Monday, August 22, 2011

Kissaten: A 24-hour Coffee Shop on Piikoi

The crowd at Kissaten, around 10 p.m. On a Sunday night.

Photo: A. Kam Napier

From the outside, especially at night, the Hawaiki Tower on Piikoi looks cold and uninviting. Who would have guessed that there’s actually a lively little internet coffee shop on the Waimanu end of the property’s ground floor? And that it would be open 24 hours day, seven days a week?

The mocha.

Photo: A. Kam Napier

“LuLu,” by Remi Mead. The art is for sale, this painting is listed at $500. Don’t miss the artist’s show this Thursday.

Photo: A. Kam Napier

That would be Kissaten Coffee Bar, where there’s actually more going on than just coffee and pastries. A menu of hot soups, sandwiches and entrees changes throughout the day. We popped in on a Sunday night, after 10 p.m., where the late night specials included pho ($7), grilled cheese sandwich with tomato bisque ($9), a Kissaten Melt sandwich ($7) and more. We were in a dessert mood, however, so opted for a slice of strawberry cheesecake, a mocha and an espresso con panna—that’s espresso with a dollop of whipped cream on top, practically a dessert in its own right—all for $9.

The environment is contemporary internet café. Shazam-able music plays overhead, not too loud. Students tap at their laptops, or sit and share earbuds. A purchase yields you two hours of free wifi. Manga-inspired art hangs on the wall. Pictured here, “LuLu,” by Remi Mead, available for $500. In fact, there’s a “trunk and art show” this week, August 25, from 7 to 10 p.m., with menswear designer Richard Togami and artist Remi Mead.

Up late and in the neighborhood? Definitely stop in. 88 Piikoi Street, 593-1200,


Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 in Permalink

Have Feedback? Suggestions? Email us!

About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.


Enter your email address