One more reason to visit Chinatown in downtown Honolulu is Scratch Kitchen and Bake Shop. Up until a year ago, breakfast options in Chinatown were virtually non existent, unless you were searching for dim sum or a quick snack from one of the markets. Scratch is one of the many exciting new places worthy of a visit to Honolulu’s historic Chinatown. Brian Chan and his family have culinary roots in the neighborhood, owning Little Village Noodle House along with Epic, where Brian was previously Chef and part owner, until he opened up his own baby: Scratch Kitchen and Bake Shop.
Although Brian grew up with Asian influences in his cooking, he has stepped out of the box and has created a diverse menu with Latin and Southern combinations weaving their way together in a truly unique way. When I asked him about his food philosophy, he said he just wants to make “simple, tasty food, with few ingredients”, but when you see his dishes, those are not the humble words that come to mind. His creations scream innovative, sexy and maybe even a bit rebellious.
Scratch serves their “Brekky” menu from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and “Lunchy” from 10:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. and is now adding a tapas style dinner menu on Thurs-Saturday from 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The Brekky menu serves up an amazing “BLT Benny”: smoked bacon, soft poached egg, sauteed kale, and griddled tomato on a toasted english muffin.
A crazy “Chilaquiles” consisting of shredded chicken, sunny eggs, corn tortillas, roasted tomato-chipotle sauce, lime crema and queso fresco.
Or how about their “Pound Cake French Toast”, which is really more dessert than breakfast and is nothing less that art on a plate.
Their “Lunchy” menu has two of my favorites: “The BC Burger” – Big Island Beef, smoked bacon, griddled apple, (yes APPLE), melted brie, and honey aioli on a brioche bun,
or a ridiculously amazing “Cider Braised Pork Belly & Apple Pasta” – hand cut pasta, egg yolk, radish & gorgonzola cheese with that pork belly and apple. Yes, just yes, to all of it.
Even their “Misc” section of the menu is great. Things like “Big Ass Biscuit w/ Vanilla Maple Butter”, “Crispy Smashed Taters”, or a “Bowl of Brussels w/ Sunny Egg & Whipped Ricotta”, lets you know that this is a renegade menu that works in every way.
And if you’re one to throw back a cocktail with your brunch, there is of course mimosa’s, or their gorgeously garnished Bloody Mary, or a refreshing Moscow Mule.
The service is amazing and you are sure to find Brian behind the counter putting the finishing touches on a dish or starting up the mixer to create the next batch of something magical, while a server is attentively refills your water glass.
Be sure to put Chinatown on your list of places to visit for unique shops, open markets and an amazing meal at Scratch.
Scratch Kitchen and Bake Shop
1030 Smith Street, Honolulu