Raising Cane’s raises the bar

Back in June, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers opened up their second location on the island in the Hawai’i Kai Towne Center, replacing Burger King. On the opening day of the first location, people formed a long line out the door of the restaurant. What’s more, the Hawaii Kai location has the restaurant’s only drive-thru on the island, and a line of cars extended all the way down the parking aisle. If you haven’t joined that line yet, you should—the food is delicious.

Cane’s offers chicken fingers, Texas toast (an extra thick slice of white bread, buttered and toasted), french fries, coleslaw, and a chicken sandwich, and although the menu has few options, the food is delicious. The meal combos also come with the option of soft drinks, freshly squeezed lemonade, or freshly brewed iced tea. The chicken fingers, their namesake menu item, are not only hand battered, but served fresh from the fryer. The fried batter gives the fingers a perfect crunch and a nice bite, and the chicken meat is not at all dry, which makes it easy to eat. The light and fluffy Texas toast has a buttery flavor, which complements the tanginess of the signature sauce, the component that brings the whole meal together. The sauce is best described as a peppery chicken/fry tartar sauce, similar to but far better than Thousand Island Dressing. The cold, refreshing lemonade is also a great addition to the meal as it is both sweet and tart. As for pricing, four chicken fingers, fries, coleslaw, Texas toast, sauce, and a soft drink, are sold for $9.99 in the Box Combo, arguably the most popular meal they provide.

The other sides, though, don’t measure up. The fries are a bit soft and lack the satisfying crisp of other french fries, but that is usually what’s to be expected from crinkle-cut fries. When eaten right upon serving, the fries are generally good, but they just don’t hold up well in the take-out boxes, as they begin to get soggy. Luckily, the sauce has the ability to redeem the only decent fries. Likewise, the coleslaw is just average. You could probably find a coleslaw with the same quality at the grocery store. Fortunately, the fries, toast, sauce and coleslaw can be substituted one with another. In other words, you could replace that okay coleslaw with a second slice of tasty Texas toast.

As for the restaurant itself, everything is amazing. The employees are kind, quick, and accurate with the orders. Having eaten at Cane’s well over 10 times, the orders were always correct, and the food was always served within 10 minutes (five or below on average) whether it was busy or not. Walking inside the restaurant brings a waft of the mouth-watering smell of chicken, and it’s easy to find a seat at one of the numerous spotless tables. It’s a shame that in-person dining is closed for the time being, but the drive-thru is still very quick.  

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is a great addition to the Hawai’i Kai community. The food is great, the employees are good, and the restaurant is clean; the price is well worth it. If you haven’t eaten at Cane’s already, give yourself a break from cooking, and treat yourself to some delicious chicken.

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