A Visit To Crepes No Ka ‘Oi

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - October 27, 2010
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Crepes No Ka ‘Oi in Kailua, owned and operated by Chris and Rosario “Kakay” Tarvyd, has an interesting and romantic story behind it.

Chris grew up going to Tahiti just about every summer since 1978, and there he fell in love with the crepe trucks on the wharf in Papeete. Kakay grew up in the Philippines, and one of her favorite restaurants was a crêperie in Cebu. While Chris was in the Army deployed to the Philippines, they met and fell in love, and it was fate as one of their first dates was in a crêperie in Manila.

While at a farmers market here in Hawaii, Chris and Kakay saw the success of several plate lunch vendors. It looked like hard, but certainly fun and rewarding work, so they came up with a great idea of their own. At the time, nobody else was selling crepes at fairs and festivals on Oahu, and at their first event they were met with an overwhelming response. Over the next year, customers kept asking, “Where’s your restaurant?” It was a gamble, but one that paid off well. In December, their restaurant (located across from Pali Lanes and near Foodland shopping center), turns 2 years old. The restaurant features an eclectic mix of sweet and savory crepes that locals and visitors alike have come to love, at very reasonable prices. They also have a great selection of gourmet loose teas with free refills, and the restaurant is dog friendly (you can sit outside and enjoy crepes with your best friend).

Nutella is a spread with a very unique taste, made from the combination of roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of cocoa. It contains no artificial colors or preservatives, and can be spread on whole grain or multigrain bread, and served with skim milk and fruit for a balanced breakfast that keiki will love.

In its earliest form, it was created in the 1940s by Pietro Ferrero in Italy. During the war chocolate was in short supply, so he used hazelnuts, which were plentiful in the Northwest region of Italy, to extend the cocoa. In Hawaii, it can be purchased at Longs Drugs and Safeway.

Here’s the recipe for one of Crepes No Ka ‘Oi’s most popular recipes.


* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup milk
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 cup flour
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 3 tablespoons melted butter
* butter, for coating the pan
* condiments: Nutella, sliced bananas, sliced strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate powder

Whisk together all of the wet ingredients and then add the flour. Place the batter in the refrigerator for one hour to allow the bubbles to subside. The texture should be like melted ice cream.

Heat a small, nonstick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly, as thin as possible. Cook until you can easily pull the edges up with a silicone spatula (about 30 seconds) and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and place on a plate.

In the center of the crepe, put some banana slices, sliced strawberries and add a drizzle of Nutella. Fold the crepe in on all four sides like a small package and flip over. On top of the crepe, add whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate powder.

Et voilà. Bon appetit!
Note: This recipe makes about 20 crepes.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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