Having lived in East Honolulu for more than a decade now, I know breakfast spots are few and far between.
Sure, there’s Jack’s in Aina Haina — love the special biscuits — and Koa Pancake House in Hawaii Kai. But short of driving into Kaimuki — there are lots to choose from there! — there aren’t many other spots for pancakes and a cup of coffee.
Until earlier this year.
In May, Eric and Nicole Chang opened Moena Cafe in Koko Marina Center, serving breakfast and brunch items every day. The little cafe occupies the space vacated by Papa John’s.
Eric has nearly 30 years of culinary experience, having worked at Bueno Nalo Restaurant, La Rotisserie & Grill, California Pizza Kitchen and Sunset Grill. His last gig was at the Sheraton Moana Surfrider, where he was the head dinner chef.
You can tell from the menu — which features items like crab benedict, sweet and savory crepes, homemade three-cheese baked macaroni and ham, panini sandwiches and a slew of hearty salads — that there’s a bonafide chef behind it. But be prepared to pay for it: the prices here are slightly more expensive than elsewhere.
So a few of us — all from East Honolulu — headed down one weekday afternoon to satisfy our breakfast cravings.
Word of caution: make reservations. It gets crowded here!
Here’s what we ate:
Pancakes up close
The pancakes aren't thick and fluffy, but they've got a great buttery flavor and chunks of banana. But it's the chantilly sauce — it's more like a glaze — that's drizzled over it that really made this dish. It's not on the menu — though it should be — so ask for it! You won't regret it!
Moena Cafe, Koko Marina Center, 7192 Kalanianaole Highway. Hours: 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. Phone: (808) 888-7716
Happy Fuud pixs Friday!
MC breakfast – yum, just seeing it makes me feel as hungry as a high school football lineman trying to get by on a 600 calorie school lunch. Can I eat your parsley?
Pics 7 & 8 had me seriously drooling. And I had an awesome Vietnamese lunch only a couple of hours ago…
CAT: Aaaiiiyyyaaahhh! Fuud Pix! Tenks! Luuks guud. Will keep this place in mind next time I’m in the area.
Have eaten there several times and haven’t been disappointed yet. The Sirloin Loco Moco
is great, and the scones are to die for. Yes a bit pricey, but it’s a step above the other restaurants in the area. Hope they remain in business for awhile.