Researching Odaiba in Tokyo led to the discovery of Kua ‘Aina, a Hawaiian burger restaurant. They have two branches in Hawaii , a few in Tokyo and one in London . The menu was so tempting we decided we had to go to London , our nearest location and the only one in Europe .
We walked from our hotel, the Intercontinental Park Lane , to Kua ‘Aina at 26 Foubert’s Place.
It was a pleasant stroll and took around 45 minutes.
Kua ‘Aina means literally translated back country, but it can also describe a hick. For native Hawaiians it refers to a person living the active Hawaiian culture and keeping the spirit of the land alive.
Kua ‘Aina is also a favorite of President Obama.
The restaurant is small with a little over 40 seats. Customers have the choice to sit outside or inside. Kua ‘Aina has two levels – some tables on the ground floor, but the majority is in the basement. The design gives you the feeling you are walking into a different world with wooden flooring, bamboo roof, ceiling fans and Dick Brewer shaped surfboards. It made me feel like I was already in Hawaii . The lamp shades were interesting too with prints depicting exotic flowers, Hawaiian girls and a classic car from the sixties.
I thought the atmosphere was romantic and relaxed due to the exotic interior decor.
The restaurant was busy when we arrived. We were lucky and immediately brought to our table.
Space was tight and the tables small.
Neighbors are sitting literally beside you and can easily overhear what you discuss.
Our fellow customers were a good mix between older and younger – no small children -, locals and tourists.
The staff wore Hawaiian shirts and was young. They were attentive, though, and provided good and consistent service throughout.
We had read the menu online. Until ordering we hadn’t made up our minds up completely what we would take. One thing was for sure we wanted to try the Kona Beer from Hawaii . We ended up with Fire Rock Pale Ale, but there is also Blue Wave. We had freshly squeezed orange juice from a company we’ve never heard of. It’s called Fruitapeel.
All burgers and sandwiches are lava grilled. We chose both a small Pineapple Burger (1/3 lb)
– large burgers are made with 1/2 lb beef.
They arrived in a wooden bowl and were unusual served. The bun halves were separated, one was topped with the patty, mayo and grilled pineapple, the other with salad, grilled onion and tomato. A carrot stick was added to the bowl.
My fiancé had watched how other people ate and combined the halves. I followed his example. The height of the burger was just right. I could comfortably eat without making a big mess. It was delicious. If we had wanted we could have added tomato ketchup, mustard, Worcester and Tabasco sauce. The flavors spoke for themselves so we didn’t need it.
The beer was perfect with the meal. It had a slight bitter taste and was refreshing.
After our main course we had Haupia (Hawaiian coconut and vanilla pudding), which is similar to Blanc Manger. Originally we wanted two different desserts, but the frozen yogurt was already finished.
We really loved the pudding.
We paid under 35 GBP (ca. 41 Euro / ca. 54 USD) excluding tip.
Of course we are going to return, when we are in the area again.