Fiji Market and Curry Shop: A Must Stop in Kahuku
Left: corned beef curry (top) and vegetarian curry (bottom) with tapioca, dahl and roti; right: chicken curry and steak and mushroom meat pies
Between Kahuku Superette's poke and the shrimp trucks' garlicky plates, it's almost impossible not to stop in Kahuku on the way to the North Shore … unless, I suppose, you hate seafood. Well, here's one more reason to pull over, a reason for everyone, including vegetarians: Fiji Market and Curry Shop, a little South Pacific Island grocery store behind the gas station that serves New Zealand meat pies and Fiji Indian curries with corned beef or vegetables, and rotis, buttered and hot off the griddle.
The meat pies are the best you'll find on Oahu—chunks of curried chicken, or slices of steak and mushroom mixed with ground beef, encased in a buttery, tender crust. They're brought in from Aunty Devi's, a California meat pie maker homesick for the New Zealand pies she could no longer get. These are dense pies that fit in the palm of your hand, as popular and ubiquitous in New Zealand and Australia as spam musubi is here. Fiji Market also sells the pies frozen, to take home, which you should, because there's nothing comparable in town.
Fiji Market's also known for its little takeout counter in the back, where the rotis (like thick flour tortillas) are rolled out to order. Get a side of them to accompany the lamb, chicken, vegetable or corned beef curry—an Indian-style curry with New Zealand tinned corned beef (which doesn't resemble the thick slices of corned beef and cabbage served around St. Patrick's Day, but instead, is chunkier, more tender and flavorful). The vegetarian curry is mostly potato and some eggplant, and comes with a side of dahl, a lentil soup that pops with mustard seeds. Tapioca, or cassava, is an option instead of roti, but Fiji's preparation of this starchy tuber leaves it blander than a potato. Stick with the roti. All plates include a spiced tomato sauce on the side, a bright and tangy accompaniment, but also eminently spoonable on its own, like an Indian version of gazpacho.
Meat pies $4.75, curry plates around $9
Fiji Market and Curry Shop, 56-565 Kamehameha Hwy., Kahuku, 293-7120