26 Foubert’s Place
A picture of President Obama is the first thing you see when stepping inside Kua’Aina. Kua’Aina is meant to the President’s favourite place to eat when he is back home in Hawaii. Maybe the next time I go back there will be a framed copy of his birth certificate next to his portrait?
Kua’Aina is a concept that has travelled to us from Hawaii via Japan. As my dining companion quite rightly said – if you can sell burgers to the Japanese then they must be pretty good burgers.
Located just off Carnaby Street on Fouberts Place, this former greasy spoon has been tarted up ‘surfer shack’ style with tropical colours and some newly waxed surfboards decorating the walls.
The concept is simple – handmade burgers, chargrilled sandwiches and salads with a choice of fillings. Instead of opting for the usual burger we went a little different and had the teriyaki chicken salad and a mahi mahi sandwich. Everything is cooked to order at Kua’Aina, so you know it is going to be fresh. For me, the days of Pret and pre packaged sandwiches are over.
The mahi mahi toasted sandwich came with a decent portion of white meaty mahi mahi and a generous amounts of crsipy gem salad and tomatoes. For extra toppings we opted for ortega peppers and monterey jack cheese. Superbly fresh to taste and all in all a healthy option for lunch, yet filling. The teriyaki chicken could be eaten all by itself, breast after breast, but we enjoyed it in a salad. We added the naughty element, the fries. Well seasoned skinny little ones that are perfect to share between two.
Prices start at £5.95 for a burger or toasted sandwiches plus any extras you order. Both takeaway and eating in is available. Kua’Aina can offer both hungover Friday lunchtime comfort food along the lines of a juicy beefburger with fries or a healthy mid week snack with the mahi mahi sandwich or the chicken salad. I reckon average spend is around £10 or so once extra toppins, sides and drinks are added.
I have now been a couple of times to Kua’Aina, only for lunch, but it seems to be doing a good trade so far. Like any new restaurant, there seems to be a few teething problems but those will be ironed out and service is both friendly and efficient.
It is the sort of place you would pop in to after late night shopping on Carnaby Street or nearby Regent Street and grab an easy supper. Maybe the sort of place parents would take their kids instead of the dreaded Pizza Hut before heading back home after a day in town?
Kua’Aina, along with Koya and Mooli’s has joined my weekly lunchtime venue list.
Please note that Restaurant Gossip was invited by Kua’Aina to have lunch.