New World Hawaiian
To most, Hawaii conjures up images of a tropical paradise with sandy beaches, women in grass skirts, and loud aloha shirts. So when we heard about the opening of Alohana, Fukuoka’s first Hawaiian restaurant, cafe and bar, we were expecting a Gilligan’s Island interior with ukulele background music. Wrong! Glenn, the manager who grew up in Hawaii has clearly avoided all the stereotyped wiki-wiki tiki-tiki touristy trappings. The room is a stylish monotone affair with a counter bar and several widely spaced tables, and Jack Johnson is the current favorite soundtrack. “This is the kind of place young hip islanders would hangout in”, says Glenn. The menu is loaded with a mix of traditional Hawaiian, and Hawaiian fusion dishes. Recommended starters include the Kahuku-style Garlic Shrimp, the Mauka Yamaimo with Lomi Lomi Salmon, and Spicy Guava Sausage. Definitely try the Mahi Mahi Lau Lau, which is white fish wrapped within a banana leaf with shiitake, tomato and asari. Pictured here is their Loco Moco, topped with real gravy and an onsen tamago (hot spring egg). Meat eater? The Big Island Steak or the Spare Ribs both weigh in at a very satisfying 300g. Lunches start at just 500 yen and for an extra 100 yen you can get your choice of five flavors of Kona coffee. Banana pancakes are the current favorite desert, but there are more. Hawaiian beers and frozen fruit cocktails all ready to wet your whistle.
2F Donpa Bldg 1-11-4 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Open: Mon. ~ Sat. 19:00 ~ 02:00, Closed: Never
Price: No charge. Alohana Plate Lunch 600 yen, Kahuku Style Garlic Shrimp 892 yen, Big Island Steak 1,417 yen, Hau’oli Parfait 504 yen, Kona Brewery Beer 700 yen, Draft beer 500 yen. Private parties up to 32 welcomed.