Chef Moke has experience both butchering and baking. Both of these skills inform the breakfast menu at his two cafes in Oahu. The baking chops make for incredible pancakes, biscuits, and house-made breads; even bread for white toast is baked here. His butchering talent helps him craft one of the best corned beef hashes we’ve had. Breakfast is a happy experience, start to finish.
A hot, grilled biscuit with honey butter comes out quickly. Grilling adds more crusty surface to an already excellent biscuit that is slightly sweet and enriched in the manner of Hawaiian sweet bread.
No Moke meal should be without a stack of pancakes, which are some of our favorites. They are airy with a nice rise and they are incredibly moist. They don’t get weighty and boring the way lesser pancakes do halfway through the stack. Even without lilikoi cream, they would be exceptional pancakes; but the cream makes them unforgettable. It tastes strongly of passion fruit, but has enough butter to smooth the acidity and make it an appropriate pancake glaze. It’s finished with a peak of foamy whipped cream garnished with orange zest. A gorgeous stack of pancakes!
Then there is hash. Brined brisket is pulverized into a soft pink potato patty that has the full flavor of your favorite deli but the texture of a cloud. The only way to improve it is by mashing in a bit of egg yoke into it. Excellent fried rice is a good side dish to prevent the plate from suffering potato overload. Fried rice for breakfast reminded us that we were on the island, and it was quite a tasty morning-time version. It’s visibly peppery and generously studded with Portuguese sausage.
An important note: The coffee is hot, excellent, and refilled frequently. It’s not like we needed another reason to go to Hawaii, but Moke’s is as essential to our trip as a day at the beach.