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Roy’s, Hawaii

Our last meal in Honolulu with both Lobster Dynamite and The Professor was at Roy’s. There are six different locations in Honolulu alone, and we went to the one in Waikiki Beach which is a short drive from their place.

The chef behind this restaurant is Roy Yamaguchi. Born in Tokyo, he worked as executive chef at le Serena in LA in 1979, and by 1984 he opened his own restaurant in LA called 395 North. He moved to Hawaii in 1988 and open Roy’s. There are now 31 Roy’s including 23 in the US, 6 in Hawaii, 1 in Japan and 1 in Guam.

There were a few hiccups with our reservations, but thankfully we didn’t have to wait for long for our table, as we noticed there were a few people waiting. The menu looked wonderful, a mix of everything, ranging from raw seafood, cooked seafood, poultry and meat. Considering there was a lot of raw seafood that I could not eat, I thought I would just order separately from the group. Their food looked spectacular and yes, I was uber jealous.

We started with the edamame which was served with sesame oil and chili – just the way ‘The Mother’ likes it.

‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the king fish tuna, it was the first time that The Professor had it and she enjoyed it. Lobster Dynamite also loved the freshness of the fish, it did look very very good!

The crab cakes were also delicious – full of chunky crab meat in a spicy sesame sauce.

The lobster roll was also a hit!

That was their entrees, for mains, ‘The Mother’ had pan roasted kona kampachi – big island clams, local vegetable minestrome, roasted garlic – the fish was pan fried, it was tender but yet firm at the same time.

The Professor had the sea scallops – butter wilted nalo arugula, fresh wasabi sourdough fritters, local orange, and seared scallops. I didn’t have any of this, but it looked absolutely divine and no doubt The Professor really enjoyed it.

Lobster Dynamite had the roasted garlic and sesame baked jumbo shrimp and indeed they were JUMBO shrimp!

I on the other hand couldn’t go past the pork belly with buns – tender succulent pork belly which was served with radish, and bao (buns).

They were seriously good, so good that I don’t think I offered anyone some! I could have happily eaten another half a dozen for my main.

For mains, roasted half chicken, Asian herb thai chili, and mac-nut relish, kobacha spaetzle and oxtail cassoulet. It was a rather large serving, larger than anyone else’s on the table. It was rich, the chicken was tender, the spaetzle and oxtail I loved but it was a little on the rich side. It didn’t help that I was full from the buns.

We shared dessert, upside down pineapple cake which was served with vanilla bean ice cream.

The pineapple cake was a bit rich but incredibly delicious.

The chocolate soufflé was another wonderful dessert, it oozed with chocolate, and wow… what a perfect way to end the meal.

It was a wonderful meal with friends. Service was spot on, and food delicious! Would definitely recommend this place but reservations are highly recommended.

Thank you to both Lobster Dynamite and The Professor for your hospitality! We look forward to our next trip together in Vegas! Vegas baby, Vegas!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Roy’s Hawaii

226 Lewers Street

Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

Ph: +1 (808) 923-7697

Roy's (Lewers Street) on Urbanspoon

Rainbow Drive-in, Honolulu, Hawaii

A plate lunch is a must try in Hawaii as I was told by Lobster Dynamite. It is considered as ‘local food’ in the sense that it reflects the fusion of the local cultures and ethnicity. Lobster Dynamite suggested that we go to the Rainbow Drive-in, this place has been around for over 45 years and boasts to serve some of the ‘cheapest and best plate lunches to Hawaii and the world’.

A ‘plate lunch’ consists of entrée, 2 scoops of rice, 1 scoop macaroni salad or slaw. There were many choices ranging from fried chicken, ham steak, bbq steak, cutlets, corned beef and many more. Alternatively, there are also burgers, sandwiches and other miscellaneous items. The description of each food can be found below.

I couldn’t go past the pork cutlet with gravy ($7.25) – and what a generous serving it was! The pork were on the thin side but tender, and the gravy although thick was a wonderful complement. I really enjoyed the macaroni salad.

‘The Mother’ wanted something different; he got the mahi sandwich with lettuce ($4.50) and a side of fries. The mahi sandwich was very simple – mahi, lettuce and that was pretty much it. It was pretty tasty though, very simple and very good.

He also ordered a medium float ($3.00) which he absolutely loved! He glared at me every time I asked for a sip.

Lobster Dynamite ordered the beef with gravy, very similar to mine.

He also ordered a cheese burger which was $2.50! How can he resist a burger for $2.50 he claimed! Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of this as he pretty much scoffed it down before I could even press ‘click’.

Service nill, you  order your food at the counter and wait for you food. Seating is very minimal, especially during peak hour – so come early or come a little after peak hour. Reasonably priced and generous serving. It is quite close to the beach so if there are no seating; you can always stroll down the beach and have it there. Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t beach weather, so we ate there, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Rainbow Drive-in

3308 Kanaina Ave

Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

Ph: +1 (808) 737-0177

Rainbow Drive-in on Urbanspoon

Shokudo, Ala Moana, Hawaii

Shopping in Hawaii is seriously fantastic, I wish I bought more stuff. One of the malls that we went too was Ala Moana – pretty cool mall with some high end and low end shops. ‘The Mother’ didn’t really want to shop but thought we could all grab some lunch before we went our separate ways – boys went to the beach and me, hang out at the shops for a few hours.

Shokudo was on Lobster Dynamite’s list. It’s not quite in the mall, it was outside near the parking lot. It was quite a spacious and bright restaurant, loved the modern décor and the food was fantastic at reasonable prices.

The menu vast, we thought we would pick a couple of dishes to share and started with the yuzu Hamachi carpaccio ($13.95) – thinly sliced yellowtail sashimi with yuzu pepper vinaigrette topped with pickled wasabi was a favourite of ‘The Mothers’. The sashimi was fresh, the vinaigrette really gave it a nice touch.

The calamari tempura ($8.45) – tender calamari lightly battered and deep fried served with wasabi aioli was delicious. It had the right amount of batter and it wasn’t oily or sickly and who could say no to wasabi aioli?

‘The Mother’ loves edamame ($3.95) – lightly salted boiled soy beans, they were a great started. I do like them sprinkle with chili though – it gives it that extra zing!

The pork gyoza ($6.95) – Japanese potstickers served with chili soy sauce was a hit, so good that the boys ordered two servings of this. I couldn’t help but steal a couple of them also!

I ordered their lunch bento box – chicken karaage ($8.95) with was absolutely fantastic! Crispy and tender chicken, it went down too nicely with the wasabi aioli. I was secretly hoping the boys didn’t want any and thankfully – they didn’t!

It also came with some rice, salad, edamame and miso soup.

Now dessert, Shokudo is quite famous for their honey toast and even though we were full, we HAD TO get one.

TWO GINORMOUS slices of Japanese white bread, toasted with the centres cut into little cubes and topped with creamy ice cream and drizzled with honey. You can add toppings such as chocolate, strawberry, caramel, sweet red bean and the like but we wanted it plain.

Our jaw dropped as the lady put this on our table – OH MY GOD! It was definitely a generous serving. Even though the bread was toasted, it was still quite fluffy and drizzled with honey and eaten with ice cream it was absolutely divine! We didn’t think we could finish it, but boy were we wrong!

Service was indeed friendly and food came relatively quickly. We were tempted to get the sushi pizza but thought that would have been too much – we needed to make room for the honey toast and I am glad that we did!

Deliciously full, I tried very hard to stay awake whilst shopping and to be honest, that wasn’t difficult as I was overjoyed by all the ‘Sale’ sign!  Lobster Dynamite and ‘The Mother’ went for a drive and the beach and picked me up about 4 – 5 hours later.

If you are in the area and want a Japanese fix or just honey toast, Shokudo is definitely a visit.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Shokudo

1585 Kapiolani Blvd

Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814

Ph: +1(808) 941-3701

Shokudo on Urbanspoon

Mochi Ice Cream at Bubbies, and Leonard’s Malasadas, Honolulu, Hawaii

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this place – Bubbies Ice cream! It’s not your average ice cream but mochi ice creams. Mochi ice cream is a Japanese confection made from mochi (pounded stick rice) with an ice cream filling and these little babies were absolutely frigging delicious!

Bubbies can be found in the University district, apparently where college student hang-out. It does get busy and there aren’t many tables inside. We weren’t planning to dine in, as since Lobster Dynamite lives about 5 minutes away so it made sense to take away.

The place was relatively busy, their specialty I think is the mochi – different types of flavours. The regular mochi flavours are on the left and the specials and chocolate dipped ones are on the right. We bought a dozen and I was hoping the guy behind the counter would give us one of each, but instead two of six different flavours – lychee, guava, chocolate peanut butter, mango, chocolate espresso, green tea and azuki bean.

We cut six mochi into thirds, for Lobster Dynamite, ‘The Mother’ and myself. My least favourite would have to be the lychee and guava. My favourite out of the combination was definitely the chocolate espresso followed by the green tea. The next day I had the chocolate espresso on my own – it was MINE!

Would have liked to try the tiramisu or the strawberry dark chocolate chip! Definitely a must visit if you love ice cream and mochi.

They also had other dessert – ice cream and other desserts with funny names – like ‘come here little girl’, ‘knock me up’ or ‘maybe the bag broke’ – we didn’t try any of them but would definitely be interested next time! lol

A couple of friends have raved about Leonard’s Malasadas, so I had HIGH expectations. Leonard’s Bakery on Kapahulu Avenue in Honolulu is a popular bakery, queues can be long and parking can be a complete nightmare. The attraction is the deep fried yeast dough which resembles a Portuguese version of a donut without a hole – the malasada.

Usually deep fried, and often coated or filled with different types of filings. The traditional is just plain with icing sugar, but on offer were custard, chocolate and the flavour of the month.

We got half a dozen, 2 traditional, 2 chocolate, and 2 custard – it was warm and good but considering I had high expectations it was a bit of a letdown. It was good but nothing special I thought. It was like a warm donut but softer and it didn’t have the hole – it didn’t leave me with any wow factor. The custard was probably better, but it was a little too rich for my liking. I had a bite of ‘The Mother’s’ and that was it, unlike bubbies – I wanted more!

The bakery is nothing fancy, small, and run down. You can order other things besides malasadas – different types of donuts, cakes, cookies and many more but we were here for the malasadas and that’s what we got!

If you are in the area and are curious then definitely get some, but like I said early, I think the mochi ice cream wins for me!

GA’s ratings: Bubbies: 8 / 10

1010 University Ave

Honolulu, Hawaii, 96826

Ph: +1 (808) 949 8984

Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream (University Avenue) on Urbanspoon

GA’s ratings: Leonard’s Bakery: 6.5 / 10

933 Kapahulu Ave

Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816

USA

Ph: +1 (808) 737 5591

Leonard's Bakery on Urbanspoon

Shaved Ice at Matsumoto and Kalua Pork at Ola, Honolulu, Hawaii

On our first day in Honlulu, we went for a drive with Lobster Dynamite and The Professor. We drove to Oahu’s North Shore, walked around and stopped at possibly the most famous Shaved Ice place in Honolulu – Matsumoto. Matsumoto has been around since 1951 – opened by both Mamoru and Helen Momoy Matsumoto.

It is located about 10 minutes drive from the Dole Plantation site on the Northern side of the island, a scenic drive into North Point. We drove past looking for parking and the line was incredibly long! So many tourists, wanting to try this shaved ice, including ‘The Mother’.

It’s a tiny store, I didn’t go in as there were just way too many people. They have a multitude of syrup flavours – anything you can think off they had – strawberry, pineapple, lemon, coconut, banana, coconut cream, pinacolada – you name it! The list just went on and on. You can have the simple snow cone or be super indulgent and add on a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bottom of the paper cone, or even add a generous scoop of azuki beans. Both ‘The Mother’ and Lobster Dynamite had neither; they just wanted a simple cone.

The shaved ice was HUMUNGOUS! I don’t think the photo really justified it! Huge shaved ice drizzled with syrup – from memory, ‘The Mother’ had melon, lychee and coconut – weird combination I thought but it seemed to work. It was just one sugary / syrupy drink! It was good for a warm day but talk about sugar over doze. I don’t know if I would have lined up for more than ten minutes though, it was good and I understand the fascination but I probably wouldn’t have gotten one on my own. ‘The Mother’ seemed to have enjoyed it but I could tell towards the end he was pretty much over it! lol

I can’t remember what Lobster Dynamite had, but I did prefer the colours on his ice than ‘The Mother’s’!

We drove around the island, stopping at Laniakea to look at the turtles. I think the boys really wanted to go snorkeling, however, weather was just too horrid and I don’t think they had their snorkels with them. Definitely next time… there will be a next time!

Next stop was definitely lunch – Ola at Turtle Bay Resort. The resort looked amazing, we didn’t really get a chance to walk around as our main focus was food! It was past 3pm when we got there, so the restaurant was closed, but they were still serving bar food which suited us fine.

‘The Mother’ and Lobster Dynamite both ordered the Ola slider combo with fries – Kalua pork slider with guava bbq sauce and from memory a cheddar cheese burger.

The Kalua pork slider was absolutely amazing; the pork was incredibly tender and the spices – fantastic!

Thankfully I ordered the kalua pork nachos – not what I expected what nachos would be. Five large thin and crispy corn chips all topped with generous amount of kalau pork and cheese with guacamole and tomato salsa on the side.

These babies were fantastic! The pork, the guacamole, the crispy corn chips – DELICIOUS!

The Professor wasn’t overly hungry, so opted for the cheese and fruit platter which looked very healthy and very tasty!

Overall it was a lovely meal – I really enjoyed the nachos and the pork sliders were fantastic.

Deliciously full, Lobster Dynamite drove us back to Waikiki, whilst I had a quick snooze in the car.

GA’s ratings: Matsumoto: 6.5 / 10

66-087 Kamehameha Hwy

Haleiwa, Hawaii, 96712

PH: +1 (808) 637-4827

Matsumoto Shave Ice on Urbanspoon

GA’s ratings: Ola: 7.5 / 10

57-091 Kamehameha Hwy

Kahuku, Hawaii, 96712

Ph: +1 (808) 293-0801

Ola (Turtle Bay Resort) on Urbanspoon