Travel Blog - Hawaii
Pictures: snorkeling Hanauma bay, Hilton lagoon area, north shore (bottom), and Kailua beach (far right).
Right before I left for Asia in early May, I went on a week long vacation to Hawaii. Since I have never been there, I decide to stick with the tourist island: Oahu, and of course we stayed in Waikiki. How can one not fall in love with Hawaii, just look at the beaches, it's simply irresistible.
As I am a meticulous planner, I researched about all the famous foods that we must try when in Hawaii. However I didn't plan for this item, but it deserves a recommendation.
Originally, we were suppose to arrive at 2:30pm, but some guy puked all over the bathroom/back hall way, so we were forced to return to San Fran (our connecting flight) for clean up. This wasted 4 hrs of our time. So instead we arrived around 6:30pm. We were tired and just wanted something to eat, and the first restaurant we saw was Ono Cheese Steak. "Ono" in Hawaiian means "delicious", I'd say it's rightfully named. We order one Philly and one chicken. Both were EXCELLENT. All the stuffing was sauteed fresh on their grill, and the bread was soft but slightly toasted. It was so good, it's drool worthy (maybe we were just really hungry). The only negative thing is that it's slightly greasy. According to their website, Ono chain is only available on the island of Oahu, so I say definitely give them a visit if you are traveling there.
Next item up: Malasadas
For this one, I did my research. Malasadas are made of egg-sized balls of yeast dough that are deep fried in oil and coated with granulated sugar . They are originally a Portuguese confection, it was first brought to Hawaii 1878 (Wiki). According to various sources online, Leonard's Bakery simply have the BEST malasadas. So after renting a moped and trying to navigate the streets of Waikiki, we finally found it. We had to wait for awhile after ordering, because they make it fresh when your order. Original malasadas does not have any filling, but the newer versions do. So we ordered 2 original, 2 custard cream, and 2 special of the week: Mango (top right pic). All the online reviews are right, there were delicious. The dough was very soft and puffy. The mango/custard filling were smooth and flavorful. We loved it, too bad we couldn't bring it back, as you have to have it fresh.
Blue Water Shrimp and Seafood Co.
Another online recommendation was to try the Shrimp Trucks up in North Shore. However when we went to North Shore, we went with a tour group, so we never stop at any of the shrimp truck locations. But lucky for us, there is one in Waikiki. It's called the Bluewater Shrimp and Seafood Co.. We order the medium spicy garlic prawn plate. The prawns were so good, fresh and succulent. The garlic sauce was quite strong, but also the best part. The salad, corn and garlic bread were mediocre. This dish was not cheap, I believe it's $11-$12 USD. Considered it was just a truck selling it, I thought it should have been cheaper.
Last but not least, something you must attend and eat: a traditional Hawaiian Luau fest. The luau we attended is called Germaine's Luau. It include a shell lei greeting, a show and of course dinner. We were given 1 meal ticket and 4 alcoholic drink tickets each.
The traditional foods include: kalua pig (ground oven roasted for a whole day), mahi mahi fish, poi (purple glue like paste), lomi lomi salmon (salsa look alike), chicken long rice (vermicelli with chicken) and coconut pudding. The kaula pig was great, but it looked disgusting when it was first extracted from the underground oven. Everything else was okay, except the poi, which is made from taro. I usually love taro type food, but this seriously tasted like Elmer glue. We also got 2 alcoholic drinks: Tokyo tea (not good, very strong) and Strawberry Sunrise (still somewhat strong, but I like it.). Over all, food is just average, but it's the experience that makes it all great. I love the show of song and dances, especially the fire dance.
Overall, I loved my vacation and wish it could have been longer. I can't wait to go back and visit the other islands of Hawaii.