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Everyone’s Happy When Kit’s In The Kitchen

I’m reminded of the speed at which time is passing every time I go back to a restaurant I haven’t been to in a while and catch up with the staff. Restaurants are markers of time as well as anything I know. With their place within communities and their connection to our lives, chefs and restaurant owners see families grow before their eyes. Through breakfasts and dinner, birthday parties and graduations, Thanksgiving celebrations and holidays, the small-restaurant owner is intimately involved in his customer’s lives and in the passage of time.

Ask Kit Yiu about his regular customers and you will hear him sigh.


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Kit Yiu at Kit N Kitchen. Jo McGarry photos

“Oh, they have been part of this restaurant for so long,” he says. “It’s hard to believe we have been here for 12 years – the children who came when they were young are all grown up now.”

Even as we chat, a father comes into the restaurant accompanied by his two sons. They want to plan a family dinner for Sunday night at Kit N Kitchen and have stopped by to ask Kit to create a menu for 30.

“That happens so much,” says the affable Yiu. “We did a wedding last week… and a family dinner at a famous chef’s house the week before.”

There’s something about the mix of Kit’s food that has a broad appeal. Dishes such as Osso Bucco Milanese, served with rice or spaghetti, and Tarako Spaghetti reflect his early days cooking at restaurants where Italian-Asian fusion was all the rage.

“The dishes have an appeal across many levels,” says Kit of a menu that includes noodles, pasta, pizza, steaks, seafood and dozens of dishes you can combine and make your own.

And just like the menu, there’s no particular diner who typifies Kit N Kitchen, where you’re likely to find students and UH professors next to a multifamily gathering or a couple on a first date.

And nowadays the restaurateur and wife May have more on their rather full plates than usual with the recent opening of a second Kit N Kitchen in Pearl Highlands.

“We opened a second location in a completely different area from University,” says Kit, “and we’re happy with the response. We have the same menu and same pricing, and people are really loving our food.”

Especially those who are trying the eclectic dishes for the first time.

There’s always something on special at both restaurants, but probably nothing highlights the value the restaurant offers better than the daily lunchtime specials.

There are dozens of dishes for less than $10 and a range of soup, salad and entrée combination meals that include Spicy Ground Beef with Eggplant, Meatballs and Spaghetti, Chicken Mushroom Spaghetti, Portuguese Sausage and Mushroom Spaghetti and Chicken Milanese – all for just $8.95.

Lighter dishes, like salads, soups and sandwiches, also are priced below $10.

“We always have had a reputation for keeping prices reasonable and the quality of our food very good,” says the seasoned restaurant operator, who has spent more than a decade making lasting relationships with customers and their families. “People appreciate that we offer value, and that we want to serve them the best.”

For lunchtime menu specials, details of the late-night noodle bar and weekend brunch, check out the Kit N Kitchen website kitnkitchen.com.