Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mini Garden Orient Cuisine

I always used to drive by this place but never went to eat there because I thought it was street parking only. I wasn't until I went with someone who was a regular and they told me there was a parking lot next to the bakery. The interior of the restaurant is big and it's good for groups and or family lunches/dinners. Most of the items on the menu are similar to what you find in the other Chinese restaurant except for the crispy shrimp balls. It's chopped shrimp rolled into a ball with egg noodles around it and deep fried. When I went back a second time to order it, they were sold out.

If you want to get away from the noisy restaurants in the Chinatown area, I would recommend this one. Their prices are reasonable and the portions are big. They don't get overcrowded but if you are coming with a big group you may want to make reservations.

2065 S Beretania St
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 946-3828

Salt & Pepper Pork Chops

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Stir Fry Garlic Vegetables

Cold Ginger Chicken

Beef & Choy Sum Chow Funn

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

There has been a lot of new ramen shops opening up lately. This one is located in the Kaheka area by Don Quijote. Their specialty is the toroniku ramen. It's a bowl of ramen that comes with pork cheek, jelly ear, bamboo shoots, and ume on the side. You can pour all your toppings into the bowl or you can eat off the plate after every bite of ramen like me. They don't teach you how to eat it and this place isn't like a sushi restaurant where the chef will yell at you for dipping sushi in shoyu.

The interior of the shop is small and their biggest table will only seat 4. They have counter seats that let you see into the kitchen. The prices are a bit high but I loved the taste of the broth and the pork cheek that melted in my mouth. They get really busy during the normal lunch and dinner hours. Your wait could be anywhere from 30-45 minutes and they don't take reservations. When you arrive, just get your name on the clipboard and sit on the benches outside to wait.

For more information about Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, visit

801 Kaheka St #A-8
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 941-1101

Toroniku Shio Ramen

Shoyu Ramen


Sunday, November 24, 2013

MW Restaurant

MW is a new restaurant located in the Ala Moana area. MW stands for Michelle and Wade who are both chefs and the owners of this place. They have a good selection of items on their menu. The lunch and dinner menus are both slightly different so you may want to dine here more than once. I came for dinner and I enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. This place is like a 5-star restaurant but their prices are very reasonable. My favorite items were the crab lumpia & crab cake, ahi nachos, roast duck sandwich, mochi crusted opakapaka, and the ice cream sandwiches.

If you plan to dine here, I highly recommend making reservations. They only offer valet parking for $4 (tip not included) but if you come early enough for dinner, you can probably get a space on the Makaloa Street.

For more information about MW Restaurant, visit

1538 Kapiolani Blvd
Ste 106
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 955-6505

Alaskan King Crab Lumpia & King Crab Cake

Fried Chicken

Ahi Nachos

Ox Tail Soup

Hot Chinese Roast Duck Sandwich

Mochi Crusted Opakapaka

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Kula Strawberry Cheesecake

MW Candy Bar

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mama Woo's BBQ

If you like Korean food, you'll love this place. They are located in the McCully/Mo'ili'ili area. Their prices are reasonable and they are generous with their portions. They have a nice assortment of vegetables to choose from. I did take out for a big order and my food was ready in about 10 minutes. Most places outside of downtown take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to get food out so I was really impressed. Overall, the taste of the food was good but I was a bit disappointed with the meat jun. I prefer meat jun to be a little more crispy and the sauce they used, didn't taste great.

There is a small parking lot in front of the restaurant but I parked on the street since it was easier to get out. They only accept cash. If you want to eat in, they have 3 tables but it's tight.

For more information about Mama Woo's BBQ, visit

2080 S King St
Ste 101
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 941-6262

Meat Jun

BBQ Chicken & Kalbi

Mama's Special

Meat Jun & Kalbi

Sunday, November 3, 2013


This is a quiet little spot located in Kaimuki near Happy Days and Big City Diner. In order to see the store front of this place, you have to go into the parking lot. The exterior looks like a coffee shop with big windows and there are colorful potted plants near it. The interior is small as it only seats 7 people.

They have a nice selection of items on their menu and I like that the prices are cheap. In my opinion, trying to find a meal under $10 in that part of Kaimuki is difficult. For a small shop like this, the presentation of the food is pretty. Most of the items you order will come with miso soup, salad, and kongbap (rice and beans). The food itself is tasty and I recommend trying their ahi poke. I've had it twice and both times, the fish had a nice red color to it. If you're ever in the Kaimuki area, I would say give this place a shot. You don't be disappointed. You can do take out and they accept credit cards.

1137 11th Ave
Ste 103
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 373-3573

Ahi Poke Bowl

Seared Ahi Plate

Kalbi Burger Plate

Fresh Lemonade

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fong's Meat Market

I used to think Nam Fong had really good roast pork but after trying this place, they're almost tied. Since this place doesn't have a stand alone shop, not much people know about it. They're located in the Oahu Market facing N. King Street. I usually come around 11:30am to check if they have a piece hanging in the display. Sometimes, they're out but a new piece will come out in about 10 minutes so you'll see the line start to form. They use good cuts of pork where the lean meat and the fat is almost even and they're nicely layered. It's the best roast pork you can have. Their char siu is also very lean and tasty. The next time you're in Chinatown, I highly recommend swinging by this place for some fresh and crispy roast pork. You might also want to have some cash in hand.

145 N King St
Ste 15
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 536-6307

Roast Pork

Char Siu & Roast Pork

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ramen Nakamura

They are located in the heart of Waikiki across from the Bank of Hawaii Waikiki Center. If you're walking or driving down Kalakaua Ave between 7pm-9pm, you'll probably see a line coming out the door for this place. They are know for their ox tail ramen. The ox tail is simmered for hours so the meat falls off the bone. You can up your order to the combo and it will come with a side of fried rice and gyoza.

I recommend going late in the evening like around 9pm. If you go too early, the ox tail meat won't be as soft and it doesn't fall of the bone. The line may seem long but it moves very fast. If you prefer not to wait, you can order take out. They offer a kama'aina discount if you show your ID at the time you order. If you show your ID after the bill comes, the waitress will not honor it. The waitress runs the front of the house and she has a system of how everything is done. If you break her system, she will not be happy. They only accept cash.

2141 Kalakaua Ave
Ste 1
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 922-7960

Ox Tail Ramen


Fried Rice

Spicy Ramen

Monday, September 30, 2013

Puffettes Egg Puff - CLOSED

Puffettes were the first ones on the island to make and sell egg puffs in a food truck. Their truck used to be parked on Ward Ave near Sports Authority. They've ditched the truck and opened a cafe in the Kaimuki area. They still have the regular egg puff flavors (vanilla, chocolate) but they also have a special flavor that changes weekly. My favorite so far has been the bacon egg puff. That sounds really odd but the hint of salt from the bacon works well with the sweetness of the egg puff batter. Coffee is also another one that works well. If you don't feel like eating egg puffs, they have milk tea, fruit smoothies, crepes, and sandwiches.

The cafe has about 5 tables inside so if you want to sit there and eat, you can. I've gone in the afternoons on weekdays and early evenings on the weekend and it's usually empty. I don't think a lot of people know about this place but if you drive down Waialae Ave, I'm pretty sure you will see their huge black, white, and yellow logo on the glass. They're located between 9th and 10th Ave across from Central Pacific Bank. I believe they only accept cash and it's street parking only.

For more information about Puffettes Egg Puff, visit

3476 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 232-7701

Sesame Egg Puff

Coffee Egg Puff

Bacon Egg Puff

Milk Tea

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nice Day Chinese Seafood Restaurant

This restaurant is located in Liliha Square next to Times Supermarket. If you're driving down N Vineyard Blvd to catch the H1 going westbound, you'll mostly likely see this place. The inside of the restaurant is very spacious and the lights are nice and bright. I came with a group of 10 for dinner and we were seated in a corner. I was really disappointed with the service because it took them over 30 minutes to take our order. 3 different people on the table tried to wave a waitress over but they kept ignoring us. It was a week night and there were only 4 other tables but everyone had their own sections. Anyways, the food came out pretty quick but the taste of everything was okay. The prices and portions are average just like your typical Chinese restaurant. They also serve dim sum but I haven't tried it yet. I may come back in the future for lunch.

1425 Liliha St
Ste 2-5
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 524-1628

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Peking Duck

Fish Fillet w/ Vegetables

Cold Ginger Chicken

Kau Yuk w/ Taro

Ginger Onion Lobster

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Monarch Seafoods

They are located in Kalihi and I consider it a lunch hot spot. Their seafood is very fresh and they serve up delicious and reasonably priced plate lunches. The shop is small and they only have 2 cooks in the back. I recommend calling in your order and then picking up. They don't have a parking lot and the street parking in the area is busy so it helps to have someone wait in the car while the other person goes in for the food.

My favorite item is the ahi katsu. It's like eating ahi sashimi but you get a little bit of crunch from the tempura batter. The ahi is very fresh and it's still rare in the center. This plate will definitely hit the spot. They also have dessert. They are known for banana cream pie but it sells out by lunch. If you want a slice or a whole pie, I recommend calling in the morning and keeping it on hold for when you go and get lunch.

For more information about Monarch Seafoods, visit

515 Kalihi St
Honolulu, HI 96819
(808) 841-7877

Ahi Katsu

Garlic Butter Sauteed Tiger Shrimp w/
Zucchini & Mushrooms over Linguine

Furikake Salmon

Nori Wrapped Crabmeat Stuffed Ahi

Banana Cream Pie

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Liliha Bakery

I consider this place a hidden gem in Liliha. Their signature item is the coco puff which is a puff pastry filled with chocolate pudding and topped with chantilly frosting. It's almost like a cream puff but better. Coco puffs have always been a popular item for locals to bring to potluck gatherings or to the office because everyone will eat it.

Inside of the bakery, there is also a diner. Sometimes, there will be a line outside of the bakery but don't let that scare because that's just for the diner. This place is open 24 hours but they are closed on Mondays. No matter what time of day you go, there will be coco puffs in the bakery fridge. The bakery does get busy but those ladies behind the counter work fast so just pull a number, step to the side, and wait.

If you are visiting from out of town, I highly recommend coming here and trying a coco puff. The prices for the baked good are reasonable and they have their own parking lot. I've traveled to the mainland with these before and they hold up very well, just make sure you hand carry it in a cooler bag with an ice pack.

For more information about Liliha Bakery, visit

515 N. Kuakini St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 531-1651

580 N. Nimitz Hwy
Honolulu, HI  96817
(808) 537-2488

Coco Puff

Green Tea Coco Puff

Long John

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Golden River Restaurant

If you want some cheap eats, this is one spot you will want to visit. They are located in Chinatown on the corner of N King and River Street. A lot of people don't know about this place because To Chau is next door and that's where everyone goes for pho. They serve pho here too and it's pretty decent but I prefer the house special egg noodles which is a combination of all the toppings and a giant won ton chip over the top. That item is a must try for first timers.

The inside of the restaurant is small so I don't recommend dining with a big group. Most of the tables are set up to seat 2 and 4. I want to warn you that the restaurant is a bit run down but the food is clean and it taste really good. I've dined here a few times and I've always enjoyed it. The restaurant does get chaotic during the lunch hour but just tell the staff how many people you have and they will take care of you. You don't need to speak the native language for them to give you special treatment, the English language is good here. Unlike most Asian place in the area who don't accept credit cards, they do. As for parking, there is street parking or you can park in the municipal lot on the next block.

198 N King St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 531-1185

House Special Egg Noodle in Soup

Banh Cuon (Rice Noodle Rolls)