We Tried All 5 Fried Rices at ‘Aiea’s Queen Street Cafe & Grill
Because how could we resist? Here’s how they compare.
Rice, rice and more rice. Hawai‘i loves rice, and as we learned from the Frolic Foodies Facebook group, people get especially fanatical about fried rice. Like Queen Street Cafe & Grill in ‘Aiea Town Square, for example: They take their fried rice so seriously, they serve up five different options.
You can get any of the fried rice options by the plate ($11.75), as a side dish ($8) or as a substitute for white rice with any plate for $1 more. Aside from fried rice, Queen Street Cafe & Grill is known for its firecracker chicken and pork chops. The restaurant is currently takeout only, which did not stop us from ordering and eating all five fried rices—as a public service, of course. Here are our notes.
Garlic Fried Rice
Bacon, Portuguese sausage, Spam, eggs, green peas, green onion, garlic
This might not be the immediate choice if you’re going on a first date, but if you love garlic like me, you will love the garlic fried rice. The garlic is strong but not overwhelming, and salty, slightly fatty bacon and Portuguese sausage complete everything. We got this fried rice with the Korean chicken katsu, and would definitely recommend the combination.
Kim Chee Fried Rice
Bacon, Portuguese sausage, eggs, green onion, kim chee
I tend to get intimidated by kim chee, but in this fried rice, a mild spice level paired well with the egg and various breakfast meats. Enhancing an everyday fried rice by adding some spice was just right for my palate and made this my second favorite of the five.
Lup Cheong Fried Rice
Lup cheong, eggs, green onion
When I saw lup cheong fried rice on the menu, I knew I had to order it. It was sweet and salty, simple and flavorful. I would definitely pair this fried rice with a meat dish since it sort of made me crave more meat.
Adobo Fried Rice
Adobo pork, green onion, egg
If you love adobo pork with hints of cinnamon, this is the fried rice for you. Normally I’m not tempted by cinnamon flavors, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it complemented the mild saltiness of the adobo. It’s an interesting take on fried rice: We ordered it with kiawe-grilled steak and shrimp tempura and it worked.
Regular Fried Rice
Bacon, Portuguese sausage, char siu, Spam, eggs, green onion, green peas, carrots
A classic fried rice that I knew growing up and love until this day, consisting of all my favorite breakfast meats, eggs and vegetables. This is a menu staple that can be eaten on its own. A subtle gloss of shoyu coats the rice grains. This is pure comfort food.
So which fried rice would you choose?
Open Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 99-080 Kauhale St. #C1, (808) 484-2708, @queenstcafe