Mixed Plate Friday

Happy Aloha Friday! We are creeping closer and closer to Christmas. You ready or what? I am writing this post early but I’ll just say yes to move this along. I plan to do some baking this season as well so let’s see how that goes. This is probably going to be my final Florida post on food – then we can get back to the regular schedule. Can you guess where my first meal in Florida was?

It’s a laugh I even walked around the store beforehand. Get me to thee meatballs!!!

Swedish Meatball Plate | $5.99
Traditional 8 pc. Swedish Meatball Meal served with Mashed Potatoes and Lingonberry Jam

This dish is my comfort food. After my bout of food poisoning while in the air to Florida, I just couldn’t wait to nourish my soul with some Swedish meatballs. Did they hit the spot? Absolutely.

Smoked Salmon Salad

I never saw this dish before and I can’t find the price, it’s just a simple salad with smoked salmon. The dressing is very strong in dill flavor.

Apple Cake | $1.99
tart with layers of almond paste, apples and crumble

Oh yes, my apple crumble adventures continues. It happens here in Hawaii and of course twice in Florida. It was pretty good! Served cold. I was kind of good, I mainly ate the topping and left most of the crust. I guess that makes it a diet dish? Ha. Ha. Ha.

There was an AYCE hot pot place right next to our hotel so while our meals were usually spoken for, we did make it out to this restaurant once. And well, once was enough. It’s not even worth sharing the name of this restaurant – they are incredibly busy so reservations are highly recommended. They have a gimmick, one of those cute robots that take you to your table. Cute and creepy? Anyway, the service was severely lacking and we didn’t even get the drinks we ordered until we had to remind them and they made them wrong but it wasn’t worth the effort to flag someone else down. The buffet was okay, had some people (ahem Asians) just grabbing all the good stuff to take to their tables. Come on guys, leave some for the rest of us and just grab more later. Ah what can you do. I miss Little Sheep so much. 🙁

So like, I think we ended up at Chipotle like every night. Hahahaha long days of walking led to getting late dinners at Chipotle. Boy did the locations differ in staff and ingredients available. The first bowl pic was basically all I could get because they ran out of everything. The second bowl was much better. Must be the Asian in me, I just wanted one big bowl of rice. Love their toppings and the fresh ingredients. Also love their chips with queso dip. Augh, wish we had a Chipotle here in Hawaii too.

You know what else I did? I bought Shake Shack burgers and Chick-Fil-A sandwiches the night before my return flight home. Threw them in the fridge over night and then straight into my luggage. Yup, I risked another bout of food poisoning. I wanted the boys to experience these burgers/sandwiches because they never have. Happy to report that none of us got sick and I was informed that Popeye’s Chicken sandwich is better than Chick-Fil-A. Have a great weekend folks.

Little Sheep Hot Pot at Home

One of my favorite restaurants is Little Sheep Hot Pot but this was pre-pandemic because they unfortunately did not survive. Sigh, where am I supposed to go for AYCE hot pot now? I loved their sauce bar and flavorful soups…and man could you get a bang for your buck with their buffet. Before they completely closed down, they became Happy Lamb Hot Pot so their Yelp page contains reviews from both their time as little sheep and happy lamb (lol).

Anyway, I was craving their soup base and while you can find it at H-Mart…it is way cheaper on Amazon if you want to purchase multiple. Okay it depends, gotta keep your eye on the prices because it fluctuates a lot. I paid $16 bucks for a 5-pack and have seen it even lower priced than that…it’s pricey right now. But here’s the link to the spicy base and the plain base. The soup bases are great, just gotta add water, boil it up and it’s ready for all your hot pot ingredients. Check it out.

Got a bunch of veggies ready to go and of course the mushrooms! Love the crunchy texture of enoki mushrooms…

The spicy soup base boiling up…

H-Mart get plenty of the pre-sliced meat for sale (and get all kind cuts too, this one is kind of lean but they have ones that are fattier too). A bit pricey…

I have never prepared tripe at home before and I never want to again. It smells so stink when you boil it. Luckily the ones they sell at the store are pretty “clean” but…ugh! The pot boiled over too and it was just a stinky mess. I mean it’s fine after you finish boiling it up as prep but it wasn’t worth the effort for me!

Okay, I gotta be honest. This whole hot pot craving was brought on from a YouTube video I watched. Yes, I watch mukbang videos sometimes but only Korean ones. I don’t know why. Anyway, she made a mala hot pot with lamb chops and it just looked so good. I couldn’t find lamb chops but found lamb loins which served it’s purpose! Satiated that craving real nice…

Added some wide cellophane noodles too…and we ate it with rice. I mean, we were real piggies that night. So good though…

Boiling Point – Los Angeles, CA

Boiling Point is a bit of a trend right now in LA. Hot pot is awesome so I knew we had to try it! It’s a cute concept, each diner gets their very own boiling point. We arrived at a good time, very short wait time. There are so many different options…the restaurant is very dark so it was hard to capture good pictures!

Mala Tri-Beef Hot Soup

Here’s how the dish looks in person. Not exactly the same right? I have to say, I wasn’t a big fan of it. In fact, I traded my dish with my dining companion. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for the mala spices this night? I was not impressed and did not want to return for another meal. Cute idea but I think I prefer Taiwanese hot pots.

Bambu Dessert #10!!!

Here is what made up for the dinner that night. Do you remember Bambu in Hawaii? They were open for a while and specialized in Vietnamese drinks and desserts, I loved them. And I absolutely loved their Dessert #10. I actually customize it and ask for no grass jelly…I’m realizing I only really like the green pandan jelly with the coconut milk. I wonder what kind of looks would be shot at me if I asked for that. Ah…wish we still had one here. I guess I gotta go back to California to get another one…

Little Sheep Hot Pot – Ward Center, Hawaii

Little Sheep Hot Pot opened up in Ward Center about two months ago. It’s located on the second floor right next to the old Borders (Boy do I miss Borders guys). I was excited to see another hot pot place open up but the reviews soon after opening was not great. I definitely held off of going because of it…bad reviews and long wait times are not my cup of tea. Well I was off during a weekday and decided to check them out for lunch since they are known for having a pretty good lunch deal. It was an okay experience overall with a very bumpy start. We were the second ones in the door and there were a lot of people there. We were one of the first ones to order and can you guess? I watched as every table starting getting their food and my anger grew. Hello. We all order the same thing. Raw sides and a pot of soup, no tell me my soup takes longer to boil. The waiter apologized profusely and said there was a mistake. Okay, fine. Even after the apologies, it took a long while to get my pot of soup and sides. His English wasn’t that great so he kept saying, give me a minute….which sounds rather rude the way he said it. Well, service was pretty good after the food arrived though. The waiter was constantly walking up and down to check in. He could tell I was plenty steamed and when the food got there, I ordered rice. It’s $1.00 per bowl of rice…but they were pretty generous with it. He said, okay I got it. Like insinuating he was giving us the rice on the house because of the crazy slow service (he didn’t – why am I not surprised?). Anyhow, Let’s check out the food!

140725-01If you’re looking for a classy decor for hot pots, this place would be it.

140725-02Watermelon Juice is worth all the money in the land. This carafe costs $6.95. Incredibly refreshing and tastes like the perfect fresh and sweet watermelon. You can’t beat it!!

140725-03My sauces. They have one sauce bar, and it has nothing on Sweet Home Cafe. It’s very simple but do-able. They also have raw cilantro, green onion and garlic. I love that.

140725-04$12.95 for the lunch set. It comes with this and a soup of your choice for hot potting. We definitely over ordered…we got two sets so it was two of these!

140725-051/2 order Bean Curd Knots – $2.95
Do you see the texture of this by looking at it? Doesn’t it look like…rubber gloves cut and tied into knots? It looked and felt that way a bit. It didn’t taste like rubber gloves but I gotta say the look and texture threw me off. I wouldn’t order it again.

140725-061/2 Order Watercress – $3.95
A bit pricey but these greens went perfect with the soups we got!

140725-071/2 Order Sausages – $3.75
Pretty good! Tasted a bit like a Chinese version of Longanisa. I enjoyed it.


140725-09Pork Belly – $7.95
Look at the presentation of the pork belly. I think that’s included in the price…hehe. Thinly sliced, you gotta really hold onto the meat as you put it in the soup because it shrivels fast and you can lose it real quick.


House Spicy Pot / House Original Pot


Take a look at the spicy pot…can you see what caused our faces to melt?


We ordered extra spicy…do you see it??

140725-13This soup was like ALL CHILI PEPPERS. I mean look at it! It was crazy hot! We were dying by the end…I’m surprised I never get a stomachache later that night. Was spicy but good!

I just reviewed my receipt and realized they charged us for a child’s meal too. So I think what they do is they charge your party based on your the number of people…and not just the pots of soup you order. I think that’s pretty junk. We had already ordered two sets that easily could feed 3-4 people, so why did they have to tack on the child’s rate? It wasn’t a big fee ($1.98) but gosh, that was unnecessary. So while the food was alright, I’m not exactly rushing back. Well, maybe they could open a juice bar and sell the watermelon juice…

Sweet Home Cafe – Moilili, HI

Sweet Home Cafe needs no introduction, I even have a previous post about them.  You should check out their Yelp page, there are currently some mixed reviews. It’s very interesting and I hope they can take any negative reviews and turn it into positives for themselves (barring the fake ones of course). I had a visit about a week ago and it was pretty much a common visit. I was mainly surprised that I didn’t have to wait at all for a seat on a Saturday night and then when I was served dessert before we were done eating and nowhere near the time limit.


We got the House Special this time. For those who wonder what it tastes like, it’s a lot like a Pho broth.

140519-02Our stuff dumped in! The broth isn’t bad but healthy herb is still my favorite.

140519-03Raw beef

140519-04You see the yellow rounds floating in the soup? I tried it during my last visit and it has become a favorite. I think it’s called Egg Tofu – so good. It’s a really soft egg thing…you can’t taste the tofu at all. It almost tastes a bit like chawan mushi in texture…delish.

140519-05My dipping sauce! One of many, I never waste though. I don’t wanna go against Auntie, I just return to grab more when I need more. I also use a choke-load of cilantro. Fresh cilantro for the win.

140519-06The infamous dessert that was served to me while my mouth was full trying to finish my dinner. This is the exact kind of dessert you cannot be served early, it’s shave ice! We had to rush to finish dinner and eat this…it was rude in my eyes. This was Kristian’s first visit so he was not pleased either.

Sweet Home Cafe – Honolulu, HI

This is going to be such a weak post. I hardly took pictures of this meal because I was too busy eating. I got a picture of the food before we put it in and then the dessert…lol. If you haven’t heard of Sweet Home Cafe, you may be living under a rock. Okay just kidding but also not really. This place is still one of the more popular eateries and I can see why. Good food, reasonable prices and an awesome free Taiwanese Shave Ice dessert. How can you go wrong? Well…I guess the external factors can. The long wait time, the limited parking lot…these things can definitely put a damper on your dining experience. I know now to come super early. Like eat before senior citizens kine early to avoid a long wait. I do have to say, I hope everyone gets to try this place at least once. If you can’t wait, try Golden Eagle Chinese Restaurant two doors down. It’s a good Chinese restaurant run by a small family. Support small business! Okay, here comes the pics.

140117-01Meat meat meat meat. Or for us, meat meat lamb lamb. I suggest the lamb. If you haven’t been here, you order the soup and meat with the waiter. The rest of the food items are in the refrigerators so it’s like the Genki of hot pot restaurants. Color plates corresponds to the cost. They have a bazillion dipping sauces to choose from and raw green onion and cilantro to accompany your food. Rice costs extra. The small portion is very cheap and fed three of us. In fact, we had rice leftover.

140117-02This is like the same picture as before…but now you see all the meat.  I apologize for my terrible reporting on this meal.

140117-03Now, do you know what this is? If you’re Chinese, you probably do. This is a cold dish in the refrigerator, no cooking required. It just tastes great with some rice, nicely seasoned. The texture is awesome. I usually make people try this before I tell them what it is so I can get their true reaction. Do you wanna know what it is? Do you really want to? Comment if you do and I will give you the answer. If not, just eat em!

140117-04After stuffing my face, I finally took another picture. Here is their famous free dessert. It includes shave ice with like a brown sugar syrup. Lots of different flavors of jelly (i.e. mango, lychee). The middle is like a creamy coffee jello thing.  The white blobs are like chunks of almond float. They are very accommodating here. If you cannot finish the dessert, they can put it in a take out cup. They also ask if you want the soup after you’re done in case you want to take it home to use again. I don’t know about everyone else, but the soup I use (healthy herb by the way) is always all murky and sludgy after all the cooking so I usually decline. Give them a try! It’s worth the wait.