Grindz of the Day: Dole Cannery BBQ & Kamehameha Bakery

Kamehameha Bakery’s famous Haupia Doughnut with a token strawberry

The other day for work lunch break, we sampled a new Korean BBQ take-out restaurant yesterday in the Dole Cannery office building in Iwilei…

Unlike Mia’s, McDonald’s and Subway which make up the tenants in the food court on the second floor up the escalator, Dole Cannery BBQ is the only restaurant occupying the street level interior lobby, located on the left side as you enter the front doorway under the awnings shown above. Here they are…

Being new, they’re obviously still (almost literally) ironing out their menu, including the board you order from…

Getting right to it, I ordered the Bi Bim Bap, which here’s the owner’s Korean writing to ID it, to which I would have no idea what this says, except to know I ordered Bi Bim Bap…

Without further ado, Dole Cannery BBQ’s Bi Bim Bap…

Bi Bim Bap, $6.69

I was hoping they’d arrange it in a take-out BOWL (not clamshell plate), with the egg centered, but this is how it was presented. But this is a take-out restaurant afterall,  so how much can you expect?

Now fo’ hit da’ Kochujang sauce on top and go for it!…

The beef had a great, well-marinaded Korean style Kalbi sauce flavor, with strong hints of Sesame, ginger and sugar. Very nice. The banchan (essentially what it was) also each and of of their own contributed well to the overall dish. The Kochujang tasted like bottled stuff, yet surely enhanced and married all the flavors together. Overall I’ll give this Bi Bim Bap a solid 2 SPAM Musubi (good). Would have been 3 if they presented it better and made my egg sunnyside-up.

Next up on a foll0w-up visit we have their Tofu Soup, which the owner says in Korean is called Jjigae…

Dole Cannery BBQ – Tofu Soup, including 3 choice banchan and rice, $6.69

Note to self: Whenever going to a Korean restaurant in the future, if the owner asks if you want it “hot”  or “regular”, choose “REGULAR”. On this order I chose “HOT”, and WHOAH! This buggah must have had more Scoville Units than there are hotel units in all of Waikiki! Or Mexico for that matter. Holy Pyongyang, Batman! But it was delicious never-the-less. It tasted like Miso Soup with Kochujang sauce added to it, along with perhaps a few secret Korean ingrediments I couldn’t quite pinpoint, but I know is in there.

It includes a generous amount of cubed tofu…

Dole Cannery BBQ – Tofu Soup, $6.69

As well as also-generous helpings of sliced and chopped cucumber, carrots, green onions, white onions and won bok cabbage…

Dole Cannery BBQ – Tofu Soup

As an incredible deal at just $6.69 (which comes out to $7.00 with tax), it also includes your choice of three banchan sides and rice, which I chose these on this order…

Dole Cannery BBQ – Banchan and rice (included with Tofu Soup)

The spicy/savory Kochujang-meets-miso broth, combined with the cruciferous vegetables makes you feel real good after eating it. Light and energetic, not weighed-down. As noted earlier, order the regular, not spicy lest  you be deemed suicidal. lol

Finally we have Diner A’s Bulgogi…

Dole Cannery BBQ – Bulgogi, $6.69

This uses the same Korean marinaded beef that’s included in the Bi Bim Bap. With that, Diner A gives this a solid overall 2 SPAM Musubi rating (good).

Here’s Dole Cannery BBQ’s temporary menu they have posted up…

Now we move on to a box of pastry goodies courtesy of Diner E (mahalo!!!) from Kamehameha Bakery, a.k.a. “Kam Bakery” on the ever classic School street in Kalihi, a.k.a. “God’s Country”…

Box of pastries from Kamehameha Bakery (courtesy of Diner E), $8.27 (total price for all that!), 7/30/09

Yes, dilapidated building aside, for those in the know, Kamehameha Bakery is still the best deal in town for some onolicious pastries. The super-moist, super scrumptious glazed doughnuts currently run 50 cents each, or $6 per dozen bulk rate…

Kamehameha Bakery – Glazed Doughnut, 50 cents each or $6/dozen (current price as of 7/30/09)

The massive cinnamon doughnuts are a winnah as well…

Kamehameha Bakery – Cinnamon Doughnut, 90 cents each (current price as of 7/30/09)

Then there’s this Filipino favorite, an Ensemada…

Kamehameha Bakery – Ensemada


Long John and Haupia Doughnut…

Another look inside that absolutely delicious “Kam Bakery” Haupia Doughnut…

Kam Bakery’s famous Haupia (filled) Doughnut

And again with the strawberry, which turned out to be a thing of beauty…

Kamehameha Bakery’s famous Haupia Doughnut with a token strawberry

…not just in appearance, but also in taste! This is my new discovery: whenever buying pastries, buy some fresh fruit to go along with it. I tell ya’, the combination of the slightly tart strawberries, along with the heavily sweetened and rich pastries are a match made in heaven. Especially with the sweet coconut-flavored haupia filling in the doughnut. O-M-G!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So ono.


15 thoughts on “Grindz of the Day: Dole Cannery BBQ & Kamehameha Bakery

  1. Pomai, I used to worked at Del Montel for only a week due to motion sickness looking at the cans on the belt. Also the strong smell of pineapples did it to me. Funny I still love eating it. The price at Dole Cannery BarBQ is best deal ever. Again you are the DEAL HUNTER OF HAWAII.

    Kamehameha Bakery pastries are awesome. My cousins’s restuarant used to be Mee Linn next to bakery. Fire was reason they quit the business but at Far East Chop Suey in Waipahu.

    Was the pastries at Fort St. Woolworth from Kamehameha Bakery? It just looked like it.

  2. Pomai, is it just me or other bloggers too? These photos made me able to almost smell the aroma of the pastries from Kamehameha Bakery. The sweet smell of the donuts and cornbreads was so heavenly. I too wonder if the former Woolworth Store ever ordered from Kamehameha Bakery? Miss the days at Woolworth where people line up for pastries and other food items in the early morning before work start.

    Well prices at Dole Cannery is OK if around that area compare with Yummy I see it Yummy have on menu. But I will check it out still.

  3. Kelike and Betty, next time I visit Kamehameha Bakery, I’ll ask the owner if they once supplied Woolworth.

    As for Dole Cannery BBQ, like most restaurants located in office buildings, I’m sure most of their clientele are people who work there or nearby.

    Nate, it gets confusing with Korean restaurants here, as the owners often use variations in spelling. Like some spell it “Bulgogi”, while here they spell it “Bul Go Ki”. Also, some spell call it “Meat Jun”, while other places spell it “meat chun” or “meat joon”. Whatever, as long as it tastes good!

    John, hai, ganbarimasu!

  4. Aww, I miss getting pastries at Woolworth’s downtown too. I’m not even a pastry person, but I’d love to sink my teeth into one of those glazed or cinnamons right about now.

  5. Pomain, FWIW, that writing on the takeout box said “pi bim pab”. 🙂

    Okihwn, “jjigae” is the more correct rendering. If you read the word in Hangul, it starts with a “double-J” consonant. “Chigae” is easier on American eyes and is thus often used.

  6. *wah* I miss the Woolworth’s pastry counter in Ala Moana (back when there was a Woolworths in Ala Moana) I’m still trying to recreate the bread pudding.

  7. Amy, we got some pastries from Kamehameha Bakery this past Christmas, and the Poi Donut was still on the menu list. I don’t think they’re changing the menu anytime soon. It hasn’t changed in like decades I think.

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