Did the head get your attention? It certainly got mine. I didn't know what to expect of Johnny Kahuku in Resorts World Manila. It seemed like a new concept. Rarely do I see Hawaiian food here in the metro. I'm sure it would intrigue a lot of foodies.
I was thinking that JOHNNY KAHUKU is something sort of a expansion from a foreign brand. I learned that it is actually home grown. Everything was definitely different though and I love it.
Once I got myself inside, I was intrigued by the dim lights and amazing wall design they had installed. It feels like a shack house on a beach. Fresh seafoods all for the taking. What used to be The Red Crab, Johnny Kahuku now stands for Island Flavors that definitely would titillate your senses.
Chef Peter Ayson leads the way as he created dishes for foodies of the metro. He made sure to make our tummies enjoy.
You are welcomed with open arms and greeted with the words, Aloha. Something that I believe translates to Hello. Everything that you could think off, I guess they anticipated it. From offering delicious cocktails to even having "lei" or those things that you put on your neck just to welcome you as you enter.
Most of my friends went for the PINA COLADA just to get that island vibe going. You can see Bea, holding one perfectly. They definitely get points for creativity that they actually use a whole fresh pineapple to hold the drink in.
I, on the other hand, went for something more familiar. An AMARETTO SOUR. It might be a ladies' drink to some but, I must say, their version packs a punch. Not too much so but definitely one I would go back for again.
Since the main theme of the restaurant is ISLAND FLAVORS, JOHNNY KAHUKU has a lot of seafood dishes to offer.
To start off, you could try the SPECIAL SEAFOOD POKE. Poke is the term used for fish salad. Here they have mixed seared blackened tuna, salmon sashimi, grilled squid, white shrimps, and miso shoyu dressing.
I enjoyed the mix of the different flavors of seafood. Since I am a bit into Japanese food, I must confess that I am partial to this. The addition of the nuts gave it a more crunchy texture breaking the monotonous feel of the different seafood. That, and the dressing just made it perfect.
For calamares lovers, they increased the bar by offering the ASIAN CRISPY SALAD. Fried baby squid with caramelized tamarind glaze mixed in with crunchy dilis and peanut adobo.
Please don't judge me. I pretty much enjoyed this dish that I got a lot. The crispiness and the sweet flavor coming from the tamarind glaze just made my day. It all makes sense.
Another seafood starter would be the ISLAND KILAWIN. Their version of kilawin. It has cured tanigue, ahi tuna, coconut lime dressing along with roasted corn, peppers cucumber, jicama and cilantro. One bite in and it was smooth. I enjoyed the clean and smooth taste that the small seafood cubes give me. Don't worry, it isn't too hot and spicy.
For salad lovers, they might be willing to try out the TROPICAL TUNA SALAD. I enjoyed the seared ahi tuna so much that I forgot about the greens underneath. Having a sesame miso dressing, made the greens and the fruits go well together. Needless to say, I skipped most of it.
JOHNNY KAHUKU is not only Hawaiian in nature, but they also serve dishes that is somewhat island in nature. Like this, BEEF KALBI RIBS. US ANGUS BEEF short ribs with kalbi sauce. The meat was tender and definitely perfect with rice.
Speaking of rice, this is the entire she-bang. The CLASSIC KAHUKU SHRIMP TRUCK. Garlic butter shrimps, Hawaiian rice, macaroni salad, and tuna ahi poke on the side. This is the perfect combination that's good for 2-3 people. I just got to be honest though, I can eat the whole thing. The shrimps were perfectly cooked. Along with the corn and the macaroni, it definitely is a full meal in itself. If I weren't with anyone, I can picture myself eating this with my barehands. Screw it! I did!!!
For something that could give your head the woozy is the CRAB PALABOK.
Fried Crab, shrimp palabok sauce, garlic, rice noodles, boiled eggs, chicharon and smoked fish.
This beauty is perfect for the crab lover. It's two dish in one. Palabok or rice noodles absorbed the fatty crab sauce and made it extremely flavorful. This is one deadly dish that you must share. It's a love hate relationship built on food.
One thing that you must not miss is the COCHINILLO. It is a four week old suckling pig basted in coconut. Different spices used to make it flavorful. Slow cooked in a brick oven that cooked it properly.
With each knife stroke, I could hear the crackling skin. Crunchy outside while the inside is moist and tender. A four week old pig is used because according to the Chef, it gives a different texture and flavor compared to older pigs.
Served with pineapple liver sauce and two week aged sili tuba concoction. Please do not miss the sili tuba concoction. It is basically a vinegar based sauce that brings out all the tastes one would love to get from this kind of pig.
Each bite gave me a rush of emotions. Crunchy skin and a moist, tender and soft meat afterwards. The sauces just made them jell together. If you are going with a few friends, remember to order this one day ahead as they usually just cook a few for the walk-in guests.
To end the heavy meal, one must go for something light like this TROPICAL CHILL. Assorted fruits with a side of assorted flavored salt just because sweet and salty works together.
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JOHNNY KAHUKU overwhelmed me. They serve delicious Hawaiian themed food with some dishes inspired from different island flavors. Needless to say, I enjoyed the meal as it was something worthy of a HAWAIIAN LUAU. Johnny kahuku delivers its promise of intriguing food and excellent Hawaiian Cuisine. I would definitely be coming back with my family.
JOHNNY KAHUKU HAWAIIAN SHRIMP HOUSE
Upper Level, Newport Mall
Resorts World Manila
Pasay, Metro Manila
Disclaimer: Wrote this based on my experience. Was invited to try out the restaurant.
Well, the image of that 4 week old pig is disturbing, the tiny little piglet, huhuhuhuhu. So im like guessing if that's a dog really. :)ReplyDelete
I'll take that carb though! :)
Hahahaha Dont worry steve it's not a dog. I can't eat a dog. In anycase yes, food in Johnny Kahuku is amazingly good.ReplyDelete