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“Simple and Good”
Review of Puka Puka Kitchen

Puka Puka Kitchen
Ranked #13 of 262 Restaurants in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch
Reviewed August 7, 2018

A great little hole-in-the-wall for lunch. Simple food done right and served hot. The scallop plate, lamb pita, chicken pita, and katsu chicken were all excellent.

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Thank Weminuche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 5 of 210 reviews

Reviewed June 20, 2018

Come hungry! I was so pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food at Puka Puka. We had lunch there because of the high trip advisor reviews. Be prepared, the place is small....the atmosphere is pretty simple. Not quite a hole in the wall, but the atmosphere doesn't reflect the food.

The food was wonderful. We came for lunch. I had the Chicken Katsu. It was very flavorful; however The chicken was overly breaded and a bit dry. The curry sauce, rice and salad made up for it. My son had the Ahi Don, which was so good. My husband had the seared Ahi (he requested it to be rare). This by far was the best dish. The portions were huge and prices reasonable. The presentation of food was better than most high end restaurants. Clearly, the staff takes great pride in their food...and they should. It truly was great.

The biggest negative is the size. Luckily we were able to get a table. If not, there really isn't anywhere to eat outside....no picnic tables or anything.

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Thank ThePilotsWife07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 21, 2018

Puka Puka (Hawaiian for lots of holes, or little hole) Kitchen by far beats a lot of places around Hilo for both character, hospitality and amazing flavors! It's very humble, having only 3 tables and a window counter long enough for 3 small people or 1 big Hawaiian diner. After browsing the Hilo Farmer's Market, we eyed this place having spotted the bento box lunches for sale on a small table in the center of the cozily small dining room and decided to come back at a later time for lunch. When we returned on the following day, instead of choosing the bentos for lunch, we decided to stake out the seating at the window counter and watch other tourists like ourselves meandering by while we had lunch. The photo enclosed shows off one of their best items: Chicken Katsu Plate Lunch. What makes this delightfully different from other plate lunch places around the Islands is that the chef opted to present his plate lunches w/ a nice green salad and his rice accompaniment as a curried garlic rice variation to the more often seen 2 scoops steamed white rice and potato/mac salad. Absolutely fantastic. You'll want to come back for more, guaranteed! Mahalo, Puka Puka Kitchen, for making our Hilo visit all the more memorable. :-)

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1  Thank RobbyofMaui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 19, 2018 via mobile

Ahi Don and garlic rice was wonderful and the place is fun. Great value, lots of food for the price. Staff was very helpful and friendly

Thank Laura M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 14, 2018 via mobile

This super-friendly, unpretentious and tiny cafe was interesting because it serves locally inspired food. I ordered the lunch special, about $9 for chicken katsu, salad and a strange curry rice. The chicken was greasy and overbreaded. The rice was so full of turmeric and/or curry powder that it was not tasty at all, it was just overseaoned. Salad was ok but not deliciously nuanced or balanced with the right combination of the oil to vinegar ratio. I was sorry that the food was not better because it wouldn't take too many cooking lessons to improve what they are doing.

Thank SunshineCheyenne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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