Sneak Peek at Foodland’s First In-Store Restaurant
Mahi‘ai Table opens July 15 along with Foodland Farms in Kapolei.
West Side, rejoice: Kapolei is the site of not just the newest Foodland Farms, opening July 15 at Ka Makana Ali‘i, but of Foodland’s first in-store restaurant. Mahi‘ai Table will be a full-service restaurant and bar on the same side of the mall as Hampton Inn and 24 Hour Fitness. This means not only can you go out for a sit-down meal before you get groceries, you can actually order groceries online while you eat and have them ready for pickup when you’re done.
Mahi‘ai means “farmer” or “farming” in Hawaiian, so you’ll see a lot of locally sourced ingredients from places like Pono Pork, MA‘O Organic Farms and Ho Farms on the menu. There‘ll be fast-casual breakfast items, and lunch and dinner choices include appetizers like mango-glazed chicken wings with arare, burgers, pizzas, mains like Pono Pork chops and desserts. Reservations are recommended — as they are for shopping at this Foodland too, to minimize waiting in line — you’ll need a mask, tables are socially distanced and theres a maximum of four guests per table if you’re eating in.
We tried a bunch of dishes at a media preview last Friday. Here’s a rundown of our favorites. Definitely start with the beef luau with slow-braised short ribs and Ho Farms lomi tomato; it’s savory with a tiny kick at the end, a fun twist on a local staple. We also loved the grilled opah with avocado relish and bright succotash of Ewa corn and edamame, and the juicy, roasted half chicken with taro mash, Hamakua alii mushrooms and pan drippings. Save room for dessert—the malassada crullers with lilikoi caramel are crispy, light and overall pretty incredible, and the comforting ube pie with vanilla coconut anglaise and a hint of ginger is also worth the calories.
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On to the store: This Foodland Farms will have familiar Foodland favorites like fresh fried chicken, a good poke selection, fresh produce, full-service meat and seafood counters and Foodland To You delivery and curbside pickup. There’s a HI Steaks counter in there, too. Some things unique to this Foodland Farms:
- There’s a 900-square-food indoor-outdoor lanai where you can eat your bentos and meals from the food stations
- Only fresh ahi, not frozen, is going into the poke
- Some sections will have more natural and organic products than conventional: locally made grain-free granola and power bars, fresh juices and wellness boosts, meat alternatives, gluten-free products and keto- and paleo-friendly foods
- A bowls station next to the burritos station will have made-to-order greens, grains and protein bowls
- In place of the hot and cold bars: Grab-and-go bentos for breakfast and meat-and-veggie combo plates at lunch. New grab-and-go items include ready-to-heat family meals and prepackaged local faves like gyoza, lumpia, Okinawan sweet potato tempura
- The number of customers inside the store will be limited for safety. You can reserve a shopping time online at Foodland.com/opentable to skip the line. The limit is two people per group. You can also show up without a reserved shopping time but may have to wait to get in.
Foodland Farms Ka Makana Ali‘i and Mahi‘ai Table grand-open at 10 a.m. on July 15 and will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (last seating at the restaurant is 8 p.m.). Watch the video for a sneak peek.