Everyone always makes a stop to visit Koko Head Cafe when they are in Oahu. Started by Top Chef Season 1 contestant, Lee Ann Wong, she is the executive chef and partner of this cafe so I had very high expectations coming here. Known for her dumplings of the day, the server told me that they would choose a random recipe from her popular book, Dumplings All Day Wong, which I thought was such a fun and creative idea. I would highly suggest making a reservation on OpenTable before you come since the line for walk-ins is really long. I was quoted that it’ll take an hour and forty-five minutes during a weekend so I made sure to make a reservation and was seated quickly. You can find street parking throughout the neighborhood but they do not have their own parking lot. Koko Head Cafe has a great brunch menu and their items range from Asian to classic Hawaiian dishes.
I’ve tried a few items and their most popular dish is the cornflake french toast. Topped with billionaire’s bacon, frosted flake gelato, and delicious french toast, this is an extremely decadent dish. Drizzled with black pepper maple, this is your typical french toast but with an elevated and fancy twist. Another popular item on the menu is their Koko Moco which is their take on the classic loco moco. Served on a stone pot and topped with garlic rice, beef patty, mushroom gravy, and a sunny side up egg, this was my favorite dish! The stone pot makes the rice even more crispy and pairs nicely with the soft patty. There is also tempura kimchi on the side to break up the richness of the gravy. While this dish might seem small, it was very hearty and filling. Since everyone recommends the dumpling of the day, it was Mediterranean on the day that I went. There were five dumplings and each item was plated very beautifully. People weren’t kidding when they said Koko Head Cafe has the best dumplings on the island even though they are different each day since the flavor profiles for the Mediterranean itself were so rich and delicious.
I would highly recommend getting the dumplings and Koko Moco if you get a chance to visit Kokohead Cafe. Located in the Kaimuki neighborhood, add this restaurant to your list once you are done with Diamond Head since it is close by. The staff was extremely friendly and welcoming and you will not be disappointed by anything you order here!