What do you think when you hear of a cookhouse? An island dream culinary experience? Well if you desire such an experience, then you found a great match.
First, the rustic look of this the little green house-turned-restaurant is quite misleading. However, do not let the weather palm exterior fool you. This is no ordinary seaside shack. Rather, this superb restaurant that’s also a gathering place for all walks of island life, a true melting pot.
What To Expect
Kualapu’u Cookhouse is located about 6 miles (9.6 km) from Kaunakakai in the small community of Kualapu’u, a residential part of the Molokai near a coffee plantation. The Cookhouse itself is housed in a traditional plantation-style building with simple furnishings. As such, do not anticipate a Four Seasons type ambiance. It’s a small, local eatery, as such, adjust your expectations accordingly. However, the quality of the food has earned this cookhouse a reputation beyond the boundaries of Molokai.
It’s a favorite hangout spot for locals retrieving “to go” orders and catching up on the latest news here. On arrival, you’ll notice that you can choose to dine inside or by outdoor at picnic tables. As mentioned, takeout is available as well. The restaurant is Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, except on Sundays and Mondays.
Cookhouse Style Menu
Typical choices on the menu include burgers, sandwiches and a variety of other dishes, such as mahimahi or lemon chicken with rice. It’s a typical cookhouse menu, except the food is prepared well and includes several Hawaiian additives.
Breakfast: Breakfast specials include Macadamia Nut Pancakes as well as typical pancake specials, for instance chocolate chip. Normally, pancakes are served with your choice of breakfast meat. They also serve well done cooked bacon, pork chop & egg plate with breakfast potatoes and Scotty’s Special Grill MahiMahi Breakfast. Their Biscuits and Sausage Gravy special is also popular.
Lunch: Lunch choices are often quite high energy and include Fish & hoped they had some Ono (Wahoo), grilled Mahi burger with a side of French fries. There was a lot of fish on our sandwiches.
Dinner: Kualapu’u Cookhouse consistently served dinners that topple its guests’ expectations. As far as variety and presentation are concerned, they rank among the very few best in Molokai. Dinner here often comprises of a few choices such as their Boneless Country Fried Chicken and Mushroom Swiss Burger with Fries. Normally, they also serve fish prepared in a variety of ways, plus beef, lamb and chicken dishes. This being Hawaii, you may want to opt for the mahimahi, a large, extremely strong ray-finned fish found in Hawaiin waters; it’s always a great choice.
As the menu unflinchingly declares, “If you’re in a hurry, you’re on the wrong island!” Yes, Molokai is about relaxing and driving all your cares away. With its great food, possibly the best served on the island, and open atmosphere, Kualapu’u Cookhouse embraces the Molokai tradition. As mentioned, the restaurant is closed on Sunday, like most places and on Monday as well, so plan accordingly.