A Sleek, Casual Dinner at Moku Kitchen on Oahu

Moku Kitchen dining room with patrons
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > A Sleek, Casual Dinner at Moku Kitchen on Oahu

After my recent dinner at Moku Kitchen, I’m eager to share all about this fantastic restaurant.

For our 13th wedding anniversary, my wife and I decided to forgo our tradition of dining out at a fine-dining Oahu steakhouse and opt for something different. 

We were after something more casual, and with a more eclectic selection of appetizers and entrees than the often-predictable menus offered at traditional steakhouses. 

Moku Kitchen at SALT in Kakaako did not disappoint. As always, when writing about dining establishments, I offer here not a restaurant review but a recommendation.

SALT: A New Era for Kakaako

SALT itself is a collection of restaurants, cafés, galleries, and a mish-mash of retail stores. It is at the center of the “live, work, play” ethos that developers are using to attract young professionals, artists, and families to Kakaako

Moku Kitchen is a big draw for a fairly broad demographic, as we saw retirees, tourists, families, and many of the coveted “young professionals” seated among well-spaced tables and scattered along the long bar top.

Moku Kitchen

What to Expect at Moku Kitchen

This modern restaurant offers a hybrid service style. You’ll order at the counter and the seat yourself. Then, a server will bring your order and can add any more items (say, a second drink you’ll want to try). 

I’ll admit that I was mildly confused by the setup at first and feared a cafeteria-style vibe. That fear was misplaced, however, as our server was quick and attentive. 

We dined al fresco at Moku Kitchen for the people-watching it afforded us. However, there is ample indoor dining space as well. Both areas seemed spacious. It’s nice not to feel crammed in for maximum profit as you unwillingly eavesdrop on an obnoxious diner one table over.

And the Food…

Before our food arrived, we had a nice amount of time to enjoy our drinks. I ordered a prosecco, and my wife had the Hana Koa Unbreakable Blonde. 

Our appetizers were delicious. I had Pork Potstickers. Mine is a fairly timid palette when it comes to overly-spicy foods, and they were a perfect mix of sweet and savory, with a decent but not overpowering “zip.” My wife went with the Hapa Hummus, a flavorful plant-based option. She inhaled it before our server returned for our main order.

As for dinner at Moku Kitchen, we decided on Steak Frites, a fun spin on our typical steakhouse anniversary fare.

This was my ideal meal: small bites of delicious morsels without the pressure of a massive plate of food that would be impossible for me to finish. Avoiding food waste has become a bit of a mission for me since that trip to France.

Our Anniversary at Moku Kitchen

It was a clear, cool night in Kakaako when we came here for our anniversary dinner. SALT has established itself as the hub of the neighborhood. Dozens of people milled around the entrances and outdoor seating of the establishments there, walking dogs and pushing strollers along as we dined. 

It offered a hint of the potential Kakaako developers see in the area.

Moku Kitchen is part of the Monkeypod Kitchen brand, which is owned by Merriman’s. Clearly, the minds behind it know a winning formula. With live music several nights a week, a prime location, reasonable prices, and terrific food, their success streak continues. Plus, the silent retro surf videos on monitors over the bar gave the perfect island vibe.