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“Perfect Place For Quick Lunch In Hilo!”
Review of Puka Puka Kitchen

Puka Puka Kitchen
Ranked #14 of 265 Restaurants in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner
Reviewed 21 May 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. :-)

Date of visit: April 2018
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    • Food
1  Thank RobbyofMaui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (211)
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5 - 9 of 211 reviews

Reviewed 20 May 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

Date of visit: May 2018
Thank Laura M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 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.

Date of visit: May 2018
Thank SunshineCheyenne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2018 via mobile

I left nothing on my plate but the utensils. Had the stewed lamb with garlic rice and salad. After 15 days on a cruise, and 3 days in 3 French Polynesian Islands with no local.food or restaurants, I was so happy to find Puka Puka. They open for lunch crowd and then close until dinner. We made it just in time!!!! Scarfed food down and forgot to take photo

Date of visit: April 2018
Thank Max L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2018

We found this place on Trip Advisor. The repeated kudos were spot on! Go here!

After driving across The Big Island from Kona side, we were quite hungry and looking for excellent food. Puka Puka was the ultimate! Our food was authentic Hawaiian, fresh, clean eats prepared by wonderfully passionate chefs.

There are about 16 seats in this small eatery. We sat at the narrow bar table in front of the window and watched the world walk by. SOOOO glad we came here. It was truly one of the best meals we had on The Big Island!

Date of visit: April 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Lauri_Loves_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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