Cooking up local favorites

HANAPEPE — When chef Macklin Valenciano decided to open a restaurant, he knew he would need helping hands to make his dream a reality. He got them. With the help of co-owners Chimes Lauama and Valenciano’s daughter, the MCS Grill came to life.

“It’s been a big step for me and I love every minute of it,” Lauama said. “We’re doing very good, very successful so far.”

Valenciano, Shaylin and Chimes opened their Hanapepe restaurant in October. As customers walk into MCS Grill, they are greeted with a peaceful, friendly atmosphere and are treated like family.

Some of the food options include ox tail soup and prime rib, and local delights like the loco moco, mahi sandwich, MCS poke bowls and saimin. For customers looking for healthier options, the restaurant also features vegetarian dishes such as mixed greens with lilikoi vinaigrette, vegetarian meatloaf and Campanella, which is a meatless sausage, spinach, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes in a creamy garlic sauce.

For those who have a sweet tooth, MCS Grill provides three dessert options: brownie sundae, fruit cobbler with vanilla ice cream and a tropical chiffon cream cheese square.

The restaurant features a menu for keiki 10 years and younger, which includes easy options like fried teriyaki chicken with rice, cheeseburgers and mac and cheese.

Lauama said she believes it’s the restaurant’s good quality food and kind customer service that reels in customers.

“I think we do a great family-style restaurant,” Lauama said. “We don’t serve any alcohol, we stay away, but we let people bring in their own alcohol but we like to just do the whole family appeal and I think that we have the customer service to match that.”

As a chef with 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Valenciano said being a part of the restaurant is “wonderful” andhe enjoys being able to satisfy those who visit.

“I think it’s good for the kids, that’s the main thing,” Valenciano said. “It’s all family, it’s all fun and we like to take care of the locals.”

Appetizers begin at $7 and salads start at $5. MCS Grill’s larger dishes range from $10 to $24.

Located at 1-3529 Kaumualii Highway, MCS Grill is open from 10:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and is closed on Sunday.

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