"London success seems inevitable"Review Rating: Reviewed by Directionless
Kua’Aina is London’s only Hawaiian burger joint. Originally founded in 1975, the concept has caught on big time overseas. Popular in native Hawaii, the Kua’Aina family also has a firm rooting in Japan. The hope now is to take on London.
Situated just off from Carnaby Street, in Foubert’s Place, the location for London’s first Hawaiian burger venture couldn’t be better. Its accessibility is perfect for grabbing lunch, dinner, or just a bit of sustenance inbetween places.
The interior gives an impression of the brightness and colour of Hawaii while avoiding anything over the top or gaudy. It’s been tastefully done in bamboo with large scale photographs of Hawaiian surf on the walls and old school ceiling fans. There are a few token garlands hung around that give a carnival air to the place.
Kua’Aina inhabits what used to be Franks, and the new proprietors have been sensitive toward this lineage. The insides have been tweaked but not desecrated, and the previous staff has been kept on. Their service is impeccable.
It’s hard to come up with anything unique in a city like London, but the menu on offer here makes a sterling attempt. There is a wide choice of burgers, ranging from avocado to pineapple to chicken. All are wonderfully succulent – the flavour is really sensational.
Kua’Aina are careful about their sourcing, with meat delivered three times a week from the same Devonshire butcher. Everything tastes fresh and, unusually perhaps for a burger joint, it tastes healthy. This is a notch above your gourmet burger and in a different league entirely from anything you might find on offer in a takeaway venue.
Along with burgers, Kua’Aina offers a mouth-watering rosemary chicken salad with an in-house dressing. Chips can be ordered as a side and come with a secret recipe salt, that gives them an edge with a cinnamon twang.
To accompany the meal are a range of beers, wines and soft drinks.
To conclude, order up a frozen yogurt. These are light and uplifting: the perfect desert after a meal of burgers.
Kua’Aina really is a refreshing experience. Everything about it is bright and cheerful, and the quality offered is commendable. It’s easy to see why it has caught on so swiftly in Japan and a London success seems inevitable.
Directionless reviewed Kua 'Aina on Wed 15 Jun 2011