Thursday, March 31, 2016

Special Off Menu Dinner at Forty Carrots

Forty Carrots is inside of Bloomingdales on the 3rd floor. I was invited to this special dinner by Grant aka Chuggy Bear. The 5-course dinner was prepared by Chef Jon Matsubara and the food was delicious!

Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814

Sashimi of Hokkaido scallop and ama ebi,
lemongrass consume, preserved enoki, wasabi ice

Huevos
Italian black truffle, smoked meat, olive oil crisps

Hibachi king salmon
bulls blood vinegar, shaved radish, Serrano chili

Pot au Feu
Salted short rib of beef & foie gras,
watercress, caraflex, Hawaiian chili bouillon

Drop scone pudding, smoked bacon, maple bourbon butter


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Chiba-Ken

Chiba-Ken is located at the beginning of Waikiki in a residential neighborhood. It's a few shops down from 7-Eleven and the restaurant is on the 1st floor of a 2-story building. They offer a variety of cooked Japanese dishes but they also have a sushi bar. This is a good place to come with a group and do family style dining. The interior of the restaurant is spacious and the staff greet you when you walk in. Their prices are high but if you share the cost between a group, it's not bad. I recommend ordering nigiri sushi and sashimi because their fish is really fresh. Other items that were amazing were the pork belly and grilled squid. If you are on a budget and you still want to eat here, you can try their happy hour which is from 9:30pm to closing. The food prices range from $2-$10 during happy hour. If you come for dinner, reservations are recommended.

For parking, there is a driveway right next to the entrance of the restaurant and you can drive in. They have 5 stalls in the back but it can get tight and you may find yourself having to reverse out to End Road after your meal.

468 Ena Rd
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 941-2800

Tonkatsu

Pork Belly

Vegetable Tempura

Boiled Clams

Ikura Nigiri

Firecracker Ball

Amaebi Nigiri

Grilled Squid

Chef's Selection Sashimi (for 2 people)

Grilled Mochi

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Leonard's Bakery

Leonard's Bakery is a locally owned family bakery in the Kapahulu area near Safeway. This is a popular spot for locals and tourists to pick up malasadas. If you're driving down Kapahulu Ave, you will spot their red, yellow, and blue sign. At night, the sign is lit up. Malasadas are similar to doughnuts but these are rolled in granulated sugar (original flavor) after being removed from the fryer. Over the years, the bakery has added some new flavors to their menu. You can get malasadas rolled in cinnamon sugar or my new favorite, li hing mui powder and sugar. They also have malasada puffs which contain a filling inside. Some of the flavors for the filling are custard, haupia, or chocolate. If you're not in the mood to try a malasada, they have other baked goods such as sweet bread and pastries. The bakery is open daily and it is busy all the time. I've always had to stand in line but if you have a large order you can call in advance to place an order. They accept credit cards and they have their own parking lot. If the lot fills up, you can park on the street or in the residential area.

Besides having the store, they also have the Malasada mobile which is at the Waikele Shopping Center. You might want to check the hours of operation on their website before going there. 

For more information about Leonard's Bakery, visit leonardshawaii.com.

933 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 737-5591

Li Hing Malasada

Original Malasada

Guava Malasada Puff (flavor of the month)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Thailand Cafe

Thailand Cafe is located at the corner of Liliha Street and Hiram Lane. It is next to a medical building and across from the Liliha Public Library. The interior of the restaurant is spacious, well lit, and clean. The decor is nice and you might find yourself admiring their paintings all night. They have a lot of specialty dishes and there is a separate board for specials. This is a good place to come with a group so you can do a family style dinner. The staff are friendly and if you do a Facebook or Yelp check-in, you can get a free scoop of ice cream. Their prices are reasonable with the amount of food they give. My favorite dish was the pad thai and I usually don't like pad thai but the chef makes it taste good here. Their spicy level is higher than other thai restaurants, I asked for mild but it was still spicy so if you can't handle the heat you should just say "not spicy or no spice."

For parking, they have street parking in front of the restaurant or you can park across the street at the library. The library has 4 stalls in the front and if you dine here after the library closes, the parking lot is empty. The restaurant also has some new stalls across the street by the bus stop. You can park in one of the last 6 stalls from the right side. I think they might have put up their signs but when you walk in the restaurant just check with the staff and let them know where you parked.

For more information about Thailand Cafe, visit thailandcafehi.com.

1502 Liliha St.
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 535-9928

Fried Shrimp Roll

Sweet Basil Stir Fry w/ Chicken

Pad Thai w/ Chicken

Fried Banana w/ Ice Cream

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Char Siu House

Char Siu House is located in Chinatown between Pauahi Street and Hotel Street. Like most of the Chinese BBQ meat shops, you'll see slabs of roast pork, char siu, shoyu chicken and roast duck in the front window. If you need a few protein dishes for dinner on nights you don't want to cook, this is the place to grab take-out. My favorites are the roast duck, chair siu and roast pork. Their prices are reasonable but they can be stingy when it comes to getting extra sauce for roast duck. They only give a small container for half an order of duck which isn't much.

I recommend coming before 12pm on the weekends because most of the locals do their grocery shopping in the morning. The earlier you come, the better your selection. Once they sell out of something, they don't roast more. Their line moves quickly so don't worry about standing in line for 20-30 minutes to get your food. They speak both English and Cantonese and this is a cash only place. The food tour stops here so you may see big groups in front of the shop sometimes. To make things even more convenient, there is a paid parking lot right across the street. If you get lucky, you may find street parking in front of their shop.

1134 Maunakea St.
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 536-1588

Char Siu

Roast Pork

Roast Duck (half)