Saturday, July 31, 2010

Keei Cafe. The best value nice dinner restaurant in Kona?

Looking for a good meal that won't necessarily bust your wallet? Pat and I went to our favorite nice restaurant on the island again last night for an early meal. I thought I'd give it a plug. Keei Cafe. We managed to pretty much open up the place last night, so seating was wide open and "Uncle Freddy" was just setting up to start performing (he apprently is there Thursday through Saturday at this time). Nice quiet jazz with singing, very pleasant.

When I first moved here I kept having people tell me about this great little roadside shack to eat at, it was the original location for Keei Cafe... I think it had 9 card tables with gingham fabric tablecloths at the time. Several years ago they moved into new digs... bigger, lots of tropical woods, full bar, very nice.

The Keei Cafe has a smallish menu... a fancy tostada, half a chicken, ribeye steak, rack of lamb, 2-3 fish items cooked 3 different ways, and a few other things I'm forgetting off the top of my head, as well as soups, salads and deserts. Everything we've ever had there is very tasty and cooked properly. Entree prices start in the 12-13 buck range and top out at $25.99 for the rack of lamb. My pan seared ribeye steak was $22.99 and Pat's pan seared lemon caper butter sauce Ono plate was $21.99. We also had a nice greek salad at $7.99. Everything's great, the portions are good, the photos don't do them justice as far as size goes, and we can't recall them having raised prices at all in several years. We haven't found a meal this good for this price anywhere else on the west side of the island in a long time.Pat and I are not big desert eaters, but Bob (my employee) loves their mango cobbler and every desert I've tried over the years has been great. Located in Kealakekua on the mauka side of the highway, it's a bit of a trip for some vacationers, but it's worth it in our opinion. One note: They've been cash only, no credit cards, for years. Nowadays with even fast food places taking credit cards I thought I'd better mention it.

Oh, and did I mention the maitais are delicious? Very interesting, have a bit of li heng mui powder mixed in... you'll either love it or hate it I guess.

Good meal.


Marjory said...

My husband and I were on Kona a couple of years ago for our twentieth anniversary. Diving, of course but also eating. We stayed at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort which was a beautiful hotel but I can't say I enjoyed the meals that much.

Wish I'd read your review then. Where is this restaurant in relation to the Sheraton?

Steve said...

From the Sheraton it's up the hill to the highway, then probably 10 minutes south. It's right before the Kona hospital turnoff before you get to Kealakekua. Uphill side of the road.

Barry Fackler said...

My wife and I eat at Keei Cafe frequently. It is a really great place and the food is superb. Our favorite is the pork chops with pineapple glaze. We also like the baked brie as an appetizer and the flan for dessert. The staff (especially Greg, Bobby, and Bill) are terrific as well. Thanks for giving this restaurant the props it deserves!

Steve said...

Thanks Barry. It really is a nice spot, and the food's great. It practically pains me to go in Kona restaurants these days, they all seem so much slower than 3-4 years ago. Last year seems that it was a bad year for restaurants here, saw an old favorite or two go out, don't know that mentioning some of my favorites here will help, but it can't hurt.