Hold on a minute. We can’t start this special review without THE requisite intro’…
That said (and hopefully you watched while tapping your fingers to the catchy beat), if you’re a Hawaii Five-0 reboot fan, you probably recognize that man’s face. Yes, that’s Taylor “Big T” Wily, known on the show as “Kamekona”, who recently started a real-life Shrimp Truck business. How cool is that?! Ah yes, life imitating art at its finest.
Getting into some background here, “Kamekona” has a role in the new Hawaii Five-0 CBS TV series as a “stereotypical” local boy, who acts as an informant to Five-0 police commander Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Laughlin) and his trusty yet “issue-ridden” partner, HPD detective “Danno” (Scott Caan). All the while ever expanding his entrepreneurial endeavors, going from a small shave ice cart at Waikiki beach, to now running a helicopter tour company, which as he says, “Hint: Hawaii’s biggest industry isn’t shrimp”. lol
In real life, Taylor “Big T” Wily is a supah cool braddah, just like how he appears on the show.
Big T’s Shrimp Truck opened about two months ago in front of Hilo Hattie on Nimitz Highway. FYI, Hilo Hattie is a store that specializes in Aloha wear and various other made in Hawaii products. Which makes it a good fit for Big T’s Shrimp Truck, as lots of tourists from the mainland who watch Hawaii Five-0 regularly visit this store, and once they see the massive image of “Kamekona” and tag lines “Shrimp Truck, Shave Ice & Aloha” emblazoned on the side of this lunch truck, they go nuts!
Getting right to it, let’s check out Big T’s Shrimp Truck menu…
The man in the truck’s kitchen is Chef Wil, who upon talking with, sounds absolutely passionate about every single shrimp plate that gets served. And naturally, he wants to expand the menu beyond garlic shrimp and rice, with simple, yet enticing ideas such as shrimp chowder in a bread bowl and more. Sounds great! I told him to have King’s Bakery make Portuguese Sweet Bread soup bowls with Big T’s face embossed on the top, which I think would look super cool, and would totally sell the “Big T” brand in an edible way!
Let’s check out some of the shrimp plates, starting with Big T’s Butter & Garlic regular plate…
The sauteed butter ‘n garlic shrimp are farm raised on Kauai (Costco sells them), while underneath that is a generous portion of cole slaw, 2 scoops rice and a local orange slice.
Oh, yeah, that Shrimp Scampi’s got my name all over it, which is what I ordered…
Let’s try da’ Scampi…
Brah. Whoah Brah. Cuz’n braddah. Braddah Cuz. Whoah bully, MEAN! Mean, da’ Shrimp Scampi, bull, MEAN!
Seriously, WOW! That Scampi sauce is to DIE FOR! Braddah Wil, you nailed this! Chef Wil said his Shrimp Scampi sauce is the basic formulation of butter, white wine, garlic and Parmesan Cheese, plus of course a dash here and there of his “secret ingrediments”. Dude, I could like just as well pour this Scampi sauce into my bathtub and soak in it, it’s THAT ONO!
Let’s try da’ Cole Slaw…
Perfect, pretty much back-to-basics ‘Slaw, with the cabbage and carrots cut just right, having a nice balance of mayo’, vinegar and sugar (or whatever Chef Wil uses to that formula), along with the ever-important dash of fresh-cracked black.
Plus he drizzles the remnants of that prepared-to-order, AMAZING Shrimp Scampi sauce on da’ scoops of perfectly cooked white rice as well. Pro, baby, pro!
$12 may seem a bit steep for a daily plate lunch, however that’s the going rate at most shrimp trucks on the North Shore of Oahu, where the genre earned its popularity. Plus, keep in mind Kauai shrimp aren’t exactly cheap, running about $10/pound in Costco. And oh, I forgot to say, them Kauai shrimp are SU-weet! Oh man are they sweet, and so tender and flavorful. I swear, we’re so lucky in Hawaii to have such great locally-farmed seafood such as Kauai Shrimp, amongst more.
Getting back to the man of my dreams (LOL!), along with his Hawaii Five-0 show’s famous Shave Ice, Big T’s Shrimp Truck also sells “Big T-Shirts” in various designs. Here’s the entire selection…
Summing it up, Big T’s Shrimp Truck puts out Shrimp plates as good if not better than those on the North Shore, all the while being conveniently located near downtown Honolulu. And you may be able to meet Taylor “Big T” Wily, a.k.a. Hawaii Five-O’s “Kemokona” at his new lunch truck, as he visits it at least once or twice a week to check-up. And don’t be shy about saying hello to him, as he’s a supah’ cool, down-to-earth “Eh, howzit” kinda’ guy. Oh, and yes, the truck sells “Kamekona style” Shave Ice, too.
Big T’s Shrimp Truck
700 Nimitz Hwy (@ Hilo Hattie, across the street from Zippy’s and City Mill)
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
BIG T’S SHRIMP TRUCK IS NO LONGER IN BUSINESS
~ Updated 1.2016
The Tasty Island rating:
(5) Superb. Worthy of repeat visits or purchases. (Broke Da’ Mout’!)
• Big T’s Shrimp Truck – Yelp user reviews
• Aloha! Hawaii Five-0 Brings Shrimp, Success to Local Taylor Wily – TV Guide
• Hawaii shrimp trucks don’t go easy on competition (or garlic) – Pacific Business News
• Hawaii Five-0 – CBS.com/Hawaii Five-0
The Tasty Island related links:
• Waiola Shave Ice at Ala Moana Beach Park?
• A Catered Luncheon by Burgers on the Edge (scroll to end of post)
• Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Co.
• Perfect Day for Waiola Shave Ice
• Little Village Noodle House (scroll to end of post)