Café Coco is located in the heart of Wailua, on the Garden Isle of Kauai. Set back from the main highway, it is a quaint cottage with an outdoor garden setting. The café is recently under new ownership, and the ambience has vastly improved – it used to be quite ramshackle – the décor was tattered and the exterior was overgrown with lilikoi vines. The new owners have transformed it into a ‘hippie chique’ style – laid-back and casual with a relaxed local vibe. Most evenings they have live music by local musicians.
The great thing about Café Coco is that they strive to support Island grown produce, as well as sourcing fresh fish and organic chicken. They grow some of their own produce - at the entrance to the cafe an array of salad greens, tomatoes and vines are growing neatly in raised beds. Cafe Coco also cater for many tastes - offering vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. House-made icecreams are on the menu and quite popular.
The Café Coco street sign states ‘Organic’ and when we saw that we were excited to try it as we tend to eat an all-organic diet. It was a little disappointing to discover that only some menu items, or part of a dish, were in fact organic as stated. Still, we were open to try the food and were immediately impressed by the improved ambience of the place.
We ordered the Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup for starters, and it was served promptly. It was tasty enough, served with toasted pepitas and pinenuts, but overall it was far too salty. We also chose the Purple Sweet Potato Samosa with Banana Chutney and that was really delicious. It was served on a bed of soba noodles and cabbage, and the chutney accompanied the subtle curry flavor of the dish quite well.
We were very disappointed with the main meal. We ordered the Jamacian Jerk Organic Chicken, with purple sweet potatoes, coconut creamed spinach, pineapple salsa with green salad. It was awful. One of the worst meals I’ve had on Kauai, especially given the price, and Kauai is not known for its culinary arts! The chicken was undercooked and we had to send it back. It returned cooked through but barely palatable – extremely bland and tasteless.
In previous visits we had enjoyed the Ahi Charmoula Platter (with Moroccan-spiced Ahi) and it was very good. So, perhaps the chef was having an ‘off’ night, which resulted in our bland chicken dish; we found out after our meal that the owner had just left for a trip off island so perhaps her crew was struggling without her supervision. We’d be willing to give the place another try, however in our experience it is definitely not amongst the better food places on Kauai.
Open for dinner daily 5-9pm. Phone: 808 822 7990