Friday, August 5, 2011

...Fish Express (Kauai, Hawaii)

Overall - 8/10
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Food -  9/10
Service - 9/10
Ambiance- 6/10


Fish Express on Urbanspoon



Located in an unassuming roadside building one might not expect to have a first rate dining experience. However after hearing several recommendations to give this place a try despite its humble exterior we decided to go for it. Upon entering you are greeted by small front shop that is largely taken up by a refrigeration unit holding row upon row of mouth watering Hawaiian 'pokes' which are raw marinated fresh fish dishes. 
Poke Sampler from top left: Kimchi octopus,
seaweed tuna, lomi lomi salmon,  shoyu tuna, lobster salad
We settled on a sampler of different pokes that included tuna, salmon, lobster and octopus. Each dish was subtlety different and tasted of fresh fish and seaweed. If you are a fan of sushi/sashimi you'll love poke, especially if it is prepared as skillfully and with fish as fresh as we had on our visit.


That day there was a special offering of curry shrimp which was served with a scoop of rice and potato salad. The shrimp was succulent and fresh and the curry sauce was mildly spicy and a perfect compliment. Although I've never had potato salad with curry before it really wasn't that far a stretch and was delicious.
Shrimp curry
That day we also sampled several of their fish dishes including macadamia nut crusted ahi tuna, blackened salmon and a katsu crusted ahi tuna served with a wasabi mayo. Again the fish was as fresh as can be and prepared just as was well as any upscale restaurant would. Our favourite was the macadamia crusted tuna which was nutty, moist and perfectly representative of the beautiful Hawaiian setting we were in.
Macademia crusted ahi tuna
Katsu crusted ahí tuna with wasabi mayo
Blackened salmon
Finally, what hawaiian lunch is complete without Kalua pork. If you haven't tried it is like juicy, tender pulled pork but flavoured with sea salt and mesquite smoke. Although a bit dry it was still delicious served with rice and your choice of sides. 
Kalua pork
As mentioned,  to call this place a restaurant wouldn't be entirely accurate, as there are no chairs or tables to eat from. You order your food and pick it up whereupon you either hastily eat it outside in the heat of the sun or drive it back home as fast as you can in hungry anticipation. Although having to control oneself from digging into your food on the drive home can be difficult, the fact that each dish was less than $9 more than compensated for this inconvenience.

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