Hawaiian-style chicken spot debuts in Fort Worth’s Medical District

A restaurant opens in Fort Worth specializing in the flavors of Hawaii: Aloha Chicken and Shrimp is provisionally opened south of the Medical District in a former burger stand in a supermarket on 8th St. 1945 on December 20th

This is the second location for Aloha Chicken and Shrimp that made its debut at a gas station on 6428 Denton Hwy. in Watauga in October 2018. They have built an enthusiastic following of fans who come for dishes like fried chicken and coconut prawns, which are heaped-up, tasty and filling, and for a good price.

The signature items in the menu include:

  • Spam musubi, like spam sushi with a slice of grilled spam over spiced rice, wrapped in seaweed

  • Chicken katsu, fried chicken schnitzel – often referred to as the Japanese version of fried chicken

  • Coconut prawns

They’re big on plates, including chicken and shrimp combinations. All plates are served with a scoop of macaroni salad, an spring roll and a bed of steamed white rice.

Their chicken is “mochiko” chicken, a popular Hawaiian dish of chicken marinated in a mochiko flour made from sweet rice. The flour is combined with soy sauce and egg to form a batter that creates a crust that is crispy yet slightly chewy. The flavors make you addicted to crispy, salty and sweet. Some have called Mochiko Chicken Hawaii’s version of Popcorn Chicken, but better.

They also make a bulgogi beef bowl and a shrimp bowl with coconut prawns over rice; Crab cakes; Mozzarella sticks and garlic fries that are intensely garlicky.

Hawaii expertise

The owner, Rex Pak, is from California and served in the military. He was stationed in Hawaii. There he met his wife, who had grown up there. They know what they are doing when it comes to that type of food.

“The Spam-Musubi is a recipe from my wife’s aunt,” he says. “With something like the Chicken Katsu, a lot of people take the chicken, season and fry it, and then freeze it so they can prepare it. We don’t freeze it. We make it fresh.”

For the garlic fries he uses chopped fresh garlic, which he mixes into a marinade, which he throws over the fries after they come out of the deep fryer.

“Other people use garlic powder and give you a small serving,” he says. “Our garlic fries, we serve a full tray.”

Pandemic effect

He has always seen Aloha as some kind of take-out deal, and it turned out that during the COVID-19 era he had the right idea.

“When the pandemic first hit we weren’t sure how to go on, but it turned out that we were only getting more popular,” he says. “For a long time it was just me, a kind of one-man band, who did everything and we had to wait up to two hours.”

After Fort Worth opens, he says there are more to come.

“The next stop is either Dallas or somewhere in the Frisco, Carrollton or the Richardson Triangle,” he says. “We get so many customers from these areas.”

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