For about twenty years, or so, Hawaii Cafe was a coffee shop/bacon & egg joint at the foot of Gilley @ Marine Drive. It was a stalwart, a last of its breed. Then, as with most cafeteria-style restaurants, it shut its doors. Several months later it magically reappeared with the same name and its original Pepsi sign.
This time around, however, they’re putting out standard Chinese food along with Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup. When alerted by a co-worker about the new re-incarnation, I hustled down to see what else is on the menu.
No, they’re not serving fuzzy puppies in black pepper sauce. They do have an affinity for putting cute doggie pictures around the room. Unfortunately, these two were placed a bit too close to the menu signage. Maybe a photo of their Steak in Black Pepper Sauce would be in order!
Of all the items mentioned on the front window, the one that stood out for me was the Spicy Dan Dan Noodles.
This is one unique bowl of Dan Dan Noodles. I was expecting the typical version…egg noodles in a spicy, peanutty broth with perhaps some minced pork. This version had the requisite chile-laden nuttiness but has spinach and a whole pile of nicely cooked fresh chunks of prawn. If the broth were to have been reduced to a thicker consistency it would of been phenomenal. No complaints, though. A damn good bowl. Rich, spicy, full of flavour.
Along with the variety of Chinese fare, Hawaii Cafe still serves breakfast. Seems odd, though, considering they don’t open until 11 a.m. One great deal I noticed was the lunch combo special. If memory serves, you get three items plus rice or noodles for $4.99. Think I’ll check that out when I get the craving for Canadian-Chinese.