If you're ever headed to the north shore of O'ahu you must stop off and try a snow puffy. These delicious sweet treats are heavenly layers of puff pastry filled with custard cream, topped with an overwhelming amount of powdered sugar and a drizzle of chocolate. They are light, flaky, sweet, creamy, chocolatey and the perfect boost of sugar for your next adventure.
They are a bit hidden but well worth the search!
Paalaa Kai Bakery
66-1425 Kaukonahua Road, Waialua, HI 96791
Try to stop in during the morning hours as they usually sellout.
It may sound silly, but I am not a huge jewelry person. I always wear my wedding ring but I often forget to put on earrings and I almost never wear bracelets or a watch. But when I do, my style is chic, simple, beach, island-inspired and delicate.
I was excited to hear Lisa Bridge (designer and new President & COO of Ben Bridge) was debuting a line of jewelry inspired by and created for Hawaii. The Lisa Bridge Hawaii Collection is truly a gem in this sea of jewelry retailers.
The 32 year-old great-great granddaughter of Ben Bridge has long been a jewelry designer and spent her summers in the islands. She feels Hawaii is a very special place in her heart and thus created this new line of jewelry to showcase how the islands inspired her craft. The beauty of Hawaii paired with the warmth and spirit of the people helped her create the vision for this line.
Worn by celebrities Carrie Ann Inaba (also a Hawaii native), Cheryl Burke, Jodie Sweetin and more. Lisa utilizes the Rhodochrosite (which reminds her of the Hawaiian sunsets) in many of her pieces; also the stone is said to have the power to heal the soul and symbolizes both love and empathy.
A special Meet & Greet event Trunk Show will be held at Ben Bridge Jeweler Ala Moana Center -- Friday, December 1st 5-8pm. 5% of the proceeds from sales that evening will also benefit Make-A-Wish Hawaii. This is open to the public, refreshments will be served and a sneak peek of the new Lisa Bridge Hawaii line will be showcased along with Lisa Bridge, James Donnelly & Demetria Caston (from Make-A-Wish Hawaii) in attendance.
Celebrating 10 years with 10 days, Restaurant Week Hawaii is back! November 10-19, 2017 -- More than 70 restaurants from casual to fine dining (even a few fast food outlets have signed on) take part in the effort to raise funds for the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head. Restauranteurs, chefs and culinarians can together join the movement to not only support local farmers, local businesses and local education but also the livelihood that marks Hawaii as a notable culinary destination. Diners can experience set-menus, specialty dishes and promotional items during this annual event.
I had the honor of revisiting a true gem during the launch of Restaurant Week Hawaii. Stage Restaurant has put together an imppressive 3-course tasting dinner for $60 (add $30 for wine pairings).
ACT1- Choice of:
Sashimi: Hamachi, Coconut Milk, Lime, Basil & Chili Pepper Ogo
Escargot: Hamakua Alii Mushroom, Cauliflower Lemon Purée, Parmesan Crisp, Arugula and Toasted House-made French Bread.
ACT2- Choice of:
Kurobuta Pork, Soy Glaze, Maui Pineapple Compote, Sweet Potato Purée, Brussel Sprouts and Applewood Smoked Bacon.
King Salmon, Butternut Squash Purée, Sugar Snap Peas, Shiitake Mushrooms, Teriyaki Butter Sauce.
Peaches & Cream- Lemon Panna Cotta, Grilled Peaches, Oatmeal Crumble and House-made Tahitian Vanilla Bean Rum Ice Cream.
Chocolate Tart- Peruvian Dark Chocolate, House-made Koloa Hawaiian Coffee Rum Ice Cream, Salted Caramel and Whipped Cream.
I enjoyed the Hamachi, Salmon and Peaches:
Stage is open Tuesday-Saturday 5pm-8:30pm, reservations are suggested.
1250 Kapiolani Boulevard
2nd Floor of the Honolulu Design Center
Many years ago the thought of drinking tomato juice made me cringe, then I discovered the Bloody Mary. Thing is, if it's made well you won't be overwhelmed with tomato flavor, it's more savory and delicious than it is like drinking a juiced vegetable drink.
My favorite place to score a solid Bloody Mary is at Hula's in Waikiki. Located across the street from the Honolulu Zoo this eatery and bar serves happy hour all day and a special Bloody Mary bar during brunch. But I like the plain and simple bloody that you can get any day and any time. What makes it so good? Well they add delightful celery salt and a perfectly crisp yet tart pickle instead of celery, because let's face it who really eats celery?!
The flavor is a good combination of savory with acid, salty and the addition of celery salt with the pickle is key. They pour a generous serving of vodka in it too, so after 2 I am usually good.
MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY - Happy Hour 10AM – 6PM
$5 Well . House Wine
$6 Mai Tai . Bloody Mary . Mojito . Miller Lite Pitcher
$7 Long Island
$12 Mai Tai Pitcher . Bloody Mary Pitcher
$14 Long Island Pitcher
A few months ago while on a quick trip to Bangkok we wanted to visit an animal cafe. Most common in Japan, and mostly Asia, cat cafe's are the perfect retreat for those who can't keep pets in their apartments. This trend to house animals has become so popular that places around the world now host a slew of exotic animals (snakes, owls, etc) for you to meet and play with.
At Little Zoo Cafe in Thailand there were dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, prairie dogs, foxes, a raccoon and a special arctic fox. The raccoon and arctic fox were in an enclosed room and would alternate visitation in the mornings and afternoons with other foxes. The cats and dogs roamed freely while the guinea pigs, prairie dogs and birds were in cages but could come out when you asked to pet or hold them.
Upon entry you must take off your shoes and put on clean slippers to wear. There wasn't a fee to come and enter but they do require you to order an entree and a drink. After you order you can enjoy the company of the various types of animals. Small groups up to 4 people were welcome to hang out with the raccoon and the arctic fox. The fox was also trained to stand on your back and eat fresh bananas from your hand.
Overall, this was a great experience. The animals all appeared to be well cared for and loved by the workers. I would recommend this cafe if you are seeking an animal fix. You get to pet and hold so many and they are all quite friendly. Take a look at what we ate, the pets we met and a short video encounter with the raccoon below. The food was ok, the service was good and the pets were all very therapeutic to play with.
You've stepped into what looks a scene from Avatar. Manmade supertrees standing up to 16 stories high are covered with flora and fauna and at night showcase a splendid music and lights show. Open daily from 5am-2am, the Gardens by the Bay 18 Supertrees Grove showcases a spectacular manmade forest complete with 200 species of plants. The free attraction also has a skyway path between two of the trees if you would like an aerial view, additionally there is a Supertree-top bistro to dine at. 11 of the trees also are equipped with photovoltaic panels which serve to collect energy to power the evening light show and cooling air exhaust.
When we attended the Garden Rhapsody night show was broadway themed, as you can see and hear in my video below - sorry the first part is sideways but will turn vertical a few minutes in. Held every night at 7:45pm and 8:45pm this is an experience not to be missed. The lights, movement and colors are synchronized to the music. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to implementing eco-conscious and earth friendly sustainable living.
For more information on the Gardens By The Bay and the Supertrees -- click: Supertree Grove
Take the elevator to the 56th floor of ION Orchard in Singapore and you will find yourself amongst the clouds and taking in the majestic panoramic views from one of the best Sky Bar's in the world. Known for its classic French techniques infused with Australian flavor profiles, this journey to the heavens is one to remember.
While on a respite with friends to Singapore we thought it would be fun to enjoy classic afternoon tea service. After a brief amount of time researching some of the many options in the area we decided on Salt Grill & Sky Bar for its pleasant reviews and breathtaking floor-to-ceiling windows, 5-star service and contemporary cuisine.
Our server was originally from Ukraine and had been in Singapore for many years. His previous employment on cruise ships had brought him to the islands of Hawaii in the past and he had fond memories. It was very enjoyable to chit chat with him and he was very well informed about the region, the people and provided exquisite service. Heralded Celebrity Chef and Restauranteur Luke Mangan infuses his contemporary flare with classic style and grace at this notable location.
The Afternoon Tea menu included your choice of tea or coffee for $42 and a glass of NV Champagne Lanson Black Label Brut for $52. We all opted for champagne to start then the delightful and delicious savory and sweet delicacies followed. Savory sandwiches included perfectly prepared crab salad, open-faced tomato with fresh burrata on focaccia, cured king salmon on brioche, a mini croque madame topped with quail's egg and a mushroom and goat cheese tart. All were phenomenal. They were just the right size, perhaps a tad larger than we had expected and paired perfectly with our champagne.
On to the sweets: white chocolate lamington, mini pavlova with fresh fruits, miso caramel tart, chocolate truffles, lemon meringue tart, macarons and of course house made scones with fresh jelly, whipped cream and pipping hot tea. These were a sight to see and so beautiful. Each was quite flavorful and busting with sweet then tart and sweet again on our tongues. For some the miso caramel tart was a bit overwhelming but overall the treats delighted us and after enjoying mostly everything we were all stuffed.
The tea selections were a nice blend of classic herbs and were soothing. Coffee was also an option for those who didn't desire tea they had everything from espresso to macchiato.
Overall, I would highly recommend this restaurant for its breathtaking views, impeccable service, generous and expertly crafted bites and an impressive experience. From start to finish the team greeted us and said goodbye with class and grace. The views are imbedded on my mind, so much so the picturesque windows in the bathroom were noteworthy too.
Salt Grill & Sky Bar
2 Orchard Turn
While on a recent visit to Singapore we stumbled upon a PIZZA VENDING MACHINE. No kidding, it was on the street while we were looking for karaoke bars to sing at. (By the way, the area we were in didn't really have a bar where you can sit, eat, drink and sing -- they were mostly private rooms and one of the places we found required bottle service). Anyway -- we ordered our pizza and took it back to the room. Watch the video for my food revHEU.
Amazing dumplings!! Yep, I traveled 21 hours to Singapore and had to sample a restaurant that has made soup in noodles an addiction. Din Tai Fung is known for it's authentic Taiwanese xiao long bao (soup dumpling) and is heralded around the world for its impressive lineup of dim sum style offerings. Now with master locations in Japan, South Korea, China, Hong kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, the mainland U.S. and of course Singapore, they truly share their food with the world.
The moment you arrive the restaurant is crowded and bustling with diners and servers. There is a significant line of people waiting to get in and each are given a number and a menu to preorder their dishes. As a larger group we didn't have to wait too long for a table, thankfully. Everything is ala carte from water to the dumplings, vegetables and bao buns. Service is quick, efficient and they don't bother with small talk or extra chit chat. It's fast paced and the food comes out steaming hot - literally.
Broken into appetizers, soup dumplings, steamed dumplings, greens, noodles & wontons, buns and soups the menu is big! We pretty much ordered all the XiaoLongBao available and a triple order of the Truffle Pork XLB. I love truffle but the pieces of truffle within the filling were barely enough for me to taste and there may have been some truffle oil in the soup but it wasn't strong enough for me to proclaim this the best dumpling ever. In fact, I think I preferred the traditional pork or pork & crab. The shao mai is delicate and expertly made. I also lo lo lo loved the Vegetable & Pork Wontons in Spicy Sauce (don't worry the sauce wasn't spicy it was more flavorful). The noodle was so delicate and fresh, the ingredients were tender and meaty and the sauce was perfect for dipping everything in. This was outstanding to me!
When you see a Din Tai Fung be sure to stop in and try the XLB and Wontons.