I’m here I’m here…!

Parked in Manoa and came back to pretty flowers on my car…looked better in person lol

Sorry about the unintended break! I’ve just been super busy the past two weeks so I haven’t had time to properly post. Hoping to get back into it next week. I’m also super excited to be going to Vegas in a few weeks! Need to get off this rock! And share the good eats from Vegas of course! Hope you’re all doing well!

Mixed Plate Friday

My brother Jensen got me this super cute Lego Cherry Blossom kit just cause. Aren’t those gifts the best? Just thoughtful and a surprise? I built it up the other day and am proudly displaying it in my office! I love it!!

Have you tried ELEVEN at Foodland Farms Ala Moana? It is more of a small plates and drinks bar but they specialize in a brunch buffet on the weekends! It is $35 for the buffet and includes Prime Rib. I think it’s worth the while to try the different foods and hey you can grind down on unlimited prime rib. One missing element? No poke! I think that would really make the buffet and hello, they make so much poke already in the store!

We checked this place out from watching it on a YouTube video, you can check it out here. There is no free mimosa though – sorry!

First plate! I forget what get already. Broccolini, ulu hash browns, pulehu chicken, portuguese sausage, eggs, salad with fresh beets (!).

Second plate is for all the good stuff. More ulu hash brown, eggs, yummy chicken, fried jasmine rice, prime rib and the pork belly. Oh the pork belly!!! Nice smoky flavor, so good and also bad for you lol.

Smoked Meat and Clam Chowder

We were all excited for the clam chowder. Who can resist a good clam chowder? It was good! We were one of the first diners of the morning and the soup was a bit cold. I’m thinking maybe it didn’t have enough time on the heater yet? Maybe they count on the heater to heat it up? If it was hotter, would be mo’ betta! This would be a good place to host any friends who are visiting Hawaii! Here is the menu.

The 220 Grille Restaurant Pt. 4 – Diamond Head, HI

I did it again. I’m sorry Honolulu Aunty. I made an order and realized right after that it was their last week of service for this session lol. I must have a knack for doing this. It’s okay, I’m going to document the meals here and patiently wait for a new session. Do they open during the summer? Gosh I sure hope so.

2 Lady Farmers Country Fried Pork | $13.00
w/ Creamy Pepper Gravy, Mashed Potato, Green Beans & Corn

This was my lunch (I ordered more food for other meals lol). How was it? Blah. The pork and gravy was a bit salty but the beans and potatoes were super bland. I had to add plenty hot sauce to eat the two side dishes but I do appreciate the use of fresh string beans! I thought it was country fried steak at first and then realized it was pork after. The pieces of pork were nice though!

Beer Braised Beef Cheek Bowl | $12.00
Local Grass Fed Beef Cheek with Onion Jam Sauce, Egg Katsu, Simmered Daikon and Sesame Edamame

Great price for the dish and portion! And look at the perfectly gummy egg. Good dish! I enjoyed it! The cheek meat was nice and tender.

Teri Provolone Cheeseburger | $11.00
made with Locally Sourced Grass Fed Beef with Sautéed Onions and Mayo, served w/ Fries, garnished w/ Island Lettuce, Sugarland Tomato & House Made Pickles

Okay we always order one of these because it’s always winners and today was no different. Definitely a steal of a deal and delicious!

Local Beef & 2 Lady Farmers Pork Bolognaise with Spaghetti & KCC’s Mushroom Cave Oyster Mushrooms | $12.00

Not my dish but boy did I have dish envy when I saw it! The two people who ordered it and both liked it! I would definitely get this next time to try myself!

Cup of Banana Cream Pie | $5.00
with Caramel & Shortbread Cookie Crumble

I love bananas so I wanted to give this a shot! Not a fan of whipped cream and nilla wafers so I might not be the best audience for this dish. But if you like what I named, you would like it!!

Matcha Green Tea Bread Pudding | $4.00
with Cranberry Compote and Vanilla Anglaise

Not my dish but I was told it was a big thumbs down. It looks like they forgot to give her the cranberry compote and vanilla anglaise which it could have used. The bread pudding itself was hard as a brick and bitter so I can see why she was missing the sweet components! Shucks!

Recipe: Shrimp and Asparagus

I’ve been following the ChineseHealthyCook YouTube channel for years now and I always love trying out her recipes when I can because she makes really good home style Chinese dishes. When I saw this dish, I knew I just had to give it a try. I mean take a look at the picture, that’s the one I made! Doesn’t it look great? And I add so much garlic…I just mix it with some hot white rice and I’m in heaven. This is one of the few dishes I made for the whole week of meals and never got tired of it. Forreal! I followed her instructions to a T and it came out perfectly – perfectly cooked!!

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-fry

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz asparagus (remove ends, cut into slices)
  • 7 oz shrimp (season with salt and white pepper powder)
  • 8 cloves garlic (use 1/3 for the sauce)
  • 2 tsp seasoned soy sauce for seafood or light soy sauce (I bought and useed soy sauce for seafood)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • vegetable oil (I use avocado oil)
  • salt
  • white pepper powder or black pepper powder

To make garlic sauce:
Combine 2/3 of the chopped garlic, 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1/3 cup of water. Mix well.

1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and drops of oil.
2. Blanch asparagus for about 30 seconds. Take out into ice water.
3. Blanch shrimp for about 1 minute. Take out into ice water.
4. Heat up pan to medium high heat, add oil. Sauté 1/3 of the chopped garlic for about 5 seconds.
5. Add shrimp and asparagus. Stir fry about 30 seconds.
6. Add 1/2 of the sauce and stir. Add remaining sauce and finish with a bit of salt to taste. Serve. 

Recipe Credit: ChineseHealthyCook

Mixed Plate Friday

Loco Moco | $11.00

Yum, loco moco. I can’t resist! We have Holoholo Bistro on campus and they have become a great staple. I love that they make such a variety of dishes and their super cute decorating style. A little pricey but to me this was the perfect portion. They also take Apple Pay which I now use too much because it is so dang easy to use. If you want to check them out, they also opened their own brick and mortar spot in Kailihi where Meg’s used to be!

Homemade Tanghulu

I couldn’t resist. I wanted to make it and TikTok had a microwave version. Came out pretty good! Well 2 things, don’t do the microwave version. The sugar liquid basically needs to be boiling hot to work so it’s better to be on the stove top. 2nd, these do not store well in the fridge. You gotta make it and eat it right away, if not, you’re just looking at a melted sugar syrup mess.

Look at my new water bottle! I hung this cute and cheap chain I got from Amazon. I’ve used it for a week and the chain broke already (lol). Ah it’s okay, it was cute while it lasted! I love this water bottle because it deceptively looks like it doesn’t have the sipping straw but it does! You can chug or sip! I love it! And if you hold it at the right angle, you look like a koala drinking it. I heard Costco might start carrying a two-pack soon – that would be a great deal!!!

Straits Restaurant – Honolulu, HI

If you’re old like me, don’t go to Straits (lol). Nah nah, they have a restaurant side that opens early for dinner. Don’t go too late or you’ll be there when it turns into like a club. I have no idea, I eat dinner at like 5. Straits serves up a Singaporean dining experience, definitely a trending restaurant with very young and attractive wait staff. I’m just going to keep throwing the word trendy out there when I explain this restaurant.

Pandan House Specialty Soda | $7.00

Non-alcoholic! You know me! I don’t want to drink alcohol but want to be part of the party. I love pandan flavor. This drink had pandan flavor but I would have liked a stronger pandan taste. I miss Bambu desserts…do you folks remember that place??

Straits Frites | $15.00
crisp fried potato, cilantro & garlic, kaffir lime aioli, galangal cocktail sauce

I guess all fancy restaurants calls their fries frites huh? This was probably my favorite dish of the night. Ha! The aioli is wonderful, the cocktail sauce is good too! I loved the different flavors…and the fries were fried to a perfect crisp!

Yu Sheng Salad (Lo Hei) | $24.00
salmon sashimi, ma’o farms sassy mix, carrots, cucumber, daikon, pickled onions, orange surpremes, cabbage, ginger plum dressing

Good salad! Great dressing. Nice and refreshing.

Garlic Noodle | $19.00
wok fired egg noodles, thai basil, black pepper, boy choy, shiitake, oyster sauce, scallion, shallot, bean sprouts

Just an okay dish. I wouldn’t get this next time and for $19 – this doesn’t even have a protein.

Hainan Chicken | $28.00
poached chicken, aromatic chicken rice & broth with sweet soy sauce, ginger garlic sauce tangy hainan chili sauce

Oh what a bummer this dish ended up being. I usually love Hainan Chicken but this was not good. The side sauces weren’t great, I don’t know if you can tell but the chicken breast was pretty dry. Supposed to be poached nice and tender. High price for a mediocre dish.

Straits BBQ Ribeye | $72.00
bali style five spice barbequed beef ribeye, celeriac puree

Holy crap I didn’t see the price until just now lol. Was it good? The steak was good, the mash was super salty. Was it worth $72? No. End of post. Okay well, not end of post. Would I return? That’s a hard maybe. I do want to try some of the other dishes because I love Singaporean food and I don’t know where else to find it. Man…

King Restaurant & Bar – Honolulu, HI

Tried King Restaurant & Bar a few times now and it’s been good each time. For some reason, this past visit was especially good. Perhaps we ordered all the good food? They always have packed tables when I drive by during dinner time, we try to order take-out during off-peak hours. Always ready pretty quick and never get the order wrong yet!

Salted Fish & Chicken Fried Rice | $16.95

Why don’t I order this dish more often? I wanted the nostalgic taste of chinese salted fish so we got this! This was Chan’s first time trying this dish and he liked it! Probably not more than me lol. I loved it, perfectly seasoned – definitely would order again!

Beef Chow Fun (Dried) | $16.95

We watched a YouTube video which got Chan hankering for some good ole Beef Chow Fun. Yum. I especially like it when they have the good “wok hei” on this dish. It was good! A little pricey but I guess we’re paying Ala Moana prices for all these dishes huh?

Twist Cruller | $3.50

It looks like they started serving dim sum too – how interesting! We ordered our food in the late afternoon and this was still available to order. I am curious to try the other dim sum dishes! I didn’t try this dish, this is more Chan’s style. 🙂

Spicy Salt & Pepper Pork Chop | $18.95

Yum, great main entree! Nice tender pieces of pork deep fried – can you go wrong?? It was good!

Ong Choy w/Preserved Beancurd | $15.95

Have I ever shared that ong choy is one of my favorite vegetables of all time? I remember when my mom used to stir fry it with sliced garlic and fermented shrimp paste (harm ha), smells so good to me (probably not so good to others). This is a great way to make it too – I loved it. Couldn’t get enough. Can’t wait to order or eat here again!

Mixed Plate Friday

Okay, today is more of a mixed bowl Friday cause I am just going to feature one thing. Remember the cute miso soup I shared with you the other week! Chan’s friend visited from Japan and gifted me a Hello Kitty collaboration! I WAS SO EXCITED BECAUSE LOOK….!

lol, I had to smash a hole in Hello Kitty’s face.

Look at all those “guts” that were in the cute Hello Kitty head! And oh my gosh! The heart and bow-shaped fish cake? COME ON. The package comes with 2 packs, I can’t wait to have the second one!!!

Frog House – Kaheka, HI

Yes, I’m back at Frog House. Yes, we had bossam again. Yes, I love this restaurant. Yes, this restaurant can never close down. But I got my friend to try a new dish with me that I tried with Chan last year. We usually order lunch specials but I got her to get this with me so we just shared it and ate it with rice! Oh my god, it was so good.

Complimentary Banchan

Find me a restaurant with better banchan. Forreal. LET ME KNOW AND I WILL GO.

Bossam | $34.95

I know, yeah yeah, we seen this before. YEAH AND WOT. Anyway, it was good as always lol. By the way V, my friend went to Jagalchi and tried the bossam and it was a big thumbs down. They serve it with raw napa cabbage leaves. RAW. That would be a big nope for me.

Stir Fried Webfoot Octopus & Pork Belly | $29.95

I’m salivating just looking at this again. Oh my gosh, it’s so good. Although honestly, a lot lot lot of onions. LOL, but still I think it’s so delicious and is paired so nicely with some hot white rice. My friend really enjoyed it too so now I can keep ordering it lol. Shoot, if I was ravenous, I could just get this dish myself and tell everyone to keep away.

Tonkatsu Tamafuji – Kapahulu, HI

Sorry for the week long unannounceed break folks. I’m at the tail-end of a crazy crazy semester at work and I’m just spent. I still feel spent by the way. Oh and remember how awful it was for us to go through termite tenting? We found frass again but then I started reading more, I get that there could be leftover frass in furniture that could appear later. My family of course freaks out, we are covered for five years and a technician was sent out. Then my family freaks out that furniture is not covered. I don’t know what to say folks, I’ve learned way too much about termites in the past few months and I really don’t understand why the process has to be this difficult. I’ll have to continue to monitor and call again in 2 weeks if we see new activity I guess. Ugh.

Sorry for the rant! I haven’t been to Tonkatsu Tamafuji in YEARS. And when I say years, maybe even over a decade. You can make reservations on their website but the reservations are like booked out for nearly a year out. My god, people must love tonkatsu. We came on a Thursday AFTERNOON for a 4PM dinner. Yeah, I actually beat my record for senior citizen eating time. And wouldn’t you know? The place was packed with us reservation holders and then a whole line of people lining up for the walk-in line. WILD. I couldn’t believe it!

Sesame Seeds

Were they the first restaurant to do this in Hawaii? You grind your own sesame seeds to add your tonkatsu sauce in. Mmmm, freshly ground sesame seeds smell so good!

Pickled Vegetables

Complimentary! I heard they change these up every time. Ehh, they were okay. Sorry if I’m being a hater. I don’t like cabbage tsukemono when it still has the raw taste you know? I was excited for the choy sum (?) tsukemono on the right but that was also just okay. Just a bit bland. And don’t hurt me, I don’t like umeboshi so I can’t judge that for you folks.

Jyukusei (Aged) Pork Loin Katsu Teishoku (240g) | $27.50

I went for the medium set, 180g sounds so manini. So when I was looking at the menu, I was asking Chan which pork is better cause get Pork Loin Katsu and Pork Tender Loin Katsu. From the name alone, you would think the tender loin would be the best? Nope, it’s this one, the Ro-su. Super good and moist because there’s some fat in it.

Yummy, perfectly fried. It was delicious. The teishoku also comes with unlimited rice (oh my god the rice!) and unlimited shredded cabbage. They serve the cabbage with a goma dressing and a ponzu dressing. You can choose the white rice, seasoned mixed rice or 5 grain rice. We all went for the white rice and that was a great choice. You don’t want your rice competing with all the flavors! You also get a choice of red or white miso soup with either clams and green onions or tofu and seafood.

All in all, a good dining experience! Kind of pricey but I guess you are paying for the quality and service. And if I could eat more, I would definitely be asking for more rice and cabbage. We dined here in mid-April and our friends were looking up the next available reservation and it was in January 2025. CRAZY STUFF. I think it’s also because you don’t need to put a credit card to hold your reservation, and I think the wait-list line all got seated so maybe it just all works out.