Chinatown Eats: Krazy Kitchen

Diner E heard about Krazy Kitchen from his wife, where her office frequently orders lunch from, being the prices are very reasonable, portions are good, and most importantly, da’ grindz are winnahz!

So we recently started ordering from there, being they offer FREE delivery with any order of $50 or more. Which helps, being our office is nearby, yet outside of reasonable walking distance to Maunakea Street in Honolulu’s Chinatown district, where Krazy Kitchen is located.

Keep in mind, just because it’s in Chinatown, doesn’t mean this is Chinese food, because it’s not. It’s “mix plate” local ‘kine grindz all the way, run by the Shiroma family (Uchinanchu), who also operates Krazy Karoake in Aiea.

Without further ado, let’s spock da’ menu….

Getting right to business, first up to bat is a Hamburger Steak & Shoyu Chicken combo plate…

Mac Salad served separately in a cup is a nice touch, especially handy for reheating the leftovers. Other than that, you know how I feel about these white styrofoam takeout containers.


“Money Shot”!!!…

Must be supah’ ono, as Diner A polished his plate!…

Next up to bat, Krazy Kitchen’s Beef Stew…

And? Diner SZ said it was pretty good, however it was too “tomato-ee”, with an acidic twang to it. Which seems odd, considering how brown the stew gravy appears. But if that’s how it tasted to her, then hey, I’m not gonna’ argue. I definitely would have liked to see more carrots and celery in there, as you can see it’s mostly huge chunks of beef and potato, with some carrots underneath this cover shot. Overall, it was just OK to her, giving it about a 2 SPAM Musubi rating.

If there was only one complaint Diner E had with his initial run of the Shoyu Chicken and Hamburger Steak combo plate, which both he and Diner A both overall raved about, was the Mac’ Salad. There was just too much going on, and I’m on the same boat as he is in that regard. We both are from the “KISS” concept when it comes to Mac Salad, being LESS is MORE. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Green Peas? NO, PLEASE! So as a bit of constructive criticism to the folks at KRAZY KITCHEN, please see this recipe.

Another one of our staff ordered Krazy Kitchen’s mini Shoyu Chicken…

While another ordered their Hamburger Steak…

And a Hamburger Steak mini…

Brah, Krazy Kitchen even wen stay get SPAM Musubi…

Then we have Diner E’s Krazy Kitchen Bento…

Yep. $8.50 gets you a Krazy ‘kine bento, loaded with Teriyaki-glazed Hot Dog, Hamburger, Corned Beef Hash and Shoyu Chicken ovah’ rice, with one slice Takuwan, plus even one “make laddat” green garnish… no can go wrong!

Summing it up, Diner E gives Krazy Kitchen’s Bento 3 SPAM Musubi, which to you and I would be 4 SPAM Musubi (oishii yo’!).

Rounding out this Krazy Kitchen “session”, we have Krazy Kitchen’s Pauhana Aloha Friday Hawaiian Plate…

That’s Diner T’s Hawaiian Plate. Here’s mine…

So what stay get on top Krazy Kitchen’s Pauhana Aloha Friday Hawaiian Plate? While you folks who know, know. For those who don’t, on the left outside of the container, that white stuff is Haupia, a coconut-flavored dessert. Below that is Poi, made from mashed Hawaiian wetland Taro. And below that is Chicken Long Rice. Within the plate, on the top left is Lomi Salmon, the top right is Kalua Pig (pork), the bottom left is Laulau, finished by the bottom right is Pipikaula, a Hawaiian style salt-cured meat, similar to beef jerky, yet not THAT cured. I’ll explain more in detail shortly.

First of all, Krazy Kitchen’s plate including everything you see here is a relatively thrifty $11.99. Which for sure if you were to order this same spread at Helena’s, Ono’s or Young’s, it would EASILY set you back $17 to $20, especially considering there’s Chicken Long Rice AND Pipikaula on this spread, which are items that are usually either part or NOT part of the combo options at said restaurants.

So let’s put the microscope on each dish, starting with the Lau Lau, split in half for the “money shot” of course…

Tender, generous amount of pork meat? Check. Cube of gelatinous pork fat? Check. Butterfish (Black Cod)? Check! Many many layers of tender, thoroughly steamed Taro Leaves? Check!!! Hawaiian Salt-seasoned perfectly? CHECK!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you say there was Butterfish in Krazy Kitchen’s Lau Lau? Well YES there is!…

And did you say there was HEAPS of thoroughly steamed, perfectly Hawaiian Salt-seasoned Taro Leaves, along with a nice chunk of MELTED pork fat in it? Well YES there is!!!!…

You want perfectly tender ‘n Hawaiian Salt-seasoned Luau leaves in THICK layers? You got it!…

My version of the “Hawaiian Cigar”…

Like one hit? LOL!!!!

Next, we move on to the Kalua Pig..

What’s interesting is, it appears very dry looking, however, when you taste it, it’s moist! Best of all, it’s supah’ smokey, so they didn’t hold back on the Liquid Smoke, which I’m pretty sure is what they used to roast this Kalua Pig in an oven, not Imu (underground “oven”). It KINDA’ tasted like they wrapped it with Ti Leaves, although I’m not certain on that. Anyways, Krazy Kitchen’s Kalua PIg is most definitely a tasty, smokey, tender ‘n juicy WIN!

Next up, da’ Pipikaula…

Pipikaula is essentially Hawaiian style cured beef, originating from way back in the old Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) days. While I’m used to Pipikaula being nothing but beef cured with Salt, this is that with an asian twist, or more like Japanese twist, as it’s essentially a semi Teriyaki beef jerky, and that’s all you need to know. With that, OISHII! It’s kinda’ tough in a GREAT WAY, giving you that MEATINESS you want. While flavor-wise, very salty, again in a good way, with VERY Teriyaki-like flavor profile. Certainly not Pipikaula in its most traditional sense, but still, WINNAHZ!

Next up, let’s sample da’ Lomi Salmon…

Money! Definitely Lomi SALMON, with reasonably proportionate balance of salted salmon cube-to-tomato and onion ratio… because ain’t be havin’ no “Lomi Tomato”, honey! LOL!!!!!

Next up, Chicken Long Rice…

What’s interesting is, Diner E read a Yelper’s comment that their Chicken Long Rice’ broth tasted like Saimin broth. And I have to agree, there’s definitely Hon Dashi in there.

While I didn’t read that Yelper’s review myself, while he or she said they didn’t care for Krazy Kitchen’s Chicken Long Rice because of that dashi flavor mixed in it, I actually kinda’ liked it. I mean, it wasn’t overpowering, but just an undertone of dashi. I think it could definitely use more ginger. Other than that, the clear ‘n slippery long rice noodles were cooked perfectly al dente, while there was three generous pieces of shredded chicken meat in it. Overall, thumbs up on the Chicken Long Rice! Lose the dashi and add more ginger and you’d be in it to win it!

Next up, let’s finger the Poi…

Oh, that is SO not 1-finger Poi. Nor is it 2-finger Poi.

More like 10-finger Poi, as in, you’d need both hands to cup this poi, it’s that thinned out. Yet you know what? At just $12 for all this ono ‘kine Hawaiian food grindz, INCLUDING even thinned out FRESH Poi? I am not complaining one single bit! And let me tell you, this poi is FRESH. Thinned out a lot with water, but still, very very fresh, and it worked out perfectly with the entire place. Of course I’d like more Poi, but hey, FWIW? She GO!!!!

Finally for dessert, we stay get da’ Haupia ‘kine action…

Eh, not that ‘kine action. No lie, I know that’s what you thinking! LOL!!!

And? The Haupia was WAY too watered down and bland. It’s like they put all their effort into the main dishes and just added Haupia into the list of kitchen tasks as an afterthought. Still, it was a nice finish to the FEAST of Hawaiian food goodness Krazy Kitchen served up, at again, a wallet-friendly $12.

Summing it up, I give Krazy Kitchen’s Hawaiian  Plate a very solid 4 SPAM Musubi, with VALUE being the key, along with overall, very well executed food, except for the Haupia. The Laulau, Kalua Pig and Lomi Salmon were 1-2-3 punch KNOCKOUT winnahz!

Krazy Kitchen
1169 Maunakea Street
Honolulu, Hawaii  96817

Tel. (808) 537-7878
www.KrazyKitchenHi.com

The Tasty Island rating:

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

Related links:
Krazy Kitchen – Yelp user reviews