Universal Japan – Day 2

Most popular and biggest attraction by far. I didn’t know that you had to reserve a ticket to even walk in so we got stopped as we tried. No one speaks good English so I had to play around with their mobile app until I figured out how to reserve tickets. It’s free to walk through, they just have timed visit slots. I think I tried to reserve it at like 10 AM and couldn’t get a window until 3 PM. Highly suggest you check in right when you arrive to reserve your time slot! You cannot do it ahead of time, they make sure you are on property to reserve.

It’s pretty surreal when you walk in, you really feel like you are in the video game! I didn’t even know they had a ride, not that I ride rides. I just enjoyed walking through!

Red Shell Calzone with Cheese & Ketchup Spaghetti Filling | ¥850

This tasted like it sounds. Not good. I don’t think they even serve it anymore lol. I was so full from eating earlier in the day, how do people eat so much at theme parks???

Mixed Berry Christmas Highball | ¥650
Non-Alcoholic Christmas Fruit Cocktail | ¥550

Special drinks for the holidays! I had the non-alcoholic drink. It was gooood!

I forget what this drink was called but I thought it looked cool, it was also not mine lol. I think it was enjoyed!!!

Pretty Christmas tree/show to end the night!

Universal Japan – Part 1

Not my first time here and not gonna be my last! I actually enjoy Universal Japan more than Tokyo Disney. Not that I’m trying to start any wars here, but the vibe just felt better at Universal and the workers seemed friendlier.

Pretty much the scene everywhere, people with their cell phones up ready to shoot lol.

Fish and Chips | ¥2,200
fresh cod battered and fried served with chips and tartar sauce, with a side of green peas and mushy peas

My dish. Eh, it was alright. Kind of greasy but did the job.

Beef Sunday Roast | ¥3,100
roast beef with vegetables, roast potatoes, yorkshire pudding and gravy

I think this was the dish? I hope this was the dish. Either way, it doesn’t look worth like 30 bucks!

Treacle Tart with Raspberries and Clotted Cream | ¥600

I wanted to try this because I always wanted to try treacle and clotted cream. Blah. It was much too sweet, hence the name treacle. I’d like to try British desserts in Britain.

Hogwarts bids you a warm farewell for now!

Mixed Plate Friday

You folks ever make a soup that called for pasta? I’m sure you have. I don’t like my pasta to get too gummy so I actually cook up the pasta al dente separately…then when I finish the soup, I put it into my container to cool it down. I then dump my pasta on top (in this case, a chickpea pasta) and store it like this. As I scoop out servings to eat, I mix it with the pasta to heat up. It works perfectly and the pasta maintains it’s texture!

Just a quick pic of a lazy Sunday breakfast. Toasted everything bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers and homemade jalapenos and red onions. Delicious!

Tots Flight | $16.95
From top, left to right: spicy cheese & bacon tots, bbq chicken tots, and parmesan truffle tots.

Spicy Cheese & Bacon Tots: crispy tots, Paul’s signature Wahl Sauce, pickled red onion, bacon, spicy cheese sauce, Parmesan cheese
BBQ Chicken Tots: crispy tots drizzled with BBQ sauce, topped with BBQ chicken & roasted corn, jalapeno & red onion salsa
Parmesan Truffle Tots: crispy tots tossed with Parmesan cheese, truffle oil and chopped parsley, served with Chef Paul’s truffle aioli

Have you folks Wahlburgers at Ala Moana yet? We’ve gotten take out twice from here and I hate to admit it but they make some pretty dang good burgers and fries. Here is a small preview of their tots flight. I love tater tots. LOL, I think the spicy cheese and truffle ones were good, I would pass on the BBQ chicken ones!

Tangö Contemporary Café – Honolulu, HI

Another post about Tangö Contemporary Café, what can I say? I’m a fan! We don’t come here nearly as much as we used to but I think we come at least twice a year? Food and service is consistently good and it gives me a good excuse to check out Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx while I’m here. Small changes were made here and there, unfortunately, not for the better. I will explain more.

Torani Italian Soda (Passion Fruit) | $5.00

I don’t really drink much alcohol (let Suntory be an example of why I don’t drink much) so I gave this a try. I’m not usually a fan of cream based drinks so I asked for the cream on the side which they happily complied with. I added the cream in and actually enjoyed it quite a bit! Creamy but also refreshing because of the passion fruit. Yum!

Salmon Board | $21.00
gravlax, smoked salmon, smoked salmon rilette, labneh, rye bread

OMG, I hate to do a comparison but I had this in 2019 and it costs $13.00 back then. Crazy! The board is still good as before although I could not tell you the difference between all the different salmons on the board. We just ate em.

Complimentary Bread

We got served the salmon board and I was wondering if they would bring out the bread. I love their bread so much. Or do I just love pesto so much? Does it matter? It’s soooo good. If they didn’t bring the bread out automatically, I would have asked for sure. And yes, I have asked for seconds before. Living that best life.

Washugyu Steak | $40.00
grilled washugyu flap steak, caramelized onion umami butter, herb roasted potatoes

Wow I need to stop looking at my old blog posts. They used to have a grilled new york steak with kauai shrimp which was my friend’s go to dish. We were disappointed when we noticed it was gone from the menu and this was the closest dish. It was just a meh dish, nothing special. Oh and the steak and shrimp plate before was $29!!! Inflation times are wild…

Beef Stroganoff | $30.00
mustard sour cream demi-glace, house-made fettuccine

I felt like a homey cozy dish and this is what i got. Definitely hit the spot for that but I couldn’t help but think that I could make this for way less. Sorry sorry…this post is getting clouded by prices! It was good. But there are other dishes on the menu that offer more “bang” for your buck.

Kona Coffee Ice Cream Cake | $8.00
kona coffee, vanilla and italian chocolate ice cream, chiffon cake

Okay okay, I hate to compare one last time. But their portion for this dish got WAY smaller and now costs $1.00 more. Here’s a picture of the old version. Kind of a bummer yeah?

Chocolate Brownie | $8.00
served with vanilla bean ice cream

This was my dessert. I felt like something warmed up so this hit the spot. Was good! One of the few times I will eat vanilla ice cream (when it’s served with chocolate on the side).

Monarch Seafoods – Kalihi, HI

After Jalna did her mega post on Monarch Seafoods, you know I had to go right? ABSOLUTELY HAD TO. And even with the clusterbutt of a mess Dillingham is in now…? I still went. I initially forgot where they were so I had to circle the block like 2 times through the crazy road work. Finally spotted them and double parked in their side garage. We were running in and out anyway!

Garlic Roast Pork with Gravy | $13.95

Out of all the dishes she shared, the roast pork with gravy was the one that made my mouth water the most. Oh my. So ono. Had a few dry slices in there but it’s okay, get the gravy to make em wet (LOL) but mostly tender slices. Their salad dressing is amazing. So good. I just relooked at their menu and see that they sell a 24 oz. bottle for $12.50 – I may have to partake in that next time I go!

Garlic Butter Sauteed Tiger Shrimp with Zucchini + Mushrooms over Linguine | $14.95

Was this good? Sure. Would I get it again? Probably not. It’s a pretty simple dish that you can make on your own I think. It’s served with a cream sauce, give it a try if you are into this kine pasta!

Nori Wrapped Crabmeat Stuffed Ahi | $14.50

Here is the dish they are known for! Is it good? Ehhh…I think it’s okay. I don’t think it’s anything to write home (or blog about) – it’s a bit dry to me. Not a lot of flavor so to me, it was just alright. My brother kept dipping it into the salad dressing haha. I don’t know why I was expecting a bigger taste explosion so I was a bit let down. But I would still return to

Menu as of February 2023 (Click to Enlarge)

Mixed Plate Friday

Steamed Tapioca Pearl Dumplings Stuffed with Peanut Pork

I know nothing about this dish. All I know is it was delicious and I would probably never attempt to make it, I found it at Lao Asian Market and would absolutely get it again.

Vietnamese Steamed Dumplings | $11.95
marinated shrimp, pork and onions wrapped into a thin layer of tapioca flour dough, then steamed – served with special House fish sauce

Absolutely banger of a dish from Bac Nam – I don’t see these dumplings in a lot of Vietnamese restaurant menus so I was ecstatic to try it! They did not disappoint.

Braised Mackerel with Radish

I don’t have much information on this. I got it from Palama Supermarket and ate it hot with some white rice at home. It really hit the spot, a real comfort dish.

Wagaya – Moilili, HI

Hands down one of my favorite ramen shops in Hawaii, if not the favorite. Wagaya serves up delicious ramen and appetizers with friendly service! I always go right when they open so I get parking and don’t have to wait too long! Where is your favorite ramen shop?

House Made Gyoza | $6.50
japanese style pork, cabbage and chive gyoza. (pan-fried or deep-fried)

One of my many go-to dishes, house made gyoza. Can’t beat that. Delicious! Wish they would give 6 because it’s not easy to split odd number gyoza!

Calamari Isobeage | $8.75
tender japanese squid in aonori tempura served with a shoyu aioli

Good, not great. It was actually kind of limp and not crunchy when we got it I didn’t think it was great.

Garlic Wagaya Ramen (Kuro) | $14.95
our classic tonkotsu broth is kicked up a notch with garlic
toppings: 2 pc char siu, soft-boiled egg, choi sum, kikurage, sesame, nori, green onion, fried garlic

My go to ramen always. I ask for firm noodles with level three spice (because I no can handle more and also no like pay more lol). It’s just the perfect bowl of ramen for me, all the toppings are perfect and the egg is PERFECTLY MADE.

Mochi Ice Cream | $4.75
vanilla ice cream topped with warm mochi, kinako, and kuromitsu
choice of green tea, kinako, or mixed mochi

I don’t know why I thought I would be getting green tea ice cream. I guess I read the menu wrong, I got the green tea mochi as ordered but I didn’t realize it was only vanilla ice cream offered. It’s okay, it was a delicious dish! We were just kind of full so we couldn’t enjoy this one fully.

Yung Yee Kee Dim Sum – Ala Moana, HI

If you can’t make it out to Chinatown, I found you a good alternative in the Ala Moana area. Forget going to Jade Seafood, check out Yung Yee Kee! We came right at opening time on a Sunday and there was absolutely no wait. We ate yummy dim sum to full satisfaction and was off on our merry way. I thought the flavors were good and comparable to Chinatown so do it!!!

Chicken Feet with Black Bean | $6.50

I know, I know. Not many of you like chicken feet, I get it. I grew up eating this which is why I am able to eat it. Juicy and flavorful, I would recommend this dish if you like chicken feet!

Pork Hash with Shrimp (Siu Mai) | $6.50

Yum, a classic and always a favorite of mine. Nothing memorable but nothing bad which is good. I would get it again because I just like siu mai.

Seafood Bundle | $7.50

One of my favorite dim sum dishes, it usually includes a piece of fish, shrimp, scallop and a whole shiitake mushroom wrapped in tofu skin (yuba).

Signature Steamed Beef Tripe | $7.50

Another dish not everyone can eat. This was nicely seasoned but had a strong white pepper taste. Good but no wow factor.

Shrimp & Chives Dumplings | $7.50

I like to get this in dim sum restaurants but I like when they pan fry it and steam too. This one is more dry on the outside, tasted good but I guess I like it more like potsticker style.

Mochi Puffs w/Pork | $6.50

Deep Fried Shrimp Dumplings | $6.00

Taro Puffs | $6.50

Good! Nice amount of filling! Tastes great.

Stir-Fried Sticky Rice | $8.50

Meh. I can make this way better. I will make this way better. 🙂

Look Funn w/Beef | $7.50

Basic, simple, good.

Mixed Plate Friday

Crab Curry | $24.95
French Bread | $3.00

Bac Nam has great crab curry. That is clear. The restaurant is very popular. That is clear. The crab curry is freaking $25 and comes with no rice or bread…so we had to pay $3.00 for one french bread. No ma’am. But was it good? Oh yes. The nicely toasted crunchy bread with the crab curry was delightful. We had leftover curry so I went to Bale the next day and paid $4.00 for 3 FRENCH BREADS which we toasted up to eat with the leftovers. So good. Next time just sneak in your own french bread like you from France (lol).

Fried Saimin Bento | $11.39
fried saimin, 2 pieces garlic chicken, egg omelet, 3 pieces portuguese sausage & rice with furikake

Mitsu-Ken Okazu and Catering reminds me of childhood days. Remember their old location? How popular they were even with zero parking? Well their current location get choke parking so no worry but for me, they are located completely out of the way. Also, they pack a lot of MSG into their food. Tastes ono but if you’re not good with MSG, avoid!

Roast Duck & Chicken Rice Plate | $13.50

Remember Mini Garden Express in Ranch 99? They re-opened by the Airport and they have online ordering for pick-up! Here is the website for the online ordering site. They are still located Salt Lake side so I can go grab food when I go out to Target. This is one of my favorite dishes, love it! It’s actually served over a simple fried rice, I love roast duck and chinese style shoyu chicken so it’s a winner. Give them a try if you’re in the area! I highly recommend ordering ahead, we had to wait quite a while.

Jagalchi – Ala Moana, HI

Vicki, this post is for you. Well it’s for everyone but especially for Vicki. I got to check out the new Jagalchi last weekend and well, it’s nothing like the old one. Starting from the complete renovation to the complete menu rehaul. Same name, completely different restaurant. In fact, I don’t think the Yelp page should be featuring both restaurants you know? It’s not the same at all!

This restaurant is going to be known for their great seafood, I was told that they get their fresh fish straight from Korea. Wowow, so how was the food? Let’s take a look!

Sashimi Salad (free!)

Since they are new, I think they are letting customers taste different dishes! This dish included the fresh fish flown in from Korea. Oh it was delicious. We mixed it together and let the cabbage marinate a bit in the sauce…the fish was great quality and the crunchy veggies were perfect.

Banchan | cabbage salad and japchae

Both were great! I really enjoyed the japchae! Perfectly cooked and seasoned. The noodles were nice and chewy and I loved that it had a strong black pepper taste. Yum!

Half Jokbal (pig’s feet) | $28.00

Vicki – they have bossam here! But I had bossam the other day and reacted poorly to the raw oysters so I didn’t want to risk it this night. The jokbal was good…I even ate the raw veggies! I definitely want to try the bossam next time though!

Haemulpajun (Seafood Pancake) | $25.00

Oh man, this might be the winning dish of the night. Fresh off the heat, nice and crispy – nicely fried and seasoned great. We ate it up lol.

Pork Kimchi Soondubu | $18.00

Yes, the pictures are a bit pink in hue but this soup really was this red in person. Whew. Was it spicy? Small kine. I tell you what, had plenty MSG. Haha we were thirsty all night but that means it tasted great! Can’t wait to try their other soups and stews.

All in all, it was a great experience! Great service and great food. I would definitely return. The only sad thing was that they are currently only open for dinner, wish I could try this place with co-workers. Give them a try!