3 Must-Try Dishes on Moani’s New Lunch Menu
Moani Island Bistro & Bar’s expanded lunch menu includes a bigger variety of pupus, fried stuff, sandwiches, and hearty bowls.
These three new dishes are definitely worth stopping in for.
Chicken Wings & Waffle Fries
One of my recent lunch companions had spent the morning watching the Hot Ones YouTube series, where celebrities get interviewed while eating a progressively spicier set of wings. This created a craving for wings that Moani’s new lunch menu was, happily, able to satisfy.
The wings (pictured above) are battered with a spicy breading, then fried. There’s plenty of flavor on the wings themselves, so you don’t need to slather them with sauce. That’s ideal for lunch — when you have to get back to the rest of your day, you don’t want spicy sauce all over your hands and mouth.
You get 6-8 large wings, along with a spicy garlic butter sauce and a zesty dill ranch sauce for dipping.
The co-star of this show: The delicious waffle fries that serve as a bed for the wings. The fries come with a very tasty housemade seasoning that includes paprika and citrus spice.
If wings aren’t your thing, you can get these fries with a few other dishes:
- Lukela’s Prawns & Fries, served with a lava sauce and furikake mayo
- Tempura Mahimahi & Waffle Fries, served with a yuzu caper tartar sauce
- Or get just straight fries, tater tots, or onion rings
Hot Corned Beef Sandwich
One of the tastiest sandwiches I’ve tried recently, Moani’s new corned beef leapt onto our top Kapolei sandwiches list on first bite.
Moani’s take on the corned beef sandwich has a slight Reuben twist, it comes with pickled cabbage and onions, Provolone cheese, and honey mustard sauce. All of these condiments are melted together in the sandwich — so rather than tasting them individually you get this delicious, explosive bite that incorporates every element of the sandwich.
The toasted sourdough bread adds a nice bit of crunch.
Moani’s new lunch menu has 10 different burgers/sandwiches to try, including:
- Strictly Business, a double cheeseburger served on a brioche bun
- Pork Hash, a pork patty with hoisin glaze, soy mustard aioli, and kim chee, on a taro bun
- Garlic Crusted Ahi, served with avocado and a citrus herb aioli
Sandwiches and burgers come with your choice of fries, tempura onion rings, mac salad, or greens.
If you’re really hungry, Moani offers 10 different hearty bowls at midday.
The Oxtail Luau is new to the menu — a bold, earthy stew, with tender luau leaves and fall apart bits of beef in every bite. Moani serves it with tomato lomi, which gives the dish some acidity to engage all your taste buds.
Oxtail luau is served over rice — choose white or brown — and comes with a side of poi.
I scarfed it down … and only got about halfway through. I took a to-go box and had it again for lunch the next day.
Other bowl options include
- Ma’s Beef Stew & Rice, served with poi, lomi tomato, mac salad, kim chee
- Karaage Chicken Curry, served with lomi tomato, mac salad, two eggs, and gravy
- Moani Ramen (pork and oxtail varieties)
Owner Anna Keolanui told me that the goal behind the new menu was to give people more options. They also added pupus to the menu, as they’d had big demand for more shareables.
Moani Island Bistro & Bar is at Ka Makana Aliʻi, next door to the Hampton Inn. They open for lunch daily at 11:30am.