The Traditional Filipino Feast at Dana’s Restaurant in Waipahu Leaves No Room for Dessert

Forks optional.


filipino food hawaii

Animation: Aaron K. Yoshino



The spectacle hits you first—endless mounds of gorgeous Filipino foods arrayed on banana leaves covering a table for six. And then the volume: It’s enormous. Eaten with bare fingers (you can ask for plastic gloves), the traditional kamayan feast at Dana’s Restaurant and Catering debuted earlier this year as the last request of a 93-year-old customer who left the Philippines as a young man and never returned. It proved so popular the restaurant added it to its regular menu. The main kamayan has nine dishes, meant to feed five or six diners; in reality you’ll need eight if you don’t want leftovers. You can ask to substitute items from the regular menu. Wash your hands, take your place at a banana leaf, use your fingers to slide portions from the communal feast toward you and dig in. And yes, forks are available upon request.


sweet potato salad

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Sweet potato leaf salad

Soft emerald strands topped with fresh tomato and onion are the only edible greens in sight.


Shanghai lumpia

Savory pork filling, vinegar sauce for dipping, can’t stop eating.




Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Pancit bihon

A full 3 feet of silky golden rice noodles twined with veggies—all legit good.


Beef shank




Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


Fried chicken

Brined overnight and twice fried, these wings are light, crispy and stay-on-the-brain fantastic.


Lechon kawali

Improbably light and airy-crisp, with a satisfying crunch to the skin, this is a good gateway lechon.


barbecue stick




Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino





Pork Adobo


$78.99, 94-235 Hanawai Circle, Waipahu, (808) 677-2992,,