Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fiji Market

2fiji marketA stone’s throw away from where I work is Fiji Market. I used to think of this as a place that was kind of my own little secret, even though I see local Tongans and Fijians there all the time, but I thought it was sort of an unknown to tourists.

Well, last time I went there were all sorts of people there, locals and tourists alike.

Maybe it has something to do with the sign they have outside?

1fiji marketHawaii restaurants love to claim to be the #1 of whatever it is they’re selling. That is usually not true.

But I’ll go ahead and believe that Fiji Market’s curry is #1.

The curry is sold at the back window inside the store. The market is small but the aisles are chock full of common brand goods sold in Fiji and probably other Polynesian islands. I love to walk up and down the aisles while I wait for the curry and try to figure out what everything is. There are a lot of Indian food products, frozen meats you won’t find at the bigger grocery stores (goat and lamb), Edmond’s Custard Powder, Vegemite, spices galore in bulk bags, foreign sodas, and other odds and ends. I haven’t gotten up the guts to buy some vegemite yet. 4fiji market9fiji market

Here are some of my finds last time. I got the “Crunchie” because I was nostalgic for Australia, where I went for a few weeks in high school. 14fiji market

The curries are chicken, lamb, beef, corned beef, shrimp, and vegetarian. The vegetarian option changes daily, and every time I’ve gone it’s been a different kind. There was a “pea” flavor I didn’t care for (split peas? I think?), but every other time it was great. The flavors have been very different too, not just because there was a different vegetable. This time it was cabbage, and it was basically fried with spices, and I loved it. Often my favorite is the lamb. It is very tender and has a deep flavor. The bones may turn some people off, but I think cooking with the bones is what makes it so good. Just eat around the bones and some extra fat and sop your roti in that gorgeous sauce. The chicken is a yellow curry, and the corned beef is brown and has some great potatoes too. I got the corned beef curry wrapped up in a roti which is an option if you don’t want the whole plate. Certainly the wrap is enough for a normal sized portion for lunch, I think.

12fiji market13fiji market(but we like to overdo it around here, so I got two other curries.)

The vegetarian curry is cheaper and it comes with a side of yellow dal soup. The soup has a strong coriander flavor and both of my kids really like it. Every curry comes with tomato chutney which has just a slight spiciness to it. You can get your curry with 2 roti or rice, and you can always get more roti on the side.

11fiji marketSupposedly there are meat pies and sausage rolls selling now, but I haven’t gotten to have those yet because they weren’t available when I went. Sometimes tapioca (the root) is an option too.

Amaya was wary of the curry at first (she says she hates curry—but all our Indian restaurant experiences have told me otherwise) but asked for 2nds and leftovers the next day. She’s a big meat on the bone fan, which means I’ve taught her well. 3fiji market

Fiji Market

56-565 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku, HI Google Maps

On the right of the sugar mill/gas station

Open 9am-9pm Monday through Saturday

Favorite Eats: lamb curry, roti

Expenses: $8-10 per curry plate (includes rice or roti, tomato chutney), less for a wrap

Little Foodie? Usually mild flavors, soup/dal is a kid favorite in my house

FYI: Take out style, cilantro is a garnish, vegetarian curry changes daily. Browse the shop while you wait. Currently every Yelp! review is 5 stars, which is hard to do. #1!

This is part of a series of posts about North Shore Food.



jalna said...

I'm gonna start plotting me a map to take with me the next time I'm up there, so I won't miss any of these places.

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

You have certainly taught her well. can I just say that as much as I'm loving being here I'm still super sad I won't be coming to Hawaii for Christmas. Also as cool as our house is it will never be great until we can decorate it with a Jake pot. I miss my ceramic mug so much. I hate every other cup I use.

Stephanie said...

I can't believe all the stuff Amaya eats! I am going to send Ambrose to your house for one year and you better turn him over to me with results! I love this place too. I've only been once, but everything I ate made me so very happy that I hold this place in my heart as a favorite spot forever.

Unknown said...

I have always wanted to go and now I NEED to go! Seriously. NEED. Thanks for the review! :D

I'm just trying to get Aaron to eat more vegetables!

Mariko said...

Jalna: DO. Call me up when you come!

Da: I guess I could bring you one, but you won't get to enjoy it for long. :)

Steph: I think it will take 5 years. That's how long it takes. ha!

Imallheart: You should go there, because there's just not enough variety out here. :)

Jesse said...

Now that I think of it, why hasn't there been a Fijian curry place in Hawaii a long time ago. Actually, it sounds like there's been a lot of good food things happening since I left.

Anonymous said...

Hi mariko, this food reminds me of the meal I had with some friends who are from Fiji, they made lamb curry and homemade rotis. These rotis look homemade too..are they ? Looks so ono.

Mariko said...

Jesse: I know, I was thinking the same thing. It seems like a natural thing but I never see fijian curry for sale other than side of the road plate lunch.

Anon: Yes, they are totally homemade. She rolls them out and cooks them right when you order. Sooooo good.

Anonymous said...

Cadbury, I miss the UK already, and the market, how I so WISH there were more American and European markets here in Japan, besides fish. I love all types of curry, Nepalese, any really, the spices are so invigorating.

sophia said...

Oh Mariko, you are making me crave curry in the middle of the night. And on my god! Crunchie!!!!!! It's my favorite childhood candy, alongside Mars bars. Ah, how I miss them!

Natashalh said...

Thanks for the info! I live in Kaneohe and was trying to decide whether to drive to Honolulu for some Indian cooking supplies or go North - I think your blog post answered my question! I checked and they still have 5 stars on Yelp. My man will be stoked, too, because we can stop by for some curry after we go to the North Shore this weekend. Awesome!

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