In our various journeys to Tokyo together, the one constant has been Tokyo Disney. Erin writes about the Disney Theme Parks on Examiner.com and her Pooh’s Travels blog, so whenever we have a chance to combine our travels with a visit to one of the Parks anywhere in the world, we try to do so. We’ve had a number of trips to Tokyo Disneyland since moving to Taiwan in 2009, and have managed to eat at almost every restaurant and food stand in both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySEA, as well as the Disney Resort Hotels. We’ve also managed to walk every inch of the theme parks, sometimes putting in some very long and exhausting days.
On our most recent visit to the Resort in May, we had a very short time in Tokyo, so in order to visit both Parks and have a day in Tokyo, we knew we’d have to take advantage of every minute we had, so we flew in that morning (6AM wakeup following a 2AM bedtime after watching Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides here in Taipei on opening night) and rushed straight to our hotel at the Resort (Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel) and then into Tokyo DisneySEA in order to catch the new Fantasmic show. By the time Fantasmic ended, we were pretty beat!
How many times do you get to that point where you have been on your feet for way too long, you’re physically and emotionally exhausted, and just want to get back to your room and relax? We found ourselves hitting that wall, and nothing is better than a little comfort food to help rejuvenate you in this circumstance.
On on of her previous solo trips to Tokyo Disney, Erin had done take-out from the Hawaiian burger restaurant, Kua ‘Aina, which happens to be located right next door to the Disney Store in the Ikspiari shopping and entertainment complex. Rather than trying for a big sit-down dinner in DisneySEA (where we have already tried every restaurant in the Park and at the Hotel Miracosta) we opted to head over to Ikspiari to pick up whatever we needed from the Disney Store and grab some burgers to bring back to our room.
Kua ‘Aina (pronounced “Koo-a eye-na”) had it’s start on Hawaii’s North Shore in 1975, and currently has locations in Honolulu and Haleiwa in Hawaii, one location in London (opened in April, 2011) and 17 locations in the Tokyo area. Kua ‘Aina literally refers to someone from the “back country”, but for Hawaiian natives, it refers more to people who actively live Hawaiian culture and keep the spirit of the land alive.
Kua ‘Aina at Tokyo Bay offers five hamburger options; Hamburger, Cheese Burger, Bacon Burger, Pineapple Burger and Avocado Burger. They also offer nine other sandwich options; BLT & Avocado, Teri Chicken, Rosemary Chicken, Tuna & Avocado, Pastrami, Mahi Mahi, Roast Turkey, Roast Beer and Turkey & Avocado. Each is available as sandwich only as as a set with a soft drink, french fries and onion rings. They also have side dishes such as french fries, onion rings, popcorn shrimp, chicken nuggets, crispy finger chicken, clam chowder, pumpkin soup and pickles. For a (perhaps) healthier option, they also have a Caesar Salad, Avocado Salad and Hawaiian Cobb Salad.
For our take-away dinner, I went with the Avocado Burger and Erin went for the BLT & Avocado. It is very difficult and expensive for us to get avocados in Taiwan, so we both jumped at the chance to get some decent avocado. At Kua ‘Aina, they take their take-out seriously, with ingenious containers perfect for eating in your hotel room without plates available.
The Avocado burger was a pleasant surprise, with a generous, thick, nicely coked beef patty loaded with a couple of large slices of fresh avocado. There was a similar generous helping of avocado present on the BLT & Avocado, and the bacon was crisp and well prepared. Both sandwiches really hit the spot. The sides of onion rings and french fries were also nice, with a nice crisp that lasted all the way to our hotel room. The batter on the onion rings was very tasty.
To go with our sandwiches, in honor of American Craft Beer Week, we took advantage of the presence of a couple offerings from Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Co. Kona Brewing has been producing their line of craft beers since 1994. They are committed to making handcrafted ales and lagers of uncompromising quality. Kua ‘Aina offers up the three flagship brews from Kona — Fire Rock Pale Ale, Big Wave Golden Ale, and Long Board Island Lager. We went with the two ales for our meal.
Fire Rock Pale Ale is a “Hawaiian-Style” Pale Ale with a bright, copper color, citrus-floral hop aroma and a rich, roasted malt taste. This went perfectly with the flavor of the burger.
Big Wave Golden Ale is a smooth, refreshing brew inspired by what makes Hawaii great. It has a light, golden color with subtle fruity hop aroma and a slight sweetness.
Ikspiari Shopping Complex