On my flight to Hawaii we had the option of some food items that are only available for purchase to/from Hawaii, including some Hawaiian breakfast meal and a combo meal which you would find in a typical Hawaiian cafe. Alaska Airlines also served mai tai to all passengers over age 21 who wanted one before we landed, free of charge. Nice, huh? I discovered the Kona Longboard beer on the flight to Honolulu as the passenger next to me downed two bottles, so I figured it must be good! I tried it during my trip at the Luau and I like it. Not too strong and not too filling since it's a lager.
The first night we got there, I wasn't very hungry but my friends who picked me up at the airport had not yet eaten dinner at 10pm! I found out that they didn't eat because their rental car keys were locked inside the trunk and it took about 2 hours for Pop-A-Lock to come by and unlock the car doors. The new Ford Fiesta has the unlock buttons in the center of the car so the coat hanger method is a bit more tricky. Anyways, we ventured over to a ramen shop in Waikiki. Ramen Nakamura turned out to be very authentic - workers spoke Japanese, accepted cash only, including Yen!!! Because I wasn't very hungry, I just tried some udon and had a gyoza from the "mini-meal" as shown below.
Marukume Udon which turned out to be a short walk from our hotel. Our friend, Grace, had told us to try this place. Also accepts cash only. I was glad they had signs posted to explain to us how to order our udon since it was assembly line style and lines can be long. We were lucky though that we got there early so it wasn't quite busy yet.
|Grabbing my cold udon (at Marakume Udon)|
|Making my Cold Ontama Udon with soft egg|
|My lunch. Udon, tempura eggplant, musubi.|
|Crushed pineapple on top of pineapple ice cream|
|Dole Pineapple Ice Cream, so yummy!|
|Matsumoto Shaved Ice at Northshore|
|Matsumoto Shaved Ice menu at Northshore|
|Shaving the ice. So much faster than my hand crank machine at home.|
|A lot of ice!|
|Matsumoto rainbow shaved ice at Northshore|
|At Gyu-kaku, fish and tongue and ribs|
|Buttering the corn. I asked the vendor to split to corn in half so both Jaenice and I could share one cob.|
|Seasoning the corn|
|Corn on the cob island style, tastes good while waiting for our Giovanni shrimp. This cost $3.|
|Giovanni's Original White Shrimp Truck|
|So much garlic. The shrimp isn't even from Hawaii. It's from Indonesia shipped to Los Angeles and then shipped to Honolulu. This dish cost me $13.|
Go Oahu cards. I was famished and convinced Jaenice to eat with me at Rainbow Drive-In. She had the loco moco there before I had arrived and said that the runny egg made her tummy uneasy. So I decided to check the tips for the place on Foursquare and many people suggested to order the Mixed Plate of BBQ meat, boneless chicken and ahi katsu. I am glad that this place took credit card as I was beginning to run low on cash again. Another suggestion on Foursquare was to order the chili which Jaenice ordered.
Kualoa Ranch, and one of the tours included visiting the Moli'i Fish Ponds. On the way to the fish pond, we passed by a number of fruit trees. One tree grew Macadamia nuts, and our tour guide stopped the bus so that we could collect some. I only found 3 with the shell intact, but it turned out we could have also gotten other nuts without the shell as long as there were no holes to show that insects were inside. Jaenice who is allergic to nuts, ended up collecting a bunch. I used rocks to crack open the shell and fresh nuts without any seasoning definitely have a different taste.
Our dinner at the Ranch included a cultural show and dinner on a patio with the ocean view. Dinner was served at 6pm so it was also around the time of sunset. While we were waiting for the dinner, we also got to try our hand at making corsages with real flowers. I had taken a flower arrangement class in the past to put cut flowers in a vase, but this was much harder. I'm not very crafty and the flowers kept coming undone with the rope I used to wrap them. I finally finished and it looked alright. I have a new appreciation for florists.
|sunset of the beach, view from my dinner chair|
|Buffet style dinner. I should add that this meal also included fried fish topped with coconut sauce. I liked the fish more at the ranch than at the luau; I think it was crispier (panko flakes instead of breadcrumb).|
Day 4 was another day at the ranch. We visited a beach and I enjoyed paddleboarding and kayaking. We packed a picnic lunch which was a trip to the grocery store. Food at grocery stores at Hawaii are expensive! There was no price tag for a fruit bowl and it turned out to be more than $10! The poke we bought was pretty yummy. I ate almost all of it. Hehe. We also bought some spam musubi and of course Jaenice ate the spam and I was left with the rice and seaweed! ;P
For dinner, the first Japanese restaurant we stopped at was closed because it was Columbus Day. The owners actually took the entire week off to go back to Japan. Just down the street was another restaurant and there were a lot of cars, so it appeared to be a good sign. At Hinone Mizunone we noticed many Japanese people. I was glad I had my smartphone so I could wiki the Japanese terms to figure out what was inside. I ended up getting a side of hamburger steak. I wasn't that hungry from a big lunch.
|Sizzling hamburger steak with demi glaze sauce at Hinone Mizunone|
|Loco Moco at Pearl's Korean & Hawaiian BBQ - my brunch after the hike|