Halal status: not Halal – plenty of fish and vegetarian options available
Last week I was invited to attend Kua ‘Aina‘s Pre-Valentine’s event where we all get to create our own burgers and name it. The chef will then pick the best combination and put it on the menu for a month or so.
First of all, Kua ‘Aina has already caught my attention on social media a while ago. What really strike me is their specialisation in the exotic Hawaiian cuisine, which is something rather different in London I’d say. I have been meaning to try them and the event invitation came just at the right time.
Kua ‘Aina, or “Koo-a eye-na”, means “back country”, but is more often used to describe a country bumpkin in Hawaii. For native Hawaiians it can mean those who actively live Hawaiian culture and keep the spirit of the land alive.
–from Kua ‘Aina’s website
As we arrived to their branch at Goodge Street, we were being greeted and led to the downstairs area where the event is being held. It was absolutely buzzing there and the vibe was incredible. We sat down on one of the tables and ordered some drinks. On each table there’s a colourful plate of nachos to munch on as well. I originally thought the different colors mean different flavours but in the end they were all just the same. Lovely visual and great snack to munch on, especially with the zesty salsa.
Then we were led to the table with all sorts of ingredients where you can have a little tasting session. There’s curry sauce, peri peri, mozzarella, mustard, beetroot, blue cheese, more nachos etc. Then there are some more bizarre ones like milk chocolate buttons and even marmite. Of course we can also choose any toppings that’s already on the menu.
We then got back to our seats and start filling up the card where we write down all the ingredients we’d want in our burger as well as naming it. I decided my main source of protein is the Mahi Mahi fish. Since I like spice, I decided to request for the Huli Huli seasoning on the fish. Then I asked for a Peri Peri sauce, topped with halloumi, roasted peppers and onion ring. Last but not least, I asked for barbecue sauce.
I’m terrible at names. I have zero creativity when it comes to that. Thankfully my friend somehow came up with a good one called ‘Deep Sea Nandos‘! ‘Deep Sea’ because it’s fish and ‘Nandos’ because of the peri peri – pretty genius, don’t you agree!?
Whereas my friend named hers as ‘Green Lava‘ which consists Mahi Mahi, Thai green curry, grilled pineapple, onion ring, coriander, tobasco and lime.
Soon enough our burgers are served nicely presented to our table. I was literally drooling over it when I saw the incredibly juicy piece of fish on the burger. The seasoning on top also had me extremely excited for it. We stacked our burger together and oh my goodness – the burgers are literally bigger than our heads LOL!
The burger tasted absolutely as stunning as it looks. The fish was absolutely sensational and the seasoning was simply on point. I absolutely loved the subtle sweetness from the Mahi Mahi filet. As for the seasoning, the mild spicy kick in the seasoning is what makes it so alluring and addictive. It complemented perfectly with the fish and created this stunning smokey chargrilled flavour. The barbecue sauce was a lovely
As you can imagine, the burger was messy to devour and it definitely took some time to finish it (especially when I’m a slow eater)! By the time we finished up the burger, I was already full – a bit surprising but it was one gigantic burger after all. However, after we’re done, they also serve us a plate of Coconut King Prawns with Sweet Chilli Sauce.
The gorgeous golden crunch enveloped one big prawn and it’s perfectly cooked. A squeeze of lemon add this lovely tangy flavour to it. The sweet chilli sauce was simply addictive – I’ve always loved it and am so happy to see sweet chilli sauce being served rather than the typical mayo.
Throughout they were also serving little cups of their Coconut Milkshake.
It was relatively thinned down in comparison to the usual creamy milkshakes you normally get. It was nice and frothy – very coconut-y but not too heavy at all. The coconut flavours reminded me of my favourite coconut sago dessert back home. There are other flavoured options to the coconut milkshakes too. For instance, on the night there’s one with peanut butter or strawberry as well.
We were full but now we were stuffed at this point. While we thought we’re done for the evening, there comes their Chocolate Chip Pancakes!
These pancakes were ridiculously incredibly fluffy. It was of just the right amount of sweetness for me either. The chocolate chips were of the right balance with the pancake where it doesn’t get overly rich with chocolate.
All in all, it was such a fun evening at Kua ‘Aina. Food was amazing and they definitely fed us extremely well. The staff were super friendly and attentive – they were a huge reason why the event was so much fun. Mahalo (thank you in Hawaiian) for such an awesome evening!
My Rating: 4/5
Address: 40 Goodge St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2QP