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Coffee, Pancakes, or Burgers
Price: 1490 yen
This spring, Kona's Coffee - Hawaiian Pancake Cafe opened.
It was really crowded for months after opening, with a parking assistant directing traffic into the parking lot (to avoid hitting any of the elementary school students walking by). We finally made time to check it out, as it seemed like it must be decent, after all there were still people going there often six months later. It just sounded interesting because of the Hawaiian theme, but I don't really get the connection with Hawaii and pancakes. Maybe they have good coffee though, we thought. Worth a try.
We went on a Sunday afternoon so as expected there was a line, about a 15 minute wait, going through the list of guests quickly. They served tiny cups of cold coffee to everyone waiting to be seated. I liked that the tables and chairs were sort of mismatched. There were tropical plants everywhere and surfboards hanging on the wall. Plus lots of fun Engrish on the menu and signs.
We were surprised that there were not only pancakes on the menu, but super fancy pancakes, plus burgers. We went with it and ordered food instead of just a coffee. A burger sounded rad to me, so I ordered a hamburger pancake plate: avocado cheeseburger (hamburg style without a bun), two pancakes and a salad. My companions had the Macadamia Nut Coconut Pancakes and the Apple Milk Pancakes (with a cup of soft cream and a mountain of whipped cream). We skipped on drinks, although they have some amazing sounding coffee and smoothies. It was a little pricey to get both. Got the chance to taste the other two dishes and everything was yummy, a very satisfying meal. The hamburg was juicy but Japanese sized. Might go for a normal burger and skip the fluffy pancakes next time. They have a pepper mill on each table with 'ground coffee' inside, for topping pancakes, but the flavor wasn't obvious.
The atmosphere is good, mostly women meeting friends, as expected. Kona's Coffee is on Highway Three near JR Minami Kurume, Nishitetsu Kurume or Hanabatake stations. It's a 15 minute walk from Nishitetsu Kurume station, but possible to take several buses in that direction (numbers 3, 30, and 31). Seems like most people drive there.
After checking for restaurant hours, I saw that their site shows tons of restaurants all over Japan owned by the same big company. As this appears to be a chain, maybe there's one near you. toridoll.com