thanks for the tips. Titus.

  • March 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I noticed a Blue Water truck in Waikiki when my wife and I were there in 2010, but never tried it. Maybe we should in three weeks when we’re there again. We did go to Kahuku though and did a taste-off between Giovanni’s and Fumi’s, comparing two kinds of shrimp: garlic and spicy. Fumi’s was our favorite, primarily because their spicy is so much better than G’s. The garlic was a draw. We like Fumi’s because it’s much less crowded than Giovanni’s and it has a nice area to sit down. We have not tried Macky’s.


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