Archive for March, 2010

It’s beef and bacon time!

March 30th, 2010

bacon burger

Nadine Kam photos
The Antidote burger comprising a third-pound wagyu burger with bacon fries and bacon and sour cream dip.

Our fascination with beef is unabated, and this month, McDonald’s added a local twist to its popular Angus Burger line with the introduction of a new McTeri Angus Third Pounder burger, which you can try for a limited time.

Meanwhile, as if a burger alone isn’t sinful enough, April marks Bacon Days at Burgers on the Edge. The casual restaurant at the Safeway Kapahulu Shopping Center hosted a tweetup March 28 to introduce its four burgers, plus a turkey burger and panko-crusted chicken breast sandwich, all starring thick hickory smoked or turkey bacon. And, if the sandwiches weren’t enough, there were bacon fries (seasoned with chip-style bacon salt and served with a sour cream dip sprinkled with crumbled bacon and green onions, $2.75).

This is the time to drop in and pick your favorites because the introductory price for the burgers is about $1 to $2 off the regular menu, and only the most popular will stick around after April.

This is the first time I’ve seen panko-crusted bacon on a menu, so I was kind of confused when they asked me if I’d tried the crunchy bacon. Isn’t all bacon supposed to be crisp and crackly crunchy?

But this was tonkatsu-style crunchy, and in a way, made sense. We already eat pork cutlets, so the crunchy bacon was just pork in another form.

You can try the panko-crusted bacon in the Crispy B.L.T., or topping a Beefy B.L.T.

half-lb bacon

This is one of the half-pound burgers on a whole wheat bun.

Here’s the beef:

Crispy B.L.T.: Panko-crusted bacon topped with lettuce, tomatoes and Baconnaise.

Sweet-N-Savory: Your choice of wagyu (1/3 pound $6.99, or 1/2 pound $8.99) or chuck (1/3 pound $5.99, or 1/2 pound $7.99) plus bacon, grilled pineapple, lettuce, tomatoes and teriyaki sauce.

The Antidote: Your choice of wagyu (1/3 pound $6.99, or 1/2 pound $8.99) or chuck (1/3 pound $5.99, or 1/2 pound $7.99) plus bacon, Swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms, lettuce and tomatoes.

Beefy B.L.T.: Your choice of wagyu (1/3 pound $6.99, or 1/2 pound $8.99) or chuck (1/3 pound $5.99, or 1/2 pound $7.99) plus crunchy bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.

Naughty But Nice: Homemade turkey burger ($5.99) topped with turkey bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and garlic aioli.

Love at First Bite: Panko-crusted chicken breast ($5.99) topped with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and Baconnaise.

panko bacon

Panko-crusted bacon appears on the menu as crunchy bacon. It’s served with baconnaise. Sorry, you can’t order it apart from the burgers for now, although there are plans to offer it as a side order at some point in the future, but only if you have the secret code accessible to those who follow @burgershawaii on Twitter, or keep up with the news at


Sharon Fukayama walks away with truffle’d fries. Yum!

India Cafe Kailua

March 19th, 2010

Those of you who need your curry fix will be happy to know that India Cafe now has a permanent spot in Kailua.

It’s next door to BookEnds at Kailua Shopping Center (600 Kailua Ave.).

Not only does it carry many of the same items that the lunchwagon (formerly at the Don Quijote parking lot) used to carry, it has a number of new offerings due to the installation of the restaurant’s first tandoori oven.

India Cafe Kailua

On the menu: Chicken Curry ($8.25), Lamb Masala ($10.50), Spicy Shrimp Sambal ($9.95), Chicken Tikka Masala ($8.95) plus a Vegan plate ($7.75). Each platter comes with rice, raita (a mix of yogurt with cilantro, mint and cucumber) as well as one vegetable choice.

Vegetables include Jiva’s Crazy Spicy Eggplant (excellent, but watch out, it’s spicy!) along with Mixed Vegetables Masala, Curried Potatoes, and Okra Vegetable Curry.

You can also order a side of golden Samosas (deep-fried turnovers filled with potatoes), Roti Paratha (layered bread) and Tandoori Naan (which is clay-oven baked bread). The naan, hot from the oven, is the perfect accompaniment for curry.

Chicken Tikka Masala with Spicy Eggplant, Naan

Chicken Tikka Masala with Spicy Eggplant, Naan

The eatery’s concept is gourmet Indian food to-go, but there are a few seats at a counter inside, two tables outside, and Kailua Shopping Center’s courtyard seating. Order the Chicken Tika Masala with Spicy Eggplant, and your mouth will be transported by the comforting mix of the masala, the spicy pop from the eggplant, and at the same time, cooled down by the cilantro-mint-yogurt raita.

Owner Raja Segaran and son, Chef Jiva, opened the new India Cafe in Kailua after surveying customers from the lunchwagon and finding that there was an overwhelming interest in a permanent spot.

The eatery’s soft opening was on Thursday this week, and already, people are walking in the doors.

Blessings for the new India Cafe.

Blessings for the new India Cafe.

The interior, though small, is painted a bright and cheerful red, with the menu displayed on a flat-screen, a few barstools along a countertop for interior seating, and another screen showing scenes from Bollywood. Hanging along the top of the walls are photographs taken from the family’s travels to India, including a visit by Segaran to his mother’s original hometown, where he is surrounded by schoolchildren.

Though South Indian, Segaran is from Malaysia, and the items on the menu reflect both cultures. Many are straight from his own mother’s home-cooked recipes. The tandoori oven is more reflective of North Indian cuisine, but he decided to try it to expand the eatery’s offerings.

For drinks, customers can order up a hot chai tea, nmango lassi, coconut juice (perfect for cooling down the spicy eggplant), a Thai iced tea, or a soda.

Customers are likely familiar with the first India Cafe restaurant, hidden away at Kilohana Square at the top of Kapahulu. Step inside, and you’ll be surprised by the rich decor and full menu.

The India Cafe Curry on Wheels lunchwagon is now at the Don Quijote Kaheka parking lot, seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

India Cafe Kailua, 600  Kailua Rd. 262-1800

India Cafe (Kilohana Square), 1016 Kapahulu Ave. 737-4600

India Cafe Curry on Wheels, Don Quijote Kaheka St. 741-8240

Follow India Cafe on Twitter: @indiacafehawaii