Anuenue Café, opened in September 2015, is an asset to the Poipu restaurant scene. Owners John and Michelle Adams were living in Oahu, with dreams of someday retiring in Kauai, when a call from the Poipu Shopping Village management, changed their lives.
Having heard of John’s reputation as a chef, and with several vacancies in the shopping center, Shopping Village invited John and Michelle to come to Poipu and investigate the possibility of opening a restaurant there. Fourteen months later, Anuenue (rainbow in Hawaiian) Café opened its doors.
Chef John, with 28 years experience and classically trained, did not envision himself in a restaurant primarily serving breakfast. However, when John, working as a private chef in Oahu, and Michelle an economics teacher, made their exploratory trip to Poipu and surveyed the culinary scene they realized what was missing was a restaurant serving superb breakfast food seven days a week. And their concept for Anuenue Café was born – great food and great coffee featuring local products and produce.
My first visit to the café I could not resist the day’s special,
The pumpkin pancakes had just the right amount of spice to bring out the pumpkin flavor and not overwhelm it. They were accompanied by two perfectly cooked eggs and bacon. I asked for bacon in place of the sausage and was delighted to find it cooked just as I had requested, extra crispy.
The hot Lilikoi tea from Kauai Roastery was a nice surprise, a hint of sweetness with no actual sugar in the product.
Michelle kindly offered me one of her Coconut Lime Macaroons to take home and savor later. The macaroons are Michelle’s, the front of house and financial manager for the café, only contribution to the food at Anuenue, but an awesome contribution they are.
Of course, I had to come back another day to try one of their specialty Eggs Benedict, always one of my favorite breakfast items. So, two weeks later I bypassed the tempting sounding specials of the day and ordered The Riptide.
If you plan to order the The Riptide come hungry! This delicious dish is made with a Taro English muffin, kalua pork, two fried eggs and Meyer lemon hollandaise served with herb roasted potatoes. Each individual item in this combination was top notch from the kalua pulled pork, which is wrapped in banana leaves and slow cooked for about 20 hours, to the classic hollandaise. I am somewhat of a snob about my hollandaise and I had no complaints about this one.
The Anuenue menu features combination plates such as the two specialty eggs benedict but also offers a la carte items. Their menu provides options for almost any appetite and budget.
A la Carte Menu as of April 2016
2 Eggs any style $5, Bacon $4, Portuguese sausage $4, Herb roasted potatoes $4, 2 Plain Pancakes $5, 2 Banana Mac Nut Pancakes $7, Haupia Mac Nut French Toast $7, Greek yogurt $4, Seasonal Fruit $6, Rice $3, Coconut Macaroon $4, Quiche of the Day $7
The café also has some lunch selections and daily specials. For the first four months both John and Michelle worked seven days a week without a day off. Quality is of the upmost importance to them. Because of that they now each take one day off a week, but not on the same day. Thursday is John’s day off and his specials are not offered on that day. However, there are many other great choices on the menu.
When I was there the restaurant had been open only five months. They were busy whenever I stopped by, rain or shine. They currently have a five year lease. I expect this restaurant to continue to be a success and be around for a long time to come.
Anuenue Café is located in the Popui Shopping Village at 2360 Kiahuna Plantation Drive, Poipu, on Kauai. They are open every day at 6am and close about 2pm with the chef’s specials available until 12:30. I think they are the number one spot on the south side for quality food with a variety of choices for breakfast.