Six months on, surf’s up for Kua ‘AinaBelfast’s first Hawaiian-inspired restaurant continues to make waves in the local restaurant scene, whilst supporting local suppliers. Kua ‘Aina Belfast, owned and operated by Northern Ireland boys Paul De Francisci and Patrick Gray, opened its doors in Belfast’s Victoria Square shopping centre in early December following the tremendous success of their first two restaurants in London.
Inspired by the iconic North Shore Hawaiian burger and sandwich grill with the same name, Kua ‘Aina has quickly become a favourite among local diners seeking tasty and thoughtfully created meals served in a vibrant, escapist atmosphere. What’s more, many of the popular items on the restaurant’s menu are made with unique recipes developed directly with local suppliers.
In their first six months of operation in Victoria Square the team has served up over ten thousand 100% pure succulent lava-grilled beef burgers made to their secret recipe by Carnbrooke Meats, Dromara, and over seventeen thousand brioche buns delivered fresh to the restaurant daily by Belfast’s French Village Bakery. A growing customer favourite in the summer months, Kua ‘Aina customers have also slurped over 2,200 pints of milkshakes made with local favourite Morelli’s ice cream.
“We have really enjoyed working with Northern Irish suppliers – especially in the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink – to develop unique, made-from-scratch items for our menu and are always impressed with the quality of food available locally in Northern Ireland”, said Paul De Francisci. “We love that our Hawaiian-inspired menu offers the opportunity for fantastic local produce to shine, and that we are working to raise the standards set for casual dining in Belfast by using these high quality ingredients and bespoke recipes.”
Kua ‘Aina is quickly becoming known for their outstanding customer service and customer experience in the vibrant restaurant in addition to the exceptional quality of food served. “Our first six months focused on building a high level of customer loyalty and satisfaction and making sure that our Belfast team received the same rigorous training as our staff in London,” added Patrick Gray. “This training included numerous staff trips to our London restaurants for the new team members to train under more experienced staff and vice versa.”
Building on this success, Kua ‘Aina has also recently appointed a new General Manager, Ciaran Sloan, who brings a wealth of local restaurant knowledge to the table and is tasked with continuing to raise the bar on casual dining in Northern Ireland and Kua ‘Aina’s reputation as leaders in their field.
“I’m delighted to have joined the team at Kua ‘Aina,” said Ciaran Sloan, General Manager, Kua ‘Aina Belfast. “There are a number of misconceptions that affordable, casual dining – especially in shopping centres – features primarily frozen and processed ingredients, which simply is not the case with Kua ‘Aina. I am so excited to have joined the Kua ‘Aina team in Belfast and look forward to continued growth in business and reputation.”
For more information on Kua ‘Aina’s locally-sourced menu offerings and summer menu launching soon, visit http://www.kua-aina.co.uk or follow Kua ‘Aina Belfast on Twitter @KuaAinaNI or facebook.com/KuaAinaNI.