Quite a while ago, my coworker told me how good the fish & chips from Nico’s is, and I’ve been wanting to try it ever since but I could never figure out where it was! I happened to discover their modest sign while driving on Nimitz Highway recently and finally went for lunch with my husband. You can turn into Pier 38 (across from Nimitz Business Center) and drive towards the ocean, and you’ll find ample free parking for Nico’s and the neighboring restaurant Uncle’s.
Apparently everyone else on the island already knew where Nico’s was; the casual take-out style restaurant was busy for lunch with a constant crowd of locals coming in. You order your food at this counter here and are given a buzzer to notify you when your food is ready, but the food comes out fairly quickly. There’s shaded seating at the restaurant, or pier front picnic tables.
My husband had the generously portioned Furikake Pan Seared Ahi ($9.20) served with their house ginger garlic cilantro dip (yum!), rice and choice of mac salad or Nalo green salad. They ask you how you want your ahi done, just like a steak. I usually prefer to eat my ahi raw because ahi tends to be dry when cooked, but this one (ordered medium) was fresh, juicy, and tender.
Of course I had their Fish & Chips ($8.70), a large piece of swordfish in a crispy beer batter crust served with french fries, vinegar and ginger garlic cilantro dip. Swordfish is another fish that can tend to be dry, but this one was moist and very soft. I thoroughly enjoyed my fish & chips, alternating dipping between classic vinegar and their delicious garlic ginger dip.
There’s not too many places with good fish & chips in Hawaii, so I was delighted to experience Nico’s for myself. Chef Nico is French with previous fine dining experience at Michel’s and the Bistro and Century Center, but his menu at Nico’s is totally local. In addition to their specialty, fresh fish, they have local favorites like chicken katsu, loco moco, and beef stew plates.
PRICE RANGE: $7.25-$9.20 for all plate lunches. Click here to view the menu.
MY BILL: $20.68 for two
RETURNING?:Definitely, to try the Poke Salad and Fried Ahi Belly next.
Nico’s Pier 38
Pier 38 Waterfront
1133 N. Nimitz Highway
Honolulu, HI 96817