Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dim Sum

Won Kee

100 N Beretania St Ste 106
Honolulu, HI 96817

(808) 524-6877

I haven’t had much dim sum in Hawaii in years, so when we decided to go for Sunday brunch dim sum in Chinatown, I had no idea where to go. After consulting with the parents and Yelp, I narrowed the choices down to two at Cultural Plaza: Won Kee and Lam Fook. Still undecided when we got there, we just picked Won Kee, since it was the first one we saw.

There were 3 of us for brunch, the perfect number for dim sum, since everything comes in orders of 3. Won Kee has the cart ladies, who push around steaming carts of dim sum in bamboo steamers and lift the lids off each type of dim sum as they walk past. Since I can speak mandarin, I ordered most of our dim sum by name, but it was fun also to see what they had available (they kept pushing this one order of seafood in a tofu wrapper on us, it kind of felt like it was the one order they couldn’t get rid of!)

Everything (except for the cha shao su/char siu soo, similar to ma tai soo) was delicious. The cha shao su was mushy (instead of flaky) and had a very congealed (too much cornstarch?) filling.

Char Siu Look Fun

Char Siu Soo

Pineapple Buns

Xia Jiao (har gau?)

Char siu bao and spinach dumplings (bo cai jiao)

Dim sum cart

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hank's Haute Dogs

Hank’s Haute Dogs

324 Coral St
Honolulu, HI 96805

(808) 532-4265

Drove up to Hank’s Haute Dogs for lunch one weekday afternoon right around 12:30. did not have any trouble finding parking or waiting in line to place our order, despite arriving at prime lunch hours. Our order was a little slow to come up, but only because they forgot to add the onion rings. The menu seems to have changed a bit since they first opened (no more reindeer or seafood hot dogs) but still offers a gourmet range of dogs that I’ve never seen anywhere else in Hawaii.

We had the chicken dog with mustard and mango salsa. The dog was greasy but flavorful, and the fresh mango salsa was excellent. Onion rings were tasty, and the lilikoi lime soda was the perfect refreshing drink to go with the meal.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Breakfast at Diamond Market

Usually when I go to Diamond Market, it's for a blueberry cream cheese scone or a lunch plate, but last weekend we went for breakfast. I had trouble deciding between both the outside grill menu and inside, so I ended up with a brown rice spam and egg musubi (meh) and the pumpkin crunch (pumpkin pie filling on a shortbread crust...yum!) We also had an order of the french toast from the was 4 big slices of sweetbread, in a rich eggy batter, fried in lots of butter. Tasted like dessert :)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cupcakes from Cake Couture!

Cake Couture

Aina Haina Shopping Center
820 West Hind Dr. #112
Honolulu, HI 96825

(808) 373-9750

Yelp reviews:

I was craving cupcakes, so I searched Yelp to see what recs Yelpers had for cupcakes in Honolulu. By far and away, Cake Couture had the most positive comments, so I went to check it out.

Cake Couture is an adorable shoe box of a store at Aina Haina shopping center. You can tell once you walk in that the owners really care and want to create an amazing experience for their customers.

Daily cupcakes include chocolate and vanilla, and then there are 4 rotating flavors every day. Today I got to try a new one: the peanut butter and jelly, as well as a creamsicle flavored one, and a red velvet. The creamsicle was my favorite by far, with orange zest baked into the cupcake and a rich, buttery frosting.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Okazu-ya-ing in Kalihi

1223 N School St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 848-5573
Yelp reviews

1218 N School St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 841-3864

Yelp reviews

It was kalihi okazu-ya day for lunch the other day. We started out with a mini garlic chicken bento at Mitsu-ken (3 big pieces of garlic chicken, half a hot dog, omelette, and rice with furikake, $3.75) and then a plate across the street from Mitsuba (chow fun, hash, eggplant, and saba). Both were so delish that we couldn’t stop eating, and went into a food coma by the end. So if you are ever feeling really hungry, or really indecisive, go check these 2 plate lunch places out, since they're right across the street from each other! Mitsuba was getting more business that day, but they are also running a much bigger operation.

Mitsuba plate
Garlic chicken mini bento
Mitsu-ken storefront
Mitsuba storefront

Friday, October 03, 2008

Lox of Bagels

Lox of Bagels

111 Sand Island Access Rd
Honolulu, HI 96819

(808) 845-2855

I was dying to try Lox of Bagels after reading about their guava flavored cream cheese spreads. Unfortunately the day we went, I was too full for an entire bagel with cream cheese, but I grabbed a cinnamon raisin bagel puff (with cream cheese baked in!) and 2 bagels to go (strawberry guava and plain). All were excellent. OK maybe not H&H bagel in New York good, but plenty good for Hawaii.

Yanagi Sushi

Yanagi Sushi

762 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96813

(808) 597-1525

I thought this would be a trendy sushi restaurant (like Sansei) but it was actually the opposite..more of a family style Japanese restaurant, like Natsunoya Tea House or Suehiro. So although Yanagi Sushi wasn’t what I was expecting at all, it was actually a great meal.

The menu is very extensive (pages and pages), so it took us awhile to decide what to eat. We started with the salmon sashimi with maui onions and ponzu sauce. It was the perfect pairing, between the sweet onions, the generous cuts of fish, and the citrus dressing.

Then we moved onto a spider roll (deep fried soft shell crab), which was also very generously portioned.

As main courses, we ordered 2 combination dinners for the 4 of us. The combination dinner ($18.95) includes miso soup, salad, 2 entrees, rice and ice cream. We shared the tempura (amazing!), chicken katsu, saba, and nigiri.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hula Boba in Chinatown

Hula Boba
65 N Pauahi St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 521-5213

Yelp Reviews

Brightly colored and super clean, Hula Boba offers Taiwanese style boba drinks and shave ice. You can get all sorts of flavors (lychee, passion fruit, mango) but I went with a basic milk tea boba…and was disappointed by the tapioca balls that were too chewy. But if you like that style, then check this place out. The shave ice comes with fruit syrups or fresh fruit and condensed milk that looks really good, I’m curious how the ice is shaved (fine like Waiola’s or not)…but on Yelp it says that it’s not just ice, it’s soy milk, so I will definitely try that next time…