My husband recently partnered with his Moroccan friend to open Hawaii’s first Moroccan-Lebanese restaurant in downtown Honolulu called Kan Zaman. Kan Zaman in Arabic means “Once Upon a Time”, which fits nicely into their themed Middle Eastern restaurant. Although Kan Zaman has been open for 7 months, we rarely have the chance to eat there because the kids schedule of activities are so full.
So when we had to opportunity to go there, we invited some of Lou Lou and Jaf’s school friends who never tried Middle Eastern/North African food before. Everyone was excited!
It was 5pm on a Friday and we chose this time specifically because we knew it wouldn’t be crowded. Since they have a wonderful outdoor courtyard, we chose to reserve a space there for dinner.
As we waited for our guests to arrive, my daughter sat and decided to do her homework on the majilis that was created just for her by her father.
Our friends arrived and we received our menus. Lou Lou already knew what she wanted, “Can I have hummus, the appetizer plate and Arabic bread please?” My children are used to eating Middle Eastern foods, so it was interesting to watch them order and explain “what was what” to their friends when the food finally arrived.
Our friends asked us to order for them and there was a huge spread! Here are a few items we suggest that are kid friendly and what my children love in particular.
“Shish” or “Sheesh” means stick or skewer, depending on what part of the Middle East you are from. My children are half Lebanese and so we call it a Shish (Shh-ish) kabob.
Couscous is a dish made of semolina, cooked by steam. It is traditionally served with meat or vegetables and is a staple food in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. My kids love vegetables, especially if they are colorful and look appetizing! The kabocha squash, zucchini and carrots in this dish are so tender and wonderful…
Chicken Tagine is a popular Moroccan dish and a kid favorite. Under the fries are tender pieces of chicken marinated in a garlic, onions, turmeric, cilantro and cinnamon. Jaf kept dipping his bread into the sauce, enjoying every bit of it.
Stuffed and barely ready for dessert us adults decided to share the Orange Blossom cheesecake and Baklava.
It was a beautiful evening and the kids were so happy to be able to share a part of our culture with their friends.
Kan Zaman Restaurant
1028 Nuuanu Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Hours: Mon-Thu 11 am – 9:30 pm / Fri-Sat 11 am – 10:30 pm
Good for Groups, Accepts Credit Cards, Casual, Kid Friendly
* Call for reservations as it gets busy in the evenings.
**Suggest taking the kids there in the early afternoons or for lunch on the weekends to avoid the crowds.