Sunday, March 27, 2011

Food, food, and more food in Hawaii....

Hello friends,

Nancy and I are true foodies.  We decided to take the hole in the wall foodie tour in Honolulu.
The guy named Matthew Grey used to be an executive chef and a personal chef for big named stars in Los Angeles.  He moved to Honolulu where he became a well known food critic and restaurant reviewer for Honolulu's largest newspaper.  He then went on to start his own business.

This is one of the best tours we have taken because it takes you to many of the non-touristy eateries and he took us to many multi-ethnic areas and cuisines.  The tour exceeded our expectations and was highly informative, fun and oh so tasty!

Below is his website of his awesome foodie tour!
I have also included some of the descriptions and addresses that he sent  me about the tour in case you guys are ever in Honolulu!

Royal Kitchen for Baked Manapua:
Chinatown Cultural Plaza
100 North Beretania Street

Baked Manapua

Baked Manapua (Hawaiian-Chinese fusion based on the Chinese Bao Buns) - Traditionally these Little buns are done steamed with Chinese sweet roast pork (called char siu).  Here at Royal Kitchen they do a baked version of the original, along with several other fillings (smoked kalua pork, chicken, curry chicken, Portuguese sausage, Chinese lup cheong sausage, Okinawan purple sweet potato, coconut, and Chinese black sugar).

The 19th century marked a historical period in Hawaii as thousands of immigrants from different countries came to the islands seeking work. Over 50,000 Chinese immigrants brought their customs, cultural activities and especially their ethnic foods.

Food vending in the street was a common trade in the marketplace towns of China. In Hawaii, food peddlers sold a variety of delectable items especially their famous char siu bao. The peddlers would stack their foodstuffs in large cans and sling the cans by cords at each end of a pole. Hoisting the poles on their shoulders, they roamed the neighborhoods with their savory-filled buns. Char siu bao immediately became a favorite among the locals, and was given the name manapua, or mea ono pua'a ("mea ono" for cake or pastry, and "pua'a for pork).

The food peddlers today, also known as the Manapua Man, don't roam the streets on foot anymore. He can be found in a big truck parked at beaches, small neighborhoods, near the business districts and other places around the island. For many, eating a manapua can be nostalgic, bringing childhood memories of making a trip to the manapua man's truck.

Matthew Gray and I

Fruit Market in Chinatown

Hawaiian Purple Sweet Potato also known as Okinawan Potatoes are native to the Japanese Island, Okinawa

Matthew took us to one of the oldest noodle factories that provide the freshest noodles all over the island.

Preparing the noodles

Ying Leong Look Funn Factory - 1028 Kekaulike St. - 537-4304 - For more than 50 years now, Fu Ying Chee, originally from Hong Kong, has operated this rice noodle factory that turns out thousands of pounds of rice noodle sheets each day.  You can watch the workers oiling pans that are filled with the rice noodle batter, which is then steamed to perfection, hand folded and stacked.  Plain noodle sheets are sent off to restaurants that make fresh chow fun (noodle) dishes.  

Outside the shop, you tasted the shrimp & spring onion, and the roast pork & spring onion versions of their rice noodles, along with Korean BBQ chicken from Jackie's Kitchen inside the Maunakea Marketplace food court.

The ma tai su flakey pastries (Chinese pot pie) came from Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery.

longan (the small round fruit that tastes like honeydew melon - the Chinese call this dragon eye fruit)


Then, a couple local favorites, Spam Musubi, ahi poke and fresh juicy papaya!

Coconut Tarts and apple bananas

Pineapple, two ways, followed; fresh-cut, and also sprinkled with li hing powder.

 "Keira Cocktail" - the lychee-vodka-pineapple cocktails.

Leonard's for Malasadas, the Portuguese Doughnut - 933 Kapahulu Ave. - Honolulu, Hawaii - 808.737.5591 - Served warm directly from the back kitchen, these golden puffs of moist and rich fried dough are rolled into granulated sugar.  Unlike some versions of fried dough that often weigh as much as a billiard ball, malasadas are light and airy, *if* they're not filled with one of their luscious home-made custards!

What a way to end the tour with delicious, warm, freshly baked malasadas!!!  
Thanks Matthew for a wonderful day of food, fun and a bus full of republicans.  :)LOL

Passion Fruit Mojito

That evening, Nancy and I met up with another batch of couchsurfers from all over the world.  

The next day we went to the Dole Pineapple Plantation

Pineapple soft serve ice cream with fresh pineapple topping

At Ko Olina Lagoon

You can see the fireworks from my place!

Nancy and I were on a roll so we decided to go to Honolulu's #1 5 star restaurant the next day.

Alan Wong is a chef and one of the 12 originators who brought Hawaii regional cuisine.  He has won several awards: In 1994, Wong was recognized by Robert Mondavi Winery as one of 13 Rising Star Chefs in America. In 1996, he was awarded the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest. In 2001, he was awarded Chef of the Year by Santé Magazine. Also in 2001, Gourmet Magazine ranked one of his restaurants number six in a listing of America’s Best Fifty Restaurants.
In 2006, Wong appeared as a guest judge on the television cooking competition Top Chef (the episode, part one of the season two finale, aired on January 24, 2007). 

Hmmmm?  What should I order?

Ahi Meatloaf & Ma'o farm eggplant parmesan

Grilled Lamb "Anticucho, fresh pineapple salsa and crispy cancha chips

Steamed Shellfish Bowl
Lobster, Dungeness Crab, Scallop, Shrimp and Clams, Roasted Garlic, Smashed Potatoes, Baby Fennel, Bouillabaisse Style Broth, Chili Pepper Aioli

Ginger Crusted Onaga, Long-Tail Red Snapper
Miso Sesame Vinaigrette, Organic Hamakua Mushroom and Corn

Photo with Alan Wong and President Barack Obama

1 comment:

  1. Girl! It's so nice seeing our photos together! I found your blog on your profile on CS. So cool! I'm glad you blog too. My posts about our trip are a bit delayed but they're still going up on my blog.

    Hope to see you in Seattle!