Blazed by Pololi: Hawaiian street food at your doorstep

by: Angie Kwon, Editor
30 Nov 2017

If you don’t know what this is, one thing it isn’t is a restaurant. It’s a new kind of start-up, a new kind of dining concept for a generation of potato sacks that spend most of their time delivering food than cooking. Everyone is getting their food delivered, and many restaurants benefit more from the delivery market than their in-house. Blazed by Pololi is a new Hawaiian BBQ kitchen that sends food straight through Deliveroo’s new Edition programme. Find out more about it here.

Blazed by Pololi is offering Hawaii’s best BBQ packed in a box along with rice, macaroni and red cabbage. We got a little bit of everything… BBQ chicken, deep-fried chicken katsu, BBQ beef short ribs, Hawaii’s famous garlic shrimp, kalua pulled pork and coco lime shrimp. 

There’s something ultimately comforting about Hawaiian home food. Perhaps it’s the picture it paints-- a lively fairylights-lit garden with over a dozen friends chatting over a gigantic outdoor grill filled with different marinated meats. Maybe it’s the fact Hawaii has one of the best food-truck grub ever. Or maybe it’s the fact that many of these BBQ items seem so similar yet a little bit sweeter, a little more tropical. Anyhow, let’s get onto the review. 

On first glance, we saw that each of the lunchboxes were packed to the brim, which is obviously great, but the meat seemed to have been squished. And when meat is squashed that way, all the sauces and all the different textures mix together. But still, there’s something incredibly homely and authentic about the whole thing, like something straight out of a food truck. The portions are ginormous, this one's got guilt and comfort written all over it. 

The first things we grabbed were the Hawaiian garlic shrimps. It’s Hawaii’s most iconic street food and Blazed’s version didn’t disappoint. They came skewered on a stick; medium sized shrimps grilled and covered with a garlic-y breadcrumb topping. Delicious. The coco-lime shrimps were overshadowed by the garlic shrimps, we don’t remember them that much. 

Next, we went on to the mac salad. A staple side dish, the mayo-based pasta salad was more savoury than the usual sweet versions in Japan and Korea, with a more sour & peppery aftertaste. The sauce was too thick, with a vinegary aftertaste that didn’t go well with us. Authentic as it was, perhaps a different kind of mayonnaise or less vinegar would do better. 

The chicken katsu was an absolute superstar. Crispy on the outside (despite being squished), tender on the inside and covered in a deliciously sweet creamy sauce. Unfortunately, the BBQ chicken wasn’t as good, overcooked and hard, the caramelisation in the edges would have been quite nice if not for the tough meat. 

The BBQ short ribs were spot-on. Very similar to an authentic Korean galbi, it was tender, good quality and a finger-licking bomb of umami. Perhaps to accompany the short ribs, there was a small amount of kimchi hidden under the meat. 

Lastly, we tried the spam musubi, and I’ve got to tell you, this is possibly the best spam musubi I’ve ever had. The rice is perfectly fluffy, and each morsel is covered in that delicious teriyaki-like broth. 

All in all, Blazed in Pololi is a solid meal. If I could have a choice of short-ribs, garlic shrimps and chicken katsu all in one box, I’d eat this every day, any day. But so far you can only get these separately. Branch out towards the areas of Central and Kowloon too, please!