It found myself at SM Aura recently to find out what Honolulu Cafe was all about. It was in summer when I last went out to eat out, and that was at SM Mall of Asia. Quite far from Quezon City where I live, but it was an opportunity to bond with the fam.
I learned that the restaurant is from Hong Kong, founded in the 1940s. “How come a cafe from Asia is named after a famous city in Hawaii?” I wondered. Apparently, the founder Mr. Yeung Jn Hei pioneered the brewing of the Cafe’s signature coffee using the Hawaiian-style roast. Thus the name.
Located on the lower ground floor of SM Aurea, Honolulu Cafe has that casual vibe. It’s well-lit and with ample seating for customers. Yet, there’s also more than enough space to move about.
There’s an area for two customers and a section for a bigger group.
Although I didn’t get to try that signature coffee, I did enjoy the food served that day. Let’s get started.
I was asked to order a drink. I couldn’t decide so I went for the suggested best seller — Iced Red Beans with Milk. It came with a spoon and a straw. I never planned to use the straw as I avoided using single-use plastic.
But as I sipped from the glass, all I had was a tasteless drink. I tried stirring and tried again, but nothing changed with the taste. So I had to use the straw and the magic happened. It was so good and truly refreshing.
While waiting for the other guests to arrive, the Honolulu Egg Tart was served. I have been hearing about the Portuguese Egg Tart in Macau but have yet to explore anything similar in the metro. But I really enjoyed Honolulu Cafe’s offering. The crust is buttery and flakey, and the custard is silky, soft, and not too sweet.
Then the mains started pouring in. The first set of main dishes served was the Roasted Pork Belly and Roasted BBQ Pork. Both were delicious, though I preferred the Roasted Pork Belly because of the crunch in the skin.
Then followed by Fried Rice with Seafood and Pineapple, Deep Fried Prawn with Thousand Island Sauce, and the Spicy Beef Brisket. I really enjoyed the prawn and beef dish. Of course, I have my bias because I love seafood and spicy food.
Other dishes were Stir-Fried Noodles and Curry Fish Balls.
I will definitely go back to Honolulu Cafe SM Aura to try their other dishes, especially their signature coffee. I like the place because of the casual vibe, very open, and not intimidating.
If you’re near the Manila area, the restaurant also has a branch at Robinson’s Place Manila. It was actually their first branch.
Visit Honolulu Cafe’s website at honolulu.com.ph for more details.