This is one restaurant that I feel strongly recommending friends to go yet I don’t have many photos to share from my past experiences. It doesn’t matter if you end up loving it or hating it, if you’re looking for a night of fine dining, Alan Wong is a must try.
Maybe I am biased because one of the best dish I have ever tasted is from Alan Wong’s. It is the fois gras congee with quail egg. It is not because it’s fois gras, but the texture of the congee is ‘watery thick’ like a rice puree that brought out all the flavours and intensified it. Does that make sense?
The first time I came was during my honeymoon couple of years ago. Patch must’ve told them that it was our honeymoon because when we arrived, we had a customized menu with our names printed and the staff’s signatures around it. It was simple but very touching. We even got a free dessert sampler.
There’s also the never ending debate of AW vs. Roys but menus always change and everyone’s perspective on food is different. Whichever restaurant we all prefer, there’s one thing that we can agree on. Service is important and AW delivers. Read the rest of this entry
A couple of glowing reviews have pointed us to Goma Ichi Ramen by Ala Moana for a late lunch. I wanted to visit The Counter (which I was glad I didn’t as I’ve heard not-so-stellar reviews about the burger joint) mainly because I heard that you could bump into Daniel Dae Kim there! But I am more of a ramen lover than a patty person so off to Goma we went.
When we arrived, there was a 20 minutes wait at the door. No wait area or extra seating. You can wait inside right next to the patrons or outside where you have to come back in often to see where you’re at on the waitlist. I did not see the staff go out to call anyone. Patch and I chose the path to annoy the customers that are already seated.
There are only a few tables and 2 counters worth of seating area. The feeling I got was that this is a quick-bite-and-go type of place. Read the rest of this entry
This is one of the few chains that we’ve visited while on the island. It was Patch that suggested coming here because it was before we discovered the local gems for fresh seafood (post on Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill coming up soon, full of dishes and reviews from there) but you know what, it was satisfying. Read the rest of this entry
Lilihua Bakery is a popular bakery with locals. Since I’m not a pastry fan (which by now, I’m convinced that Hawaii can convert me to like a lot of foods that I normally go meh about – except ginger… no freaking way), I wasn’t particularly excited about eating a pastry puff. I’ve had Costco’s cream puffs to Beard Papa’s puffs, aren’t they all the same?
Well, guess a coco puff with the nickname Magic Puff does not fall into that category. The size of these puffs are big. Took about 4-5 bites to finish it.
The pastry is dense and heavy. It’s definitely not a light puff. Its topping is chantilly which tastes vanilla-y, tooth-aching-ly sweet and has a coconut flake texture. I just googled for chantilly recipes and most recipes also calls for mac nuts as well which I couldn’t tell if this has mac nuts… well, if I had a nut allergy, I would know but I don’t. When you bite into it, you can feel the pulp from the icing. You have to eat the icing with the puff, do not lick the icing off first or you’ll be picking up your teeth from the floor.
I was sold when I heard it’s chocolate filled. Unlike the chantilly topping, the chocolate pudding is not too sweet so it balances nicely with the pastry puff and the mountain of sugar on top. I couldn’t help but stick my tongue in to fish out the pudding. Classy, I know. But if this stuff comes in a jar on its own, I would get a truckload of it and eat it with a spoon. Read the rest of this entry
There’s always a debate on which is the best shrimp truck on the island. My favourite one is Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. Sure, I’ve had other ones in the city (which none was worth remembering the name) and other top contenders like Fumi’s Kahuku Shrimp and Macky’s. Maybe I went on an off day, but Macky’s was not good at all, or maybe it has something to do with the fact that it was included with the ‘Lost’ tour.
You’ll be seeing a lot of shrimp trucks along North Shore (abour 75-90 min drive from Honolulu) near Kahuku (a shrimp aquaculture area), and I have to say that Fumi’s and Giovanni’s are relatively good. But if you try other places first, you may not be disappointed when you try Giovanni’s after. As some people can get pretty heated in who-has-the-best-shrimps debates, so I’ll stop comparing it to other shrimp trucks. Read the rest of this entry
It’s so hard to find a Japanese restaurant in the Waikiki area that’s open at 11am for lunch on a Friday. The ones I found had huge padlocks on it or a big handwritten sign in Japanese. We stumbled on a stand called Sam’s Kitchen. What attracted me to go check out the menu was the smell of fried garlic.
At first, we tried to fit 2 strollers up top which fits but we had no place to sit and eat. It turns out that behind Sam’s Kitchen are a few more stands that sells drinks, noodles and takoyaki. Sam told us it’s ok to eat there (for the entire time we were there, no one went to those stands anyway). Read the rest of this entry
While strolling on Kuhio to look for my favourite yakisoba restaurant which unfortunately closed down, I encountered a couple of restaurants on the way for some lunch and saw the sign.
The line-up didn’t seem long so I started to line up with my friend. It was a really really slow moving line. Read the rest of this entry
I believe that Vancouver (other than Japan) has some of the best sushi when it comes to quality or in value but when you’re in Hawaii, you can’t help but to eat Japanese style food because you’re surrounded by Japanese cuisine and people.
A Japanese friend that grew up in Oahu recommended this restaurant to me on my last visit and I told Patch that we have to return this time because I miss the Pokechos.
Gyotaku means fish printing. It’s a method for fishermen to record their catches back in the day. The fish is covered with ink on one side and pressed onto the paper to make its marking. Large framed gyotakus covered the walls in the restaurant. Read the rest of this entry
No one goes to Hawaii without bringing some souvenirs back unless you’re scrooge or you were hiding from the authorities at home. But if you are looking for gift items, surely there are stuff from the ABC Store (there are no ABC Store sat the airport, so get what you need there before heading to the airport) and the International Market. That is, if you like cultured pearls, knick knacks made in China and all sorts of other crap!
A few of our favourite places to get gifts for home is the Dole Plantation gift shop, Honolulu Cookie Company, Don Quixote for Moana Loa nuts and Costco. One of the lesser known places to get nut souvenirs is Menehune Mac Factory. Read the rest of this entry