Hawaii Cafe

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.

Hawaii Cafe on Urbanspoon


7 responses

  1. Wow – someone else found this place after me! 🙂

    Thanks for the history lesson. I just knew this place could not have sprouted out of nowhere, especially consider this odd and hard to access location.

    July 25, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    • Karl

      Yeah, it’s not exactly blessed with easy access! Not many folk cruisin’ around looking for dinner…

      July 27, 2010 at 7:08 am

  2. LotusRapper

    Too weird, cuz I got pork slices in my bowl (not shrimp) but otherwise the same deal, which is *not* tan tan noodles in my book:


    Wow Karl, since I mentioned your Wen Xin in my thread above, does that make this whole thread a rip in the space-time continuum ? LOL

    July 26, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    • LotusRapper

      Could it be each and every bowl of tan tan noodles cranked out from this kitchen is one-of-a-kind ?? Sheeesh.

      July 26, 2010 at 11:44 pm

  3. Karl

    Seems like this place is playing it by ear. Maybe they need some time to work out the kinks. Either that or they’re just one of those quirky,fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants operations. Not a great way to run a business.

    Garlic & Chili does a decent vegetarian “Tam Tam noodles”…loads of garlic hidden at the bottom! Happy eating!

    July 27, 2010 at 7:54 am

  4. Heheheh! I actually drove by this place a week ago and the sign of “Taiwanese Beef Noodles” caught my eyes…but after reading their menu on the window…it’s still quite HK…

    November 18, 2010 at 2:29 am

    • Karl

      Hi Buddha Girl! I drove by a few days ago and it’s no longer Hawaii Cafe! Can’t recall the new name but will be paying them a visit as soon as I can.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:34 pm

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