Mixed Plate Friday

Gumbo Bowl | $16.00
chicken & sausage gumbo with rice

Unfortunately, this post does not start with a winner. I’ve always wanted to try Soul Fusion and now that they’re on the UH campus, I had my chance! How was it? I mean it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. Is gumbo supposed to be more soupy liquid than thick? Maybe I was expecting more of a stew, this had very little guts (if you know what I mean). Tasted fine but then my coworker and I both had to run to the bathroom very quickly after eating our dishes. Heh, sorry for the TMI, just letting you folks know. Not that the food went bad or anything – just might be a bit rich for those who are sensitive to that.

Shrimp Dumplings Soup (Hong Kong Wonton) | $11.95

Okay, this post might be full of complaints (in fact I think it is. I got this from Yung Yee Kee Dim Sum and while I am usually a big fan of their food, this is not it. It tasted fine! It’s just that this is what $12 gets you. It was like I think maybe 5 wontons? I didn’t pour my soup in yet. I think I can go Chinatown and at least get noodles with it for this price. That was a bummer. Tasted fine but was not worth it.

Dry Mein | $5.99

I saw this at 7eleven and wanted to try it. I love dry mein but it was a small portion. The taste was fine, I just don’t think it’s filling enough to be an entire meal. Also, you can see my awesome skills of overheating things in the microwave. Yum, melted plastic with my food.

Thanks for the patience everyone. We finally got the house tented. It was a horrendous week. We were originally supposed to tent on a Saturday but they called us the day before telling us it had to be rescheduled due to weather. I mean, we had a hotel booked and it is very hard to transport my father (who is very much immobile) around. It was an absolute nightmare.

The day before our rescheduled day was also windy and I was scared they would cancel again but it wasn’t, yay. They gave me a window of 10AM – 1PM for the tenters to come so I figured maybe I just take half day off work. 1:30 rolled around and no one came, I called them asking for status. She tells me they are finishing a job in Kailua and will be here in 30 minutes. Kailua to Kalihi in 30 mins? I don’t think so. I estimated moreso 3PM. Guess WHAT. 3PM – still no one. I call at 3:30PM and they had to call and try to track the guys down and told me it would be another 20 minutes. I’m sure you know where this is going. They arrived at like 4:30PM. We decided to stick around to watch the tent go up, that takes another 2 hours. It’s hard work! These guys were all wearing like slippers and slip-ons…didn’t look too safe to me but I guess they get super grip or something.

This was just an awful week because it was the peak busy week for me at work and then having to deal with tenting, cleaning and packing stuff out – it was hell week. Just glad it’s all done. There’s gotta be an easier way to fumigate, this was insane. Anyway, hope you folks have a great weekend!

The 220 Grille Restaurant Pt. 3 – Diamond Head, HI

I have this horrible knack of posting this restaurant WAY too late, but it’s also because of their short service runs! If you get a chance, today and tomorrow is your last chance to order for this serving session! They are only open for service on Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM. They no longer take phone orders so you have to be ready to order online once the site opens at 11AM (there are no pre-orders)…so, if you can get through all that, try the food (lol)! Here is their current menu, they also have daily specials!

Kansas City Style BBQ Baby Back Ribs | $14.00
with Mashed Potato, Corn and Honey Butter Corn Bread

Teri Provolone Cheeseburger made with Locally Sourced Grass Fed Beef w/ Sautéed Onions & Mayo | $10.00
served w/ Fries, garnished w/ Island Lettuce, Sugarland Tomato & House Made Pickles

This was my lunch. The burger is bumboocha and house made patty! They do cook it like a medium rare so I do recommend heating it up a bit if you don’t like it that pink. I did get a bit of a tummy ache after eating this burger so I did heat up the patty when I ate the other half the next day. How can you beat the portion of this dish, the tastiness and PRICE. It’s $10 bucks even, tax already included. Would recommend!

Roast Porchetta | $15.00 
with Mushroom Risotto, Carrot Puree, Braised Beets, and Jus Lie

Jus lie, haha I just find that funny. Chan ate this for dinner and he enjoyed it! He super enjoyed the sides, said the pork was a bit dry on some parts but overall – good! Pretty high end for $15!

Pan Fried Pa’i’ai | $4.00
w/ Kinako, Haupia Anglaise and Island Fruits

Not my dish but it was shared with us and I’m sorry but I just gotta give a big thumbs down. It wasn’t good. Sorry! Very very bland. Even eating it with the fruit or the sauce, just…you’re eating plain taro essentially cause all this extra stuff did not do anything! No flava!!!

NOTE: Reopening for service on April 2, 2024!

Mixed Plate Friday

Taki’s Intense Nacho

I’m not into Taki’s but I saw this online somewhere and super super curious. For some odd reason, it’s so hard to find this in Hawaii. Where did I find it? Oh, I think I found it at Don Quijote! Kind of pricey but was worth a try. Super cheesy, not at all spicy. Worth the try!

Giovanni Rana Beef and Sausage Lasagna (40 oz.) | $14.98

Saw this at Sam’s Club the other week and decided to bring it home to try. I didn’t get to try it but my brother did and he liked it! It’s nice that it’s not the full family size lasagna. It’s also great that it comes in a pan that you can either bake it in or microwave in.

Spicy Pork Plate | $10.00

Yup, back at Kalihi Palama Market snack bar again. No can lose with a $10 plate forreal! So good. You know dang well that it would cost so much more money if I decided to make this myself. I’ll keep “researching” their dishes for you folks okay? 🙂

Bikkuri Donkey – Osaka, Japan

When my friend and I visited in 2022 and stayed in Osaka, we really enjoyed Bikkuri Donkey. It’s a silly name and really more of a family restaurant vibe (imagine Japan Denny’s but specializing in Hamburger Steak). This is a perfect place for tourists because it’s just all kine burgers and fried foods. Anyway, we ate there twice in about as many days but always in the Dotonbori location. Chan had quite a laugh at the name of the restaurant and we would toss around jokes leading up to the trip but you know…that I had to make a return visit. So we did! Visited the Umeda location this time, same good food. They do have an English menu, just gotta ask!

Zangi & Potato | ¥620

Appetizer! I don’t know why it’s called zangi, just wanted some fries and chicken karaage, was good!

Black Demiburg Dish (300g) | ¥1,610

I’m trying to find the exact item names and prices for you folks – I think Chan must have added an egg to this dish so I’m sure it cost a bit extra. He enjoyed the dish!

Egg Curry Burger Dish (300g) | ¥1,610

My dish. I’ve been getting this since the beginning of my visits and I love it. Something about it works and I’ll continue to get this dish, thank you!

Mixed Plate Japan

Check out this line for Panda Express. I couldn’t believe it! And you know, I don’t think it was just tourists, had plenty locals too! Maybe they enjoy American fare? Because we know this is not real Chinese food!

For some odd reason, I had such a craving for a crepe in Japan! Well, where else better right? Was happy to find Marion’s Crepes in Ikebukuro! It really hit the spot, yum!

Look at this shower in the Hilton Osaka. Click on it to make it bigger. Do you see anything wrong with this picture? And no, there is no optional shower curtain on the other side. So here I was crouching within this small area to shower because I really did not want to get the entire bathroom wet. I mean what?? What kine design is this? If I was missing something, please let me know. If not, awful design!!!!

Folk Kitchen – Osaka, Japan

Folk Kitchen is located within the Hilton Osaka. Thanks to Chan’s perks, we were able to eat breakfast free in the hotel and boy did I enjoy eating here. Haha one morning as we were waking up, he asked me if I was okay because I had been laying there and I just meekly answered…”Folk Kitchen?” That’s how much I was looking forward to eating there. You just had to be there haha.

Folk Kitchen offers a full breakfast buffet and you know Japanese restaurants are going to do right by buffets. No disappointments here! And for some odd reason, I loved the apple juice in Osaka. Specifically Osaka lol.

We came pretty early in the morning so we could avoid the crowds, mission accomplished!

Smaller portion of food this round. They had battered fried fish with tartar sauce (I loved it!), tater tots, fried rice, etc.! They also had a Japanese section to make Japanese style breakfast, and a congee section!

I absolutely toasted my own slice of bread and slathered it in butter and strawberry jam. YOU BETCHA.

Day 2! Much fuller plate. The brown noodles I think were yakisoba and were bland and junk! The pasta was good and I ate plenty saba! Chan must think I’m crazy but I really really enjoyed Folk Kitchen and it was definitely one of my top places we ate at!!!! Yum!

Mixed Plate Friday – Japan

Beef Gracoro Set | ¥770
Filet-o-Fish Set | ¥680

I am just imagining V asking me why we ate at McDonald’s. It’s different in Japan ok! And this was breakfast sets! The filet-o-fish was good, just like it tastes here. But can we get these salad shakers back in America?!

This was the salad dressing – goma dressing. Yum! Squeezed it in and then shook it up!

Gracoro Burger is a sandwich with a patty of macaroni, shrimp and white sauce. Chan had this, I think he said it was just alright. Me reading that description already triggers a tummy ache haha. But hey, when in Japan – gotta eat the Japan exclusive sets!

Wailele American Beer Bar

We headed to a cute little bar in Shibuya after dinner with friends, they specialized in Hawaii beers. Was super cool and the couple running the joint LOVE Hawaii. I thought it was really cool to see the different beers and they were even selling Maui Towels to raise money for Maui.

Bar Food – I’m sure V would enjoy this. It’s lost on me since I don’t drink.

Hey Kat, is this a good Tokyo People post? LOL nah if any of you are offended by this picture, I’ll happily remove it. This a late night on the train, the only late night I had on a train and well, this is what I saw. He had the whole row of seats to himself lol. Poor cleaners.

Seiryumon – Maihama, Japan

It is becoming a tradition for me to eat at the Ikspiari Mall either before or after my Tokyo Disney trips. Yes, they are probably rip-off tourist prices here but nothing gets more rip off than Disney – am I right? I just wanted some good ole Taiwanese food so we came to Seiryumon after we were pau with our DisneySea excursion.

If you order a meal set, it comes with egg drop soup and their salad. Those stringy things on top of the salad are like tofu I believe? Really good.

Braised Pork | ¥1,180

Sweet Chili Shrimp with Egg Stir Fry | ¥1,890 (set menu)

Mala Tofu | ¥1,890 (set menu)

Here is the rice but I forgot to take pictures of the vegetables we ordered (you can see them in the back)! I talked about it in my previous post but we also ordered Stir-fried Pea Sprouts but now I’m not sure if it was the same dish as last time. Honestly, they changed their menu a bit since I last visited and I got a little confused. The veggies were good nonetheless!

Krispy Kreme Donuts! There is a Krispy Kreme in the mall so we decided to order some donuts! Aren’t they so cute? The cashier was very sweet and happily encouraging as I went through all my coins to pay. I don’t wanna carry around choke coins! You know what was cool? By the end of the trip, I used up all my coins! Until I got to the dumb airport but that’s another story for another day lol.

Tokyo DisneySea

Chan and I aren’t the best theme park people, I think we’ve always gone in the past with others who are gung ho about the parks. I certainly don’t mind it! It’s fun to walk around, eat some ono grinds and see the decorations for the season. Combine that with Japanese hospitality? Why not? We only went to DisneySea on this trip, I thought it would be nice to see the Christmas decorations!

Japan was unseasonably warm this trip around. Don’t get me wrong, 50’s and 60’s is awesome weather but we kind of brought clothes that were for colder weather. Bummers! Well DisneySea was COLD. You know why? It’s always so windy there! I was getting so cold basically because of the high winds. I think we got out of there by lunchtime. But it’s okay, Chan was able to find a few things he was looking for.

Didn’t mean to catch the couple in the picture, but how cute is that?

I wish I got pictures of the limited edition popcorn tongs Chan got! You can see more pictures of them here. You had to line up for popcorn and you gotta actually buy a bag of popcorn so you can pay extra to buy ONE set of the tongs. It’s kind of silly and we both didn’t want the popcorn so we bought it, got the tongs and I immediately handed the bag of popcorn to the group of girls behind us in line. They were very happy with free popcorn lol.

Hot dogs! Ha you know how much I like hot dogs. Right? Well these were good, not great. Not American style you know? More of a Japanese sausage. Anyway, that’s all the pictures I got lol. Sorry I didn’t have much to share on this. We’re hoping to make it to Universal Studios next time because it would be cool to check out Super Mario together! Take care!

Tali’s Bagels & Schmear – Honolulu, HI

Hi folks. Apologies are in order, life got super busy and I just didn’t have the time, motivation or energy to post. I even had a whole bunch of pictures edited and ready to go but now I look at them and don’t want to. LOL, so I’ll put those pics on the side and start anew here.

Did I ever tell you folks I never learned to swim? So one of my bucket list items was to learn how to swim. My co-worker suggested looking into the Parks and Rec program and what a great idea! It was just in time for the new term and lo and behold, I found the beginner’s courses. I got super excited. I bought swim clothes, goggles and was ready for the courses.

Sorry to say, the excitement soon faded. Everyone in my class were not beginner swimmers, not even close. I was super excited to learn from our instructor because he is so gentle and patient but eventually, he had me learn alone with this younger guy while he taught the others. The first time I had that happen, I thought this is awesome – I get my one on one instruction! Well sorry, but while this younger guy was nice, he was not teaching me anything and seemed bored. So as I did the same thing over and over, I watched as the main instructor was having a ball with the rest of the students. I felt defeated and by the time it happened a second time, I kind of just cried driving home because I felt so isolated and wasn’t learning much.

What can you do when it’s a free course right? I am a bit irritated that all these swimmers are taking up the spots in a beginners course, it feels pretty selfish to me. Folks like me who actually need to learn how to swim gets jipped you know? Sigh. For now, I guess I’ll just watch YouTube videos and practice in Chan’s pool. I don’t know, my shoulders are still junk so it limits me too. Sorry for the boo-hoo’ing but that was part of the reason why I was busy too.

Let’s get to the meat of the post! I checked out Tali’s Bagels & Schmear the other week (omg it was August, I just checked the date) because I had a hankering for some NY style bagels! A bit pricey but I thought they were good all in all?

They are located in Ward Center – it used to be the Mocha Java spot. Man, I heard they are going to tear down Ward Center too. How many condos is too many condos?? I never got over Borders closing haha.

OG NYC w/Everything Bagel | $16.00
acme premium center-cutlox, tomato, red onion, dill, capers, and our classic schmear

How was it? Good. $16 good? I don’t know. I guess I’m not a bagel snob so I can’t tell the difference between a super good bagel versus a basic one. I feel like I could just buy my own bagels and make my own sandwich and put choke more smoked salmon lol.

Aww Zhuga Zhuga w/Classic Bagel | $15.00
slow cooked chicken breast drenched in house-made zhug (cilantro-based hot sauce/middle eastern spices), roasted bell peppers, onions and melted mozzarella

What possessed me to get this? I had no idea what zhug was so I really took a risk to get this one. But you know what? It was delicious! It’s like a slighty spicy pesto sauce, it was a good sandwich! I would get this again if I had to return here. But yeah, I don’t think I’m itching to come back again until I get another bagel craving.