A Grand Turkish Meal

This post was mysteriously deleted. I restored and reposted it. This was dated 07/04/21.

Happy Fourth of July! Wishing you all a safe celebration.

I have a few days until I begin culinary school. I’m super excited to start this new journey. From next week, I’ll be highlighting my weekly posts on dishes I’ll be making in my classes. If time permits, I’ll post additional blogs about new restaurants I’ve dined at.

This week, I’d like to share about Turkish cuisine- one of my top five faves. I’m so happy to say that Istanbul Hawai’i has finally opened their restaurant! I remember ordering gyro from their food trucks at events like “Night Market” years ago. This is a long time coming and I’m so ecstatic to have finally dined at their restaurant.

My friend and I were so excited. The restaurant was packed! We had a late reservation. All the earlier slots were already reserved. Throughout the time we were there, it was busy the entire time, even near closing, the place was filled. I was so happy to see how busy it was. It shows that the food is awesome. And that it was!

The menu was pretty overwhelming. A lot of dishes seemed very foreign to both my friend and I. I’ve been to Turkey twice; had authentic Turkish food there, and in Japan, as well. But those were nothing like what I experienced at Istanbul Hawai’i.

A break this week…

There was no cooking assignment for culinary school this week. We just had to fabricate a whole chicken and freeze all the parts. We’ll be using them for the next six weeks. Exciting! I can now say I’ve deconstructed a whole chicken. Yay!

I have to say, I didn’t enjoy the process. Working with raw meat, especially poultry grosses me out. I usually buy already cooked chicken or specific chicken parts (i.e., thighs and drumsticks). It’s much easier and cleaner to work with. As I was fabricating the raw chicken, all I could think about the entire time working was wanting to sanitize everything. Wash my entire kitchen with soap and hot water. I usually wear gloves when handling raw poultry, but I was advised not to wear gloves because it’s actually more dangerous. People are more prone to cutting themselves more easily when wearing gloves. Shucks! So, I had to use my bare hands. I washed them like I had OCD! Seriously! My fingers were pruned by the time I was done. I washed all my equipment and tools several times, as well as cleaned the counter and sink area multiple times. I had to make sure everything was sanitized. Salmonella, food poisoning, bacteria spread is NO JOKE! It’s important to practice safety and good hygiene, especially when working with raw poultry.

August is birthday month. I spent my birthday weekend in the kitchen and with family and friends. My loves! The perfect trio!

Last week, we celebrated my aunt’s birthday. We had the whole chicken with gravy, and carrots vichy and brussel sprouts for her bday dinner. My sister made Oreo-stuffed chocolate cupcakes for dessert. Yummmmm! In my featured image, I created a collage of all the yummy food I ate this weekend. My dad and sis made a feast for dinner. We had tossed salad, steak, chicken, Portuguese sausage, mashed potatoes with boiled eggs and olives, and shrimp and oyster tempura. Wow! We celebrated with strawberry, chocolate, lemon, and coconut cupcakes for dessert from Sam’s Club. Sam’s Club makes some pretty yummy cakes. My dear girlfriend took me out for brunch at the La Hiki at the Four Seasons at Ko ‘Olina. We went there two years ago and had a fulfilled delicious, out-of-this-world buffet brunch experience. However, since COVID, buffets have not reopened, and restaurants that once offered buffets, had to get creative. This restaurant created a pre-fixed brunch menu. The food was yummy, but you can’t beat that buffet. I can’t wait till the buffet reopens again. It was one of the best brunch buffets I’ve ever eaten at. I would love to take my family there to experience all that superlativeness.

Have a great week, All! Please stay safe. This pandemic is getting outrageous!

FS x

Local Kine Grindz

This week, we’re exploring the local grinds on the island of Maui, one of my favorite islands away from home. Maui holds a special place in my heart because my mom was from there. I have lovely memories staying at my maternal grandparents’ house in Wailuku and visiting with relatives whenever I’d visit. As a child, we got our second dog from Maui. His name was Charlie. Boy, was he a menace. But he was a good watch dog. Always protecting us and our family home.

Several years ago, I got to try the famous Sam Sato’s in Wailuku. It’s a small, family-owned business. The restaurant gets pretty crowded, but the wait is worth it. They’re known for their dried noodles. This week’s featured image has a variety of popular dishes from Sam Sato’s: dried noodles, saimin (similar to ramen), cheeseburger, and BBQ beef stick. Can I say, ahhh-mazing? Loved all the food. It was so yummy. It hit the spot.

These days when I visit Maui, I like to play tourist. My favorite places to visit are:

  • Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
    • It’s a beautiful and peaceful place, full of zen and nature.
  • Maui Ocean Center
    • I always love going to an aquarium.
  • MauiWine
    • Mmm, wine! Can you say wino? MauiWine is not too far from the lavender farm.
  • Sightseeing in Lāhainā/Front Street
    • I love Lāhainā and walking through Front Street. I love seeing the largest Banyan tree in the U.S.
  • Tasaka Guri Guri
    • My childhood favorite snack. This is a must have every time I visit. Guri guri is a dessert that’s between an ice cream and sherbet. Tasaka’s has two flavors: strawberry and pineapple. Both are quenching, but my favorite is the strawberry. Strawberry, all the way!
  • Whaler’s Village
    • A beautiful shopping mall in Lāhainā, with yummy restaurants, like Leilani’s on the Beach. Have a meal and a drink while watching the sunset fronting the beach.

My friend and her family recently visited Maui and told me about her visit to the goat farm. She shared how fun it was. That’s on my travel list the next time I’m in town again. Surfing Goat Dairy|Maui Goat Farm. I LOVE goat cheese and can’t wait to try them fresh. Yum!

Next time you’re in Maui, visit all these cool places, including Sam Sato’s:

1750 Wili Pa Loop
Wailuku, 96793
808-244-7124

Travel safely! Wear your mask!

FS x

One of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught Me + One Dish to Talk About!

Happy Holidays! This year has been an unprecedented and roller-coaster year we all never had thought to expect. A year that will go down in history. Events the entire world collectively experienced together. Yah, 2020 was rough, but that didn’t stop me from rising above the difficult and prodigious challenges. Conjointly, we are resilient and tenacious. We are inviolable conquerors.

For the next 20 days, I will share 20 things the year has taught and reminded me. Plus, let’s talk about one dish each day. Food, for me, has always brought happiness, comfort, and togetherness.

  1. Faith, hope, optimism, support, encouragement, and love keep me going.

During my darkest days of the year- yes, I’ve experienced ’em- faith, hope, and love have gotten me through the roughest days, and still continues to do so. Optimism, support, and encouragement, have also been bright lights inside and outside of my tunnel. These are the words that constantly mold my character and my life. They provide a powerful and meaningful drive to keep me going strong, and to never give up.

This global COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the entire world. Like many other countries, our economy took a turn for the worst. Many people is Hawai’i became unemployed, including some of my loved ones. Recently, the State of Hawai’i provided those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, a $500 card to use at various participating local restaurants. One of my relatives received their card late last month. The deadline to utilize the funds on the card is next week Tuesday. We ordered these sampler dishes that happened to be the special of the day, which was a Monday, from Roy’s. The dish consisted of: seared ahi, grilled shrimp, Misoyaki butterfish, and braised short ribs (featured image). It was sooo delicious! It was a treat we all enjoyed! Mahalo, State of Hawai’i!

Stay safe and tune in tomorrow for my second thing 2020 has taught and reminded me.

Happy weekend,

FS x

This hole-in-the-wall place is SO worth it!

Yay to the weekend again! Happy Fall, too!

My gf and I found a wonderfully delicious and reasonable Japanese restaurant in the beginning part of Waikiki. It’s called Do-Ne Japanese Food. It’s not easy to find, as it’s a very small joint. Best to make reservations, as there’s only 17 seats in the restaurant. Totally reminds me of Japan, especially the food. Oh.my.word! Mouth is watering just thinking about it.

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This kimchi was BOMB! Oh my goodness! One of the best kimchi dishes I’ve eaten in a lonnnnng time.

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The set for $16.99. Amazing deal! I ordered the special: stamina seafood don set. Yummy! The don included: ahi, ika, natto, ikura, okra, and egg, over sushi rice. The set comes with salad, miso soup, tsukemono (pickled veggies), and appetizers: choi sum, shrimp with somen, and salmon.

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Hamachi collar. Thee best!

We also ordered grilled octupus (tako) and agedashi tofu (deep-fried tofu). Everything was excellent! We are definitely returning again to try more of their food.

Do-Ne Japanese Food
1614 Kalakaua Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96826

So worth it! Have a great week.

FS~

 

 

 

Comfort food during hurricane week & when you’re feeling under the weather

We made it through the week. As y’all probably heard on the news, Hawaii was under hurricane warnings most of the week. The storm has been downgraded to a tropical storm today. Great news! It was a hectic week. Everyone was panicking and the roads, stores, and gas stations were filled with people prepping for the storm. It was an unpredictable storm. We were very blessed that we didn’t get the full hurricane effects.

My tummy has been upset the past couple days so I decided to make okayu, Japanese rice porridge to help settle it. I think it worked. It’s a simple, hearty dish. I cooked white rice with extra water to make the rice extra soft. I seasoned it with pepper, salt, and shoyu (soy sauce). At the end, I cracked a couple eggs before serving. That’s it!

Everyone makes their okayu differently. I found this recipe online: https://www.thespruceeats.com/okayu-2031328

Dad’s Bday at Hy’s!

Happy Sunday! My family and I celebrated my dad’s bday a couple months ago to this day at Hy’s Steak House in Waikiki. We love steak and I haven’t been to Hy’s in years! We really enjoyed the food. The ambience was sophisticated and quiet. It was a very intimate dinner with great company and delicious food.

I ordered the steak au poivre, which is a New York striploin with black peppercorns and au poivre sauce. Au poivre basically means “pepper steak.” My favorite seasoning- pepper! I had to try this dish.

I absolutely loved it. The peppercorns with the sauce was amazing! The steak was cooked at medium-rate- my preference- and it was tender. I loved my sides, too- mashed potatoes and green beans. Got to have green beans- my ultimate favorite.

I haven’t been to a steak house that didn’t disappoint.

Have a great week!

Eating for charity!

Last weekend, my girlfriends and I attended the 40th Annual Charity Walk. We love this walk because while you’re getting your walk on, you get to eat some good food along the way, provided by the various hotels. The Charity Walk’s donations benefits the Hawaii Visitor Industry. It’s super fun! Food really drives your motivation to walk and cross the finish line. Though, I swear the walk is getting shorter and shorter every year- haha! This year’s walk was 5.25 miles. The first time I participated in this walk was in 2012. It was around 10 miles then. Holy moly! That was a workout! My feet and legs were extremely sore the next day, but it was worth the workout! This year, the Charity Walk raised over $2.5 million! Whoo hoo! Beats their record in 2017, which was over $2.27 million. Way to go!

See website for more details: http://www.charitywalkhawaii.org/oahu.html.
The Charity Walk also occurs on the neighbor islands. The walk usually occurs in mid-May on Oahu. Look out for next year’s event. Form a team to raise money, walk individually, or walk with a small group.

Here are some of the foods we enjoyed.

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Spam musubi from Alohilani Resort. Mmmm!

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Crab slider with a fried coconut-cake dessert, topped with a fire-roasted marshmallow topping from the Halekulani & Waikiki Parc Hotels. This was amazing!!!

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Yummy fried rice from the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

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Kalua pig (aka pork) with a hint of lime over tortilla chips from Price Waikiki.

I was so full after the we crossed the finish line. They provided a free lunch after, but I was too full. I happily gave my ticket away to someone who could have used another lunch plate.

Does this food make you inspired to join next year? Haha!

Have a great week!

x

Guri guri time!

Happy #throwbackThursday!

Went back to Maui this past summer and I had to stop by my favorite place to get some guri guri at Tasaka’s in Kahului. I used to go there all the time when I would visit my grandparents as a child. My family and I would even bring some back to Oahu to savor this wonderful dessert for a while longer. I wanted to bring back a quart or two from this trip, but they were closed on the Sunday we left. Shucks! So I got my fix, TWICE, the day before. Haha!

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There’s two flavors- strawberry- my favorite!!!!!

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And pineapple.

And how awesome are these prices? I don’t think they’ve ever changed.

• 2 scoops – $1.10
• 3 scoops – $1.65
• 4 scoops – $2.10
• 5 scoops – $2.55

Whoo hoo!

When you visit Maui, check out Tasaka Guri Guri.

Tasaka Guri Guri
Maui Mall
Kahului, HI 96732
(808) 871-4513

I found a site that shares the recipe. I am gonna try it out and compare the tastes.

http://mauirestaurantsblog.com/guri-guri/

 

 

Noodle freak to the core!

I LOVE noodles/pasta! I could eat it every day. With a sauce, in soup, dry, or even plain… Mmm mmm!

Here are a few reviews of some of the yummiest noodle dishes I’ve eaten recently.

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Noodle dish #1: Saimin at Moku Kitchen in Kaka’ako. The saimin dish contains: “Iwamoto family noodles,” Kalua pork, and veggies. Yum! It was a pretty gourmet saimin.

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Noodle dish #2: Thee famous dry noodles and saimin at Sam Sato’s in Wailuku, Maui. Most popular dishes there. The dry noodles was off-the-charts! The broth is served on the side. Ah, I want more! Oh, and the cheeseburger and BBQ beef stick were ono, too!

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Noodle dish #3: Kamo nabe- duck breast with udon in vegetable based soup at Rokkaku Hamakatsu at Ala Moana. The broth was hot (temp.-wise) till the end. Just the way I like it!

Oh man! Looking at these pictures makes my mouth water! So, so good!

Moku Kitchen
Salt at Our Kaka’ako
660 Ala Moana Blvd.; Honolulu, 96814
808.591.6658 (MOKU)
https://www.mokukitchen.com/home

Sam Sato’s
1750 Wili Pa Loop
Wailuku, (Maui) 96793
808.244.7124
Article on these popular dry noodles

Rokkaku Hamakatsu
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.; Honolulu, 96814
808.946.3355