Living near the ocean, you would sometimes think that there is an abundance of seafood restaurants nearby, and you’d be right. However, many of them do not serve shrimp, as it is not typically caught or farmed here in South Korea. That’s why when I heard that there was going to be a location of Hawaii Shrimp Truck, a Korean franchise, opening up, I got very excited.
My understanding is that originally the location was only in food trucks, something I am fascinated by, but recently they have been going more of the sit-down restaurant style and expanding their operations.
The shop in my neighborhood opened in August 2021 and is impressively located over two floors with terrace seating on both floors a well as indoor seating, giving diners the opportunity to enjoy their meals just a few steps from the ocean.
After arriving on the second floor of the building and stepping inside Hawaii Shrimp Truck, I was immediately impressed with how bright, open, and clean the restaurant was.
Next to the door, there is a kiosk for self-ordering, and after taking a look at the menu, I decided to try the Hot and Spicy Shrimp and my partner got the Hawaiian Loco Moco.
After choosing a table, I checked out the décor of the location.
Hawaii Shrimp Truck has rice and cream soup for you to take as you please, so I helped myself to a bowl and added a generous portion of pepper to the soup.
The soup was nice and creamy, although there was no special flavor like chicken or mushroom to it.
As I was eating my soup, the staff brought over a salad for us to share.
The vegetables were very fresh and crisp and the salad dressing on top collaborated very well with the greens and other veg.
Finally my shrimp arrived, and I was ready to dive into to this dish!
The shrimp had been butterflied and were liberally coated in a nice spicy sauce. Taking my first bite, there was a nice chewy texture to the shrimp and the hot and spicy flavor was very prevalent as I worked my way through.
The shrimp also came with some rice, pickles, pineapple, and macaroni salad. The pineapple was sweet and juicy, and added a nice contrast to the spicy shrimp. I was disappointed in the macaroni salad, as the pasta was overcooked, so it was mushy and not seasoned particularly well.
One thing I did notice with the shrimp is that some of the shell had been left on the meat, which normally wouldn’t be a problem, but with all the spicy sauce on it was hard to notice at first.
The Hawaiian Loco Moco arrived soon after and was served with many of the same side dishes, but also came with a fried egg on top and a demi-glace sauce that was very reminiscent of the sauce you would get with a pork cutlet here in South Korea.
The Loco Moco patty was well cooked but didn’t have a lot of flavor. It seemed like a mixture of pork and beef, and the egg on top was nice but just a tad undercooked. I think that this dish would be better if some spices were added to the meat patty. There was a very generous portion of rice with this dish and it was useful in sharing with the smaller portion that came with my shrimp.
Overall Hawaii Shrimp Truck offers many options for the shrimp lover in you at a price that isn’t too exorbitant. I’m not sure that I would get the Loco Moco from here again, but I am very curious to see just how spicy the next level up is, the So Hot and Spicy Shrimp. I will be sure to go back to the location again to try it and see if it really is hot!