By Miles Plauché
Since rolling into the food scene in early 2015, Baileys Café Food Truck has been putting a gourmet spin on the classic plate lunches that Hawaii natives know so well. Inspired by local ingredients, Baileys Café serves up fresh juices, smoothies, espressos and dishes that truly deserve to be called ono.
Owned by Selena and Durien Bailey and located in Haiku Marketplace, Bailey’s Café has a refreshingly laidback and inviting atmosphere. Whoever takes your order will do it with a smile and will make an effort to know your name. The restaurant is already a huge favorite among locals in the area and its popularity only continues to grow. Sit back at a table in the shade and strike up a conversation with some friendly folks as your food is freshly prepared.
The menu is plate lunch style and has plenty of room for personal customization. Plates are affordable ranging from $10-$12 and everything is made in house; Shoyu Chicken, Rosemary Balsamic Chop Steak, or Pan-fried Tofu is accompanied by Happa rice, homemade mac salad and garden salad from local greens. There is the option of substituting in their signature fried rice, which is highly recommended. There is also the option of ordering a ‘boat” which is a smaller tray loaded with fried rice and customized with any additions you like.
The food is so consistently awesome that it will keep you coming back for more. The term “fall off the bone tender” is used a bit casually these days, but for this Shoyu Chicken it really applies. It’s tender and bursting with flavors of garlic, soy, ginger, and brown sugar. It was gobbled up quickly with only the bones left on the plate.
Their Rosemary Balsamic Chopped Steak is savory, tender and tangy and just a bit sweet with a touch of herbaceousness from the rosemary. It’s got nice crisp edges that pair well with the fluffy rice—it too was gobbled up with nothing left on the plate.
Their tofu plate will have meat and veggie lovers alike uniting over a shared interest: delicious tofu—a term that really shouldn’t be thrown around. It’s savory and tender and will leave you thoroughly satisfied.
Baileys Café has a large variety of wonderful drinks on their menu. Their turmeric ginger lemonade is freshly pressed and will definitely put a kick in your step. Their espressos are made fresh and artfully combined with local honey, vanilla, chocolate and other ingredients to create delicious lattes. If you’re looking for a chilly treat order one of their smoothies made with local fruits.
Everyone who eats at Baileys Café will agree that it offers some of the best food around. The plates are big and the smiles left on people’s faces are even bigger. I give Baileys Café 5/5 stars.
Baileys Café is located at 810 Haiku Rd in the Haiku Marketplace. They are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call (808) 276-5753.