Healthy Start

November 6, 2014 | By Nadine Kam

Find Australian-inspired, health-conscious takes on the most important meal of the day at Tucker & Bevvy Breakfast.

The growing presence of Aussie travelers to Hawai‘i means Waikiki has a new way of starting the morning, saying “g’day” to breakfast.

At one entrance into Waikiki, bills offers a taste of Sydney, while at the other, Tucker & Bevvy Picnic offers healthful foods for those heading out to explore the island. And just past Honolulu Zoo is sister restaurant Tucker & Bevvy Breakfast, serving up Aussie-style day starters.

Owners Tony and Cecily Ho Sargent spent 17 years running a trio of eateries, including Honolulu Grill, in the beach suburb of Manly outside of Sydney, before returning here, where Cecily grew up. Their focus was on breakfast and sandwiches, and they hoped to repeat their success here.

The restaurant business comes naturally to Cecily, who said her extended family is involved in the restaurant industry.

“My sister is a chef, and I always loved food. We traveled a lot, and I ate everything.”

On a trip to Tibet, she met Tony, who operated a seasonal snack bar in a beach kiosk in Australia, and while she said it was fun to do a little surfing in between serving food, her business instinct took over after they wed.

Surveying the scenery, she determined that what Manly needed were more casual cafés, and she wanted to bring their beach snack bar ambience into a permanent spot that would be supporting, rather than just a temporary sideline.

Upon returning home to Hawai‘i, she looked around again and decided what Honolulu needed was, not only more breakfast spots, but more healthful options that she enjoyed Down Under.

“In Australia, everyone has gone kale crazy. There isn’t a restaurant that doesn’t have a kale salad on the menu. And they love quinoa.”

For the gluten- and carb-averse, breakfast can feel like a minefield of waffles and pancakes. Sure, Tucker & Bevvy has both of those, but it’s also a source of more gluten-free alternatives to the classic American breakfast.

Few Americans would dream of starting the day with a warm lentil and chicken sausage salad topped with two poached eggs, but it works, as does the kale and quinoa salad (topped with slices of roasted kabocha with the nutty crunch of tamari-toasted sunflower seeds).

The flip side of healthful is the Aussie’s more hearty barbie fare, but even a towering burger “with the lot” tastes less sinful when the pork-and-beef patty is piled with grilled onions and beets to counter the additional layers of a fried egg, cheddar, bacon and chili mayonnaise.

Roast beef hash has proved popular, though it’s less hash and more like a stir-fry, featuring cubes of prime rib roast, sliced fingerling potatoes and red onions, with two eggs over easy.

And the Aussie “brekkie” has a few things in common with the traditional American breakfast, with its combo of bacon, two eggs your way and toast. The tomato and sautéed mushrooms are a Down Under attraction.

As a side dish or stand-alone, you might also want to try the chicken fried rice, with its flavorful morsels of garlic-pepper chicken.

The highlight for those with a sweet tooth will be the ricotta pancakes with strawberry compote, so fluffy and light you’ll be surprised by how much you can eat.

And Tucker & Bevvy’s waffle will make many an Aussie homesick, with its topping of ice cream and crumbled and whole Tim Tams, Australia’s famous chocolate malt biscuit.

Watching the sales in Waikiki, Cecily said she was surprised to find patrons here “like the same foods people liked in Sydney. We have a healthy edge to our menu, and I think that is what is setting us apart. People want to eat healthier.”

She is already shopping for a third location.

Tucker & Bevvy Breakfast
Hee Hing Plaza
449 Kapahulu Ave., Ste. 203
(808) 732-0050