Kukui Cafe – Chinatown, HI

Have you ever been to Kukui Cafe? They’ve been around since I was a small kid (that’s a long time) though I was never a customer until now. I used to go to Chinese school at Sun Yat Sen school and this restaurant is located right at the edge. I was mainly a customer at a small shop that sold ice cake and sometimes Kent’s Drive In for their fries. There also used to be a little Chinese shop nearby where we would go to buy snacks (remember crushing up the instant ramen packets to eat like chips?), I think the store used to be called Cheung Chau, though they are no longer there. Oh the memories! So how would I characterize Kukui Cafe? I would say they focus on Cantonese or Hong Kong style food. It’s good stuff! Also…probably get MSG so be aware of that. Here’s a few things I got recently.

Singapore Rice Noodles | $12.00

Love these noodles. This one for sure has MSG because I have reacted to it. It’s thin rice noodles seasoned with curry, get shrimp and thin slices of ham in it too. It’s really good.

Beef Brisket Lo Mein | $12.00

Love me some lo mein, sometimes it’s too hot to eat hot soup you know? This is the best of both worlds, I get the beef brisket with the same egg noodles and just enough of the beef brisket sauce to have a great mixed noodle. I really enjoyed this dish too.

Lemon Coke | $4.00

Alright, this was a silly purchase. I mean it’s literally a can of coke with some freshly crushed lemon slices in it. Lemon and Coke is such a great combination though, so refreshing. So anyway, don’t order it, just make it yourself. This was four freaking dollars.

Another thing I love about this place? They make the food real fast. I would say the noodle dish takes 7-10 minutes to make from when you order it. They do phone orders…I park illegally by the river and just dart in to pick it up. I’m sure you can park in the lot with validation but just feels like a lot of hassle to me…haha.

Tim Ho Wan – Hong Kong

Hey Folks. I gotta be honest, it’s been a tough week and tonight’s drive home was harrowing. I’m not ready to discuss it yet since I am still shaken but no worries, I was not hurt or hit in any way. But sometimes, the almost can be just as bad. Stay safe out there folks, get some crazy people out there who will be completely illogical in their actions.

Let’s move onto better news. I’m going on a trip next week, yay! I’ll try to get some posts scheduled up for next week but I haven’t even started to pack yet…so wish me the best! I am heading out to Osaka! My first time there and I think we are going to catch the full bloom of the Sakura there, fingers crossed! Hoping for some great grinds and great deals. For now, I gotta keep trucking with the Hong Kong updates! Today’s post is another restaurant I was dying to try! Tim Ho Wan is “billed as the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant.” Cheap? Good. Michelin-starred? Good. Tim Ho Wan is actually gearing up to open a location in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center SOON! So how was it…?

Black Bean Spareribs on Rice (Chicken Feet Garnish, lol)

Beef Balls

Beef Cheung Fun

Haw Gor (Shrimp Dumpling)

Siu Mai (Pork Hash)

So how was the food? Good! Nothing stellar though, and I still think the dim sum we have Hawaii is the best. Is that weird? That I prefer dim sum made in Hawaii over dim sum in Hong Kong?? Maybe the dim sum in Hawaii is made to suit our taste buds more, but I don’t think there’s enough flavor and depth in these Hong Kong dim sums. Siu mai is usually my favorite dim sum but the Haw Gor was my favorite in this meal – the skin was so light and soft. I am still excited for the Waikiki location to open and would love to give it a try when they do!

Hong Kong Disneyland – Hong Kong

So we went to Disneyland on a weekday on purpose, we didn’t want to deal with huge crowds. Well, while Disneyland still had plenty of people, apparently Hong Kong Disney doesn’t open up all their food carts on weekdays. Why?? I was so disappointed as I walked by one empty cart after another. I could not find a proper turkey or soya chicken leg anywhere. What is a Disney experience without that?

Hong Kong Style Lemon Iced Tea

Red Bean Ice Drink

We had dim sum for breakfast so we weren’t too hungry at Disney. For lunch, we decided to try Explorer’s Club Restaurant. I already picked this place out before even getting to Hong Kong because I wanted to try Hainanese Chicken and Nasi Goreng! Check out the price…and it didn’t even include the drink!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Set • $139 HKD ($18 USD)

Nasi Goreng Set • $139 HKD ($18 USD)

Both dishes were good! Mine was the Nasi Goreng Set, it’s like Indonesian fried rice. You see the white thing behind the fried rice cone thing? It’s like a big fried shrimp chip, it was pretty good.

We came to Hong Kong in early December, perfect. Great weather and all the Christmas decorations were up! Sorry I don’t have much more pictures to share of Disney. I did stay until the Electric Night Parade, that was glorious. We sat on the floor right in front, great seats. Took some videos so that was awesome. What did I enjoy most? The Mickey’s ‘PhilharMagic,’ I’m not usually into 3D movies but this was AMAZING. The graphics was so intense and really did look like it was coming out at me. And the theater was set up so that when there was a water scene, we actually got sprinkled with water…and during the carpet ride, we felt the gushes of wind. I stood in line twice to see that film, and probably would have done it all day. Just magical.

9 3/4 Cafe – Mong Kok, Hong Kong

You best believe that before I went to Hong Kong, I did my fair share of research for places to grind. Well, as you can guess, 9 3/4 Cafe was definitely a non-traditional Hong Kong restaurant to go to. I got really excited because it was pretty new and I love Harry Potter. Well, this place was very hard to find. While we had internet in Hong Kong, the connection was not strong enough and always lagged when we were on Google Maps. It was beyond frustrating…here we are thinking we are going the right direction and suddenly we were so far off the path. Ugh!

This was a late afternoon meal and we both weren’t too hungry so we didn’t order too much. It was a super cute and small restaurant, the only other customers were some high school kids. They were having a ball! I felt too old to play with the props they had available, ah, the regrets!

Gosh, I wish had the drink names available. The first drink was like a blueberry soda type deal and the second one was a neon apple drink! Well I got the blueberry soda because I thought it would be delicious (it wasn’t). I didn’t get to try the apple drink, but I was told it was good. You’re definitely paying for the novelty, it wasn’t great.

Great appetizer. Chicken wings! I thought the preparation, batter and frying was done perfectly. I really wish I had more of an appetite that day to enjoy it!

Salmon Pasta. We shared an entree. It wasn’t terrible but definitely wasn’t great. Would I suggest this restaurant? Maybe to really hardcore Harry Potter fans…but if you’re looking for a great meal, I wouldn’t count on it from this place.

Gotta give it up to them with the decorations though! They really went for it! And another good note, they have English menus available!

Hong Kong Style Breakfast

Hey folks! Time to dig into my archives and share some travel photos. This is from my trip to Hong Kong a few years back. I wanted to share a few different breakfasts we had. It’s really interesting to see how global chains adjust their menus to suit the taste of their customers. Hong Kong is really cool because it’s such a good mix of both East and West food and cultures. I’ll share more pictures of Hong Kong soon!


140827-02Macaroni is a pretty big part of breakfast menus in Hong Kong. Macaroni in a broth/soup.

140827-03Sample of the Western influence – very English breakfast set-up.

140827-04This is breakfast from KFC. Yes, their KFC is open for breakfast. This is a combo that includes a roast chicken thigh, egg and hash brown. The container? You guessed it. Macaroni in chicken broth.

140827-05Coffee with KFC brand sugar…lol. I’m sorry I didn’t get to try their Flava Crava Meal.



140827-08Breakfast at McDonald’s is very similar to the restaurants in the U.S. I think they also have macaroni in soup but I was pretty tired of it by then. Their food tastes very similar to the American counterpart. KFC in China tastes way better than the U.S.