Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pongo's Kitchen

Pongo's Kitchen is located on Mokauea St. in Honolulu, Hawaii. They are across the street from a great food truck/catering company (Carval Express).

The first thing to note about Pongo's is the parking situation. Basically, if you're lucky, you can temporarily park right in front. Otherwise, you may be searching for a while in the sea of industrial businesses. Next, there is no seating at Pongo's (at least that was the case when I went in early December 2011). So it's really only a takeout establishment.

Pongo's regular menu may look complex initially, but is fairly simple: (1) choose a size; (2) choose an entree (probably the hardest part of the entire process); (3) ask for white or brown rice, (4) choice of corn, mac salad, or mixed vegetables; and (5) choice of drizzles or sauces if applicable.

Menu items include Hamburger Curry ($5.25 mini, $7.45 regular) and their various chicken offerings (fried chicken, sesame chicken, and guava chicken). You can also get a combination surf and turf plate for about $8.

They're also online!
Early Bird Special offer!

Specials are posted on this board
Regular menu (December 2011)
Drizzles and sauces!
When I went in early December, I got one of Pongo's (changing) daily specials: Grilled Ahi Belly with choice of chicken ($8.25). I went with the guava chicken, boneless dark chicken pieces battered and fried, with a special guava drizzle. The garlic ahi got topped with a ginger green onion sauce. I went with brown rice and mixed vegetables.

Grilled Ahi Belly with Guava Chicken
(Pongo's Kitchen)

The ahi was perfectly cooked, very moist. Come on now, this is ahi belly, you *know* you want this part of the fish. The sauce was outstanding here because it elevated a good fish to superstar caliber. Great layers of flavor. The ginger came through front and center.

I enjoyed that guava chicken. The glaze lightly coated each chicken piece, adding that bit of sweetness. I found the chicken hard to cut, but then again, I was using a plastic knife (dang those plastic good-for-nothing things....).

The rice did not appear to be the real fibrous brown rice; it had more of the white rice (smoother) texture. Thee mixed vegetables were as pedestrian as one can get...dull-looking peas and diced carrots that likely came out of a can. Perhaps I shoulda gotten the mac salad, but oh well, maybe next time.

For $8.25, I got what I felt was a lovely portion of food. Great presentation for the fish and chicken. Overall, it was well worth the price and then some. Check out Pongo's Kitchen, and I recommend getting one of the fish/chicken combination plates! 8.25/10

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