As I drove into work the other morning I saw tempting signs on the newly opened Four Sister’s Restaurant that boasted $5 breakfast and lunch specials. Four Sister’s Kitchen used to be on the corner of Vineyard and Market in Wailuku, and before that they ran a fast and casual food spot in Lahaina at the same center as Hard Rock Cafe and Ruth’s Chris. Their new location is just a few doors down from their old location, in the new Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Residential Training Center. When my stomach grumbled, I knew I had to stop in for a $5 breakfast test.
So after checking in at the office, an office mate and I walked over to the new spot. I was really surprised to find a huge list of items on their $5 list: eggs and meat plates, pancakes, French toast, adobo fried rice, saimin and dry mein. One thing I’ve never seen on a breakfast menu was the Tortang Talong, a Filipino dish of eggplant and eggs. There are also $6 items like loco moco and marinated milkfish. Upgrading to Eggs Benedict costs $8.95 and steak and eggs will cost $9.95.
Located in the newly renovated Weinberg Residential Training Center building , there are a few tables and chairs in their modest dining room, a display hot food bar where they will do lunch menu specials and an order counter. Their little air-conditioned dining room offers great people-watching in Wailuku.
I immediately recognized the woman behind the counter from Four Sisters Bakery. I stop in there quite a bit to pick up their fresh pandesal, cheese rolls and famous butter rolls. The bakery is open seven days a week. The Four Sisters are really related and it’s a family owned and operated business. Stanley and Rufina Magbual are the founding matriarch and patriarch, and started the bakery business in 1983. Later they opened the restaurant. The Kitchen specializes in local favorites and their Filipino food like adobo and sinigang.
Knowing all this, I had to order the Tortang Talong. I can’t believe how delicious an eggplant stir fried with egg over it can be. It’s kind of like the meat jun of eggplant, without the dipping sauce. Tortang Talong delivers on richness and flavor. I ordered mine with adobo fried rice instead of plain steamed rice, and the fried rice is good enough to stand on its own. Large chunks of adobo and flavorful fried rice made my $5 breakfast leftovers quell my lunch hunger pangs, too.
The French toast had fat slices of creamy egg bread batter-dipped, browned and dusted with powdered sugar. Served with a dollop of melted butter and a takeout container of syrup, it really satisfied–especially considering that it included two scrambled eggs (again, just for $5). While we waited to get our food, they brought us coffee (they also offer ice water).
Their lunches are reasonable, too. The list of sandwiches and burgers ranges from $8 to $9 and includes fries or salad. The plate lunches start at $7.95, with teriyaki, katsu, tofu stir fry and more. The noodles and soups start at the same price with standards like saimin and oxtail soup ($12.95) as well as more exotic pig’s feet lauya and boneless bangus sinigang. They also have a chicken or fish wrap for $5. The Hawaiian plate has kalua pig, lau lau, chicken long rice, squid luau, lomi salmon, mac salad and rice for $10.95.
When I stopped in for lunch later, the dining room was filled with people grabbing lunch. Local kids out of school, tourists visiting the area wanting local food, and a few of us work nerds from Wailuku. The fresh crispy chicharon ($12 per pound) was tempting but I indulged in a cheeseburger and fries for $8.95. It is served “deluxe,” which on Maui means lettuce, tomato and onion–a very healthy cross section of white onion, two nice pieces of baby romaine and beautiful slices of tomato, I might add. The burger was made in-house, and came with American cheese. A pile of hot crinkle fries rounded out the lunch. The sesame seed bun is toasted and left plain for you to doctor. They have a little table in the dining room with condiments like hot sauce, ketchup, shoyu and mustard. We also ordered the katsu, which was piled high with chicken and rice and green salad–delicious when you need a fried chicken fix.
The drinks here are mostly canned or bottled, but if you’re eating in they give you a nice glass of ice. They’re open Monday to Saturday, 7am-3pm and on Fridays, 7am-8pm. On special occasions they also bust out buffets like their special Mother’s Day feast. The Four Sisters also do some very reasonable catering.
Four Sisters Kitchen
2062 Vineyard St.