40 Goodge Street,
London, W1T 2QP
Tel: 020 7637 0591
twitter – KuaAinaUK
Ok so a little closer to home this time. Goodge Street to be precise. London’s second base of the brilliant Hawaiian burger bar. I guess I gave away my feelings towards this place already. It is aces. It ticks all my boxes, and everyone I have ever been there with’s boxes. Let me tell you why.
I first discovered Kua’Aina on a wet windy day in central London. Having just been told there was a 45minute wait for Honest burger and having seated ourselves in Carnaby Burger co and then killed half an hr being ignored by the waitresses, we left and on walking in the direction of the tube stumbled across Kua’Aina’s first london base on Fouberts Place. I had been told the burgers were great and the buns were to die for but had never actually made it my pit stop of choice until now. So we went in. It was small and almost packed but what with the rain and wind we were not in the mood for sitting outside even if it did mean more space. If we are honest we were not in the mood for much but we thought we would drown our grumbling in a burger before we endured the tube home. We had a great time which is why we decided this week to head to their new base in Goodge Street. This restaurant is bigger and just feels more spacious throughout. We ended up hitting it up twice this week once for a meeting on a Friday Lunchtime and the other the following Tuesday evening about 7.30pm. If you are able to I would choose to go in the evening. The lunchtime was incredibly busy. Our food was slower to be delivered(not by much, so wasn’t really an issue) and it felt more cramped as I guess people were in and out a lot quicker having to get back for work. Being located just far enough away from Oxford Street means it is less touristy and full of all the office workers from the surrounding area. So selfishly for myself a great location but not necessarily in a location many out of towner’ s will stumble upon. Magazine Publishing and media take up a lot of the office space around. So now down to what you really want to know.
The staff are all incredibly helpful and friendly. Having been here very close to it’s opening and now they still have the same great positive chirpy attitude, which makes me feel comfortable and under the impression they enjoy the work place. The staff all seem friendly and jovial with each other but not so much that it’s a detriment to the service. We found the staff were very happy to offer advice and had their own favourites and suggestions. It was on one lovely ladies suggestion we tried the Coconut Milkshake. Oh my! I don’t know if it was a good suggestion or bad. It was great as it was incredible but it could be hazardous as we are frequently in the area and I’m sure even with all Arnie’s muscles he could afford to have one of those every single day and get away with it. It really was incredible. Served in an old glass milk bottle with a straw it feels reminiscent and yet ever so currently funky. I chose to go with my classic, a Pina Colada. No judging we were in a Hawaiian restaurant!
Our waters were topped up frequently but not so much it was ever a pain or an inconvenience. We were attended to when we wanted it and they seemed to know when we wanted to just enjoy the surroundings without being pushed to purchase more. One factor I am unkeen with which is seemingly ever more common in restaurants is having the service charge already included into your bill. It actually meant we probably paid less than we would have if we were leaving change, and it does make it simpler as I often don’t carry cash so feel like an A*hole when I can’t leave a tip but it still feels a little cheeky for it to be automatically there. However we were very happy with the service and our experience that we were more than happy to pay it.
I ordered the Cheese Burger 1/2lb with extra Avocado. Sean order the Avocado and Bacon and we got a portion of Sweet Potato Fries to share. All of this was ample and meant neither of us needed desert. One of the factors that won us over on our first trip to Kua’Aina on that blustery day in Carnaby Street was the fact that we were surprised and overjoyed by the ample sized portion of Avocado. On our first trip it almost looked like a whole avocado scooped out cleanly and placed like a trophy on top of both of our burgers. This is another reason why i would avoid lunchtime is that the avocado portion looked smaller than the other times we visited which I can imagine is due to having to restock and wanting to get orders out as quickly as possible. I could be completely wrong and they may have had a delivery of small avocados that day. Whatever the case when we returned in the evening a few days later, we were greeted with great big green mounds on our burgers. Thus we will be returning soon again I’m sure.
The sweet Potato Fries are the best ones both myself and Sean have had. And we have had them from a lot of different places. As yet this place secures the title of The Best Sweet Potato Frie Server Around! They are fluffy and crispy but not too crispy. Sweet but not over kill. I don’t know how else to sell them really. They were just perfectly cooked! As were the burgers. I am a heathen when it comes to having my burger cooked. I like it Medium Well. Yes yes fling on the insults and tuts. I don’t care! I like it that way! And they cooked it like that for me. There was definitely a difference between mine and Sean’s as he asked for medium so they are not like some places that seem to cook it to their own specifications. It was juicy throughout and beautifully flame grilled round the edges.
Now one of the reason I even heard about Kua’Aina was because of a recommendation of their buns. They are great and don’t detract from the burger and the flavour but I don’t know if I would say they are the most amazing part of the dish. My friend however raves about them. Maybe again my heathen side is showing through and I am only focusing on the amount of avocado and the pattie.
The decor is fun and fresh and just what you would expect from a beach/hawaain/shack. The place is clean. The toilets are kept clean and well maintained. The place is new so I wouldn’t expect any broken furniture and so far I haven’t come into contact with any.
I believe that pretty much rounds up my review. A good time well had on each visit. Reliable service and quality of food. I definitely believe if you are in the London area it is worth a visit!