Now open: Kaimuki Superette
BY NINA WU / email@example.com
The doors to Ed Kenney’s new Kaimuki Superette opened Monday at the corner of 9th and Waialae avenues, offering seasonal sandwiches, soups, salads, sides and sundries.
Despite the name, Kaimuki Superette is a full-service restaurant, with sit-down tables and stools at counters. You may also pick up a few sundry items, including fresh Shinsato Farms sausage ($7.85), MA‘O greens ($6 a bag), pickled root vegetables and watermelon rind kim chee ($.6.99).
3458 Waialae Ave.
Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays
Someone did walk in, asking if the Superette did laundry, joked Kenney’s wife, Kristen.
The Superette’s motto, printed on the front window and menu, says: “SEAsonal SANDwiches SUNdries.” The place is retro shabby-chic, washed with a fresh coat of white, with a turquoise double-door and a tin ceiling.
“It’s our Downtown @ the HiSAM reborn,” said Kenney. “So the whole thing, we realized, after 10 years of Downtown and Town, is that we could support local farmers and feature local products.”
Downtown @ the HiSAM closed in September 2012 after five years of service.
From seasonal specialties like a South Shore He‘e (octopus) Roll with celery seed and tarragon on a buttered bun ($14) to an open-faced Porchetta sandwich ($13), the menu highlights local producers. On an inner door, the Superette thanked its coproducers, including MA‘O Organic Farms, Shinsato Farm, Kolea Farm, Just Add Water, Ho Farms, Wow Farms and others.
Sandwiches can be ordered with a two sides for an additional $4.
The sides are fresh and creative, including a roasted root, cumin and smoked yogurt salad, kim chee stuffed cucumber, and quinoa, long bean, kabocha and okra in patis (Filipino fish sauce). The sides are available by the half-pint ($4) and pint ($6.50).
There are desserts, too, including fresh baked goodies ($2 to $4), an olive oil cake with local fruit compote ($5) and “The Banini,” a play on a grilled panini with banana.
Takeout is also available.
A large line formed in front of the counter at the Superette at noontime Monday, with plenty of customers curious to know what Kenney would offer at the new eatery, just kitty-corner from his other restaurant, Town.
Proceeds from opening day Monday help support the Hawai‘i Center for Food Safety and its efforts to launch a new non-profit, Hawaii Chefs Action Network (HI-CAN). The non-profit’s mission is to offer chefs educational and networking opportunities to support a sustainable food system.
Kenney said Town would remain open, but that the sandwiches on the lunch menu, with the exception of the burger, would be removed. Town will instead focus on entrees of fresh fish and pastas for lunch.
He’s excited to be able to offer sundry items which use off-grade produce from local farms, he said, like the jar of preserved Wow Farms Roma tomatoes and a Mahi‘ai Mix, which is basically a mix of preserved vegetables from local producers.
Kenney’s kids, Celia, 16, and Duke, 13, will also be pitching in at the store, which hired more than a dozen staff for the opening.
“It’s a modern superette,” said Kenney.