And it begins…

This will be my first crack at writing about one of my passions in life…yes, you guessed it…food.  Blame my family for bringing out this “monster” in me especially with all the “food porn” pics I inundate my Twitter stream with love to share online.

IMG_0305A little background story.  My family grew up in various parts of Asia and our home cooking included influences from China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.  All the great dishes from my family’s recipe book also gave way to a lot of unusual ingredients.  I owe it to my dad for building my courage to try bizarre eats like jellyfish (makes a delicious salad with julienne cucumbers and a savory peanut butter sauce), pig’s feet (delicious when braised),  and preserved eggs (also known as thousand-year-old eggs; goes great with pickled ginger).  I’ve learned never say “no” to new experiences – one trait that every foodie must have.

Tune in for more personal stories and adventures revolving around the theme: FOOD.  By the way, I’ll explain what this picture is all about in my next post…

Yum dom cha

Whenever my friends are craving dim sum, they usually bring me along for kicks.  Since I speak Cantonese (yes, I’m full Chinese), I just place our food order for them.  Beware though…because I might order those braised chicken feet.  Yum!

I found this rap by Jin a few years ago and always crack up when I listen to it.  I figured I put his music video on my blog to share with all my friends.  For those that speak Cantonese, you’ll know exactly what he’s saying.  If not, there’s a English translation on the YouTube link.  Yum dom cha…sic gor bao.  LOL.  I’m craving dim sum now.  Who wants to go?

Disclaimer: you won’t find any bikini-clad women at your local dim sum shop…Jin probably added them to be more hip hop. haha.

bourdain in saudi arabia

Since I’ve blogged about Bourdain in the past, some folks on behalf of Travel Channel sent me some preview clips of upcoming episodes so all my blog readers can get excited about the next episode.  Well, here’s a post with a preview on tonight’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

I’m actually a bit excited about this episode since:

  • It features another country in the Middle East…an area Bourdain seems to have avoided for awhile (for those Bourdain fans, you probably know why).
  • This episode will expose an area my old college roommate is from.  He actually was from Bahrain, an island country off the coast of Saudi Arabia.  It’s close enough.
  • Danya Alhamrani, a fan of Bourdain, will be tagging along with him.  I’m jealous…very jealous.  Wish I could’ve been that fan, but he already came to Hawaii.

In reading Bourdain’s blog on this episode, I do hope he chooses to visit the Philippines soon.  I’m curious to see how well Augusto Elefanio will represent the country.  I love Filipinos…I love Filipino culture, food, and its beautiful people. (I actually think I am one myself, but to everyone’s surprise, I’m full Chinese and speak Cantonese).

If Augusto doesn’t work out, maybe he can take Happy Slip with him…she did do her fifth episode on Philippines.

say “aloha salad”

So I’ve been seeing a couple new salad take-outs popping up around town. First was Salad Creations that opened up on the corner of Bishop and Hotel Streets. San Francisco Salad Co. has been around for awhile and still has its long lines (I’ll vouch that the stuff is good there…try the tortilla soup with the chips on the side). Downtown opened up at the Hawaii State Art Museum (HiSAM) over a year ago (good stuff and the motto goes “local first, organic whenever possible, and with aloha always” and I love their biodegradable utensils).

When I first heard of it, I was stoked about Salad Creations, a new create-your-own salad place in the downtown area. After a couple tries, I was a bit put off with the service and the quality of ingredients…the place eventually shut down for a couple weeks and reopened.

Back to the point of this post…I want to introduce everyone to Aloha Salads, a fairly new create-your-own salad counter that are conveniently located at Kahala Mall and Ward Warehouse. The Kailua location is a bit out of reach since I’m a townie. The prices at this joint is reasonable and may bit a bit pricey…but for their quality of ingredients, I’ll dish out a couple more bucks.

I’ve tried the Ono Island Ahi and Satay salads (both yummy choices). Today, I ordered their Lobster bisque…mmm so good that it reminded me of the ones I had on the East Coast. This place was so good that I’m turning a lot of my friends onto it. Join the Aloha Salad cult…I did!

time to tango

Check out Tango over by Ward Centre. Located next to P.F. Chang’s, it’s a fairly new bistro-like restaurant by chef Goran Streng. My friends and I went for dinner and thought the dinner menu was okay. Honestly, you should go there for lunch…I went with some co-workers and it was definitely worth it. In any case, here are some photos of what we ordered at dinner.

  • Seared scallops spinach salad with balsamic vinagrette mushrooms and grape tomatoes…needless to say, this dish was the best of the evening. I forgot to take a photo…only one of the plate after we all ate it.
  • Sweet caramelized onion soup….great flavor…not too salty like other french onion soups…a bit oily though…took away from refreshing flavor.
  • Boulabaisse with mussels, prawns, fresh island fish saffron broth aioli and croutons…not as hearty as we would’ve liked it.
  • Hamakua mushroom risotto with garlic shrimp (tail on) and asparagus…can’t taste the mushrooms but the shrimp was tasty.
  • Sauteed moi with tomato fennel coulis on ratatouille of veggie…the ratatouille was a bit sour in taste but the moi was good. Actually, moi is always good.

If you get a chance to go, let me know how it is.

doraku sushi

This will be the first of my many food blogs. I’m just a food fanatic and hopefully this will become my outlet to tell everyone where to go and what to eat. While I work in PR, I’m going to devote this blog to honesty and truth…basically I’ll tell it like it is without the “spin”. You may find a few mentions of places in Waikiki in these food blogs. This is mainly due to the fact that it seems like the new hangout spot for my friends and I. With all the new renovations, fresh entertainment, buzzing restaurants, etc. all popping up in the last year or so, it just seems like the place to see and been seen. Stay tuned for more food-ventures in and around Honolulu, Hawaii, and the world.

On Friday night, I ventured to Doraku Sushi at the Royal Hawaiian Center. Yes, it’s the Royal Hawaiian Center now…they took out the word “shopping” since the destination is more than just shopping after all their renovations. Now…back to the restaurant…some of my friends have been raving about about their doraku roll, cuban roll, and the signature fruit-infused sakes. Since it’s recently opened and still new without all the crowds, I decided to give it a go; however, I may have went with too much expectations.

Doraku Roll

The first thing I noticed when we stepped in was the decor and music. It was a posh place to be…I’m really into the Asian accents all over. Onto the menu…my friends had suggested that I’d get the doraku roll and the mango sake. I was hoping to try their conch ceviche…sounds good. When we ordered, we found out that they were out of the conch ceviche and all of their fruit-infused sakes. Bummer!

In any case, we ended up eating the doraku roll, waikiki roll, and rainbow roll, which were all pretty good (good enough to go back and try their other creations). Instead of the ceviche, we ordered the doraku seafood salad (one of their signature dishes), which ended up as our least favorite dish…talk about sour!!! I saw the sushi chef prep two salad at once and it looked as we got the bottom of the bowl with all the extra dressing.

Doraku Seafood Salad

If you go, skip the salads and go straight to the sushi rolls. Parking is validated for the patrons if you park in the Royal Hawaiian Center ($2 for first two hours; $4 for first four hours). FYI, Doraku Sushi usually turns into “Supper Club” on the second and fourth Friday of the month; however, I haven’t seen much mention from the promoters (Flash and Matty Boy). Keep on the lookout for more information about nightlife in Waikiki.