There are lots of eateries in Kaimuki, as witnessed by our constant reviews in this area such as Bella Mia, Maguro-Ya, Himalayan Kitchen, and Salt. In the same complex as Bella Mia and Himalayan Kitchen lies a hidden gem by the name of Jawaiian Irie Jerk Restaurant. Urged by a very satsified customer who persuaded us to come in, we were extremely happy and already made two trips to this fantastic restaurant.
Unfortunately, I was only able to capture pictures for our second outing since the lighting wasn’t in my favor during our first trip there, but I will definitely talk about the food during both trips!
As usual, customers are served with complementary homemade bread and garlic butter. Not out of this world, but definitely tasty and unique as the bread had a more cornbread consistency but tasted nothing like cornbread.
For appetizers we ordered the Smoke Fish Dip with Fresh Sweet Potato Chips ($7.95) and Jerk Shrimp served with Coconut Curry Sauce ($8.25). The smoke fish dip was extraordinary and extra savory. Paired with the homemade sweet potato chips, the slight sweetness of the chip complemented the smoky taste of the fish very well. The jerk shrimp was also out of this world. Placed on skewers, these plump and juicy shrimp topped with coconut curry sauce just had us begging for more! For all your shrimp lovers, this needs to be on your must eat list!
For entrees, I tried their Jamaican Jerk Chicken ($13.95) and Jamaican Oxtail Stew ($17.95). The chicken had to be the most tender and savory chicken I’ve ever had. Not only were the chicken extremely tasty and savory, but they literally fell off the bone. Before you think $13.95 is hefty for chicken, you actually get three large chicken thighs and rice topped with Ital stew (think veggies mixed with coconut curry). I was not only completely stuffed, but extremely satisfied. I would recommend this dish to anyone looking for fantastic jerk chicken!
Being a huge oxtail fan, I am constantly searching for the best oxtail, but have been only mildly impressed. Look no further as the oxtail here is the best I’ve ever had. Not only was the oxtail portion EXTREMELY large, but it was the most tender and savory oxtail I’ve ever had. Yes, it falls off the bone, but it also melts in your mouth! Hands down, if you love oxtail, PLEASE order this dish. I beg of you. If you find better oxtail, please let me know, because this one is hard to beat!
My girlfriend ordered the Escovitch Fish ($16.95) the first visit and the Nutty Rice with Melted Cheese ($10.95) the second time. The fish was absolutely fantastic and the dry rub topped with tomato vinaigrette and veggies was out of this world. As with all the previous dishes, this filet was huge. Though I was only able to take one bite of this fish, it was very tender and savory. My girlfriend was blown away with how tasty this dish was, and just continued to rave about how this made it into her top 10 restaurants in Hawaii. The nutty rice consisted of Jasmine rice, peas, peanuts, walnuts, herbs and sautéed vegetables, topped with cheddar cheese and served on a bed of callaloo. Again, great dish with lots of flavors, and definitely on the large side in regards to portion.
For dessert we had tried the key lime pie ($5.95) and it was also excellent! Just enough tartness and sweetness made this a great end to a great night.
I HIGHLY recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a great meal. Trust me, it’s worth heading over to Kaimuki just for the food!