Edit ModuleShow Tags

Amina Chau Runs the Only Restaurant in Honolulu Serving Halal Italian Food

Exploring restaurants by the Islamic community on O‘ahu means tasting flavors from Uzbekistan, Iran, Morocco and ... Italy.


Published:

Owner of Amina

 

Amina Chau didn’t grow up Muslim, and she didn’t grow up eating Italian food. And yet, she runs the only restaurant in Honolulu serving halal Italian food. (Halal refers to what is permissible according to the Quran. Restrictions include no alcohol and no pork.)

 

From Saigon, Vietnam, she arrived in Honolulu in 1994 and married a Muslim from Malaysia. She converted to Islam and they opened Amina Pizzeria in Kailua in 1998, and then moved to the current location on Kalākaua Avenue in 2008. She studied the cuisine by trying Italian restaurants in Honolulu and studying cookbooks.

 


SEE ALSO: Moroccan Spot, Casablanca, is One of the Longest-Running Restaurants in Kailua


 

“I love to learn something different from my country,” she says. “And I love Italian food.”

 

She put her favorite dishes on the menu, such as lasagna, pizza and calzone, and tailors the flavors to her own palate, so the tomato sauces border on the sweet and sour. Eighty percent of the dishes are halal, including the pepperoni pizza, which Chau sources halal, all-beef pepperoni for. Sometimes customers are surprised that she cooks the dishes, expecting an Italian chef, or maybe just a non-Asian one, in the kitchen. “I do everything: cooking, dishwasher, cashier,” she says. “It makes me happy, makes me peaceful.”

 


SEE ALSO: Silk Road Café in Honolulu Is One of the Closest Places to Eat by ‘Iolani Palace


 

Open daily, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 9:30 p.m., 1694 Kalākaua Ave., #D, (808) 949-3548

 

Read more stories by Martha Cheng

 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine July 2019
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Trending

 

9 Greatest Honolulu Homes

Great Homes

Stunning, historic, extraordinary.

 

Can the Mainland Do Poke Right? Do We Want Them To?​

Poke

Martha Cheng, author of The Poke Cookbook and former line cook, talks about how a New York City publisher decided Hawai‘i’s favorite pūpū was for everybody.

 

50 Essential Hawai‘i Books You Should Read in Your Lifetime

Books

The most iconic, trenchant and irresistible island books, as voted by a panel of literary community luminaries.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Local Fruit in Hawai‘i

Fruit

Fruits are part of our history and culture, a way for us to feel connected to our community.

 

 

A Local’s Guide to Buying Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Sunscreen

Five Hawai‘i brands have created reef-safe sunscreens that are safe for your ʻohana and the ocean. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags