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“Great Food, Tiny Dining Room”
Review of Puka Puka Kitchen

Puka Puka Kitchen
Ranked #21 of 246 Restaurants in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner
Reviewed 16 July 2013

As other reviewers have noted, the "dining room" is very compact. 5 chairs are provided at the front window which allows side-by-side seating so patrons can eat and look out the front window onto the sidewalk and street and bay beyond. In addition, there are maybe 4 tables. Long waits are not uncommon. That having been said, the food is worth the wait. I had a perfectly prepared plate of ono (see accompanying photo) with tasty sides. My wife had a plate which she enjoyed equally as much.
Tip: given the usual number of local diners and visitors, especially when a ship has docked for the day, we found it best to have a late lunch. After about 2 PM, we just walked in and sat down. Good timing!

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Thank Tupelo010835
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (180)
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99 - 103 of 180 reviews

Reviewed 10 July 2013 via mobile

Ordered their special of the day (Monday), coconut crusted shrimp, you can't really taste the coconut that much, but I really liked it! Good green salad (on the fancier side) and the curry fried rice- definitely a must-try! Would eat there again :)

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Thank Ivie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2013

I always enjoy eating here the foo ahi and oyster is to die for. I ask for regular rice but the salad is good as well. I enjoy the iced tea. The waitresses all are pleasant and attentive. I love this place.

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Thank 62George
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2013

We ate here in May 2013 while visiting the Hilo Farmers Market. It may not look like much from the exterior but the food is very good.

We both ordered a chicken pita which was good and served out hot and fast. There seemed to also be a lot of take away orders. This may be because the actual dining area is very small. We ate the bar area facing the street and people watched. You see some interesting local characters outside.

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1  Thank trancemission
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2013

Puka Puka is my favorite "Local" grinds place on Bay Front Hilo. They have all the favorites but with an International twist. Garlic fried rice, Japan style curry, fried oysters, Lamb, falafel, salmon salad with somen noodles, fresh ahi and mahi mahi, donburi, gyoza,chicken katsu, saimin, brown rice tea, and specials daily.

The hours are tough if you have a 9 to 5 job, Mon-Sat 9:30 am - 2:30 pm, and Thu-Fri 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm, but we always hit it Friday nights or Saturdays for brunch. Space wise there are really only 4 tables and a long counter, but we seem to walk in at the magic moment when a table opens everytime. Puka Puka offers take out Bento if you cannot wait to be seated. This would not really be the place for a big party. The Waitress is a true beauty inside and out - always patient and kind - knowing people may have waited a little to get their table. Puka Puka's Chef and cooks are talented and friendly, always smiling with a greeting and a thank you for each meal that they prepare FRESH for your enjoyment and nourishment. Puka Puka has ALOHA.

No liquor, wheelchair friendly (window counter seat), be patient and smile.

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2  Thank ArcherKelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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