When I hear words like Teppanyaki and Okonomiyaki I think... plain Japanese food. I don't know why. I am guessing in my lifetime I haven't really experienced phenomenal teppan-style cooking here in Hawaii. There are a couple of places that cook-up some tasty, fresh, simply seasoned dishes of steak, scallop, chicken or fish on the teppan and it's ok. But now I can say I was really impressed with a spot I have seen time and time again while visiting Royal Hawaiian Center. Chibo Hawaii is part of a family of 60 other Chibos around the world and the one here in Hawaii is the largest and it's only U.S. location. My first time to the 25 year-old restaurant proved to be an eye-opener. They serve Happy Hour daily (even on weekends) from 3pm-6pm, offer Japanese delicacies, traditional dishes, unique creations only found at this location and a variety of appetizers, innovative salads, sides, combos and complete meals too. Here's a look at some of the tasty dishes I sampled.
Last but not least, they also have a great selection of cocktails, wines and spirits. They even offer a honeymooner special meal which is a meal for 2 with champagne for $150. But what I wanted to point out was the colorful and delightful cocktails they offer. A great treat from the hot sun and sand of Waikiki.
Open for lunch, dinner and happy hour - check it out sometime. It's a great experience with friendly staff, amazing chefs and free 1 hour parking with validation, $2 an hour thereafter.
Lunch: 11:30am - 3:00pm
Dinner: 3:00pm - 10:00pm
Happy Hour: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Royal Hawaiian Center
2201 Kalakaua Avenue,
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Tel: (808) 922-9722
A special media event was held the other night to launch a series of new menu items at the famed Longhi's Restaurant Ala Moana. In the midst of a construction zone, this restaurant is still buzzing with happy diners and wait staff who welcome you with a smile and lots of aloha.
I haven't been to Longhi's for dinner in years. I love this place for breakfast and firmly believe the Benedicts and cinnamon roll are outstanding. I was excited to hear of the new menu items added to enhance the use of local ingredients with a homestyle comfort food Italian twist. Charlie Longhi (Bob Longhi's son) runs the Oahu restaurant and was kind enough to explain the dishes they showcased and added his personal touches like... "my dad and I used to make this together..." when describing the meal components.
A few of the outstanding dishes have me craving more and wanting to go back very soon, here is a look at what we had:
Prosciutto and arugula pizza - whoa amazeballs. We all agreed that this pizza was awesome! The pizza crust was thick, yet light and had a nice chewy texture. The perfect amount of arugula for spice and prosciutto for salt. It's pretty large too! They plan to eventually do pizza takeout, thank you in advance.
Sicilian Cauliflower: Cauliflower rolled in breadcrumbs with Italian seasonings, parmesan then deep fried to perfection and finished with a brown butter sauce and capers. This could very well be the best thing I ate this month, we will see. It was crunchy, crispy, salty, buttery, and had the perfect amount of spice for flavor. Love this side dish.
Lobster Tail Gnocchi - Maine lobster tail served on a bed of gnocchi with a creamy lobster sage butter sauce. You know when people dream about food, this is what they should be dreaming of. The gnocchi is perfect, the sauce is like eating lobster bisque and it's so delicious it's addicting. I am mildly obsessed with this dish!
New Breakfast Item: Tiramisu Pancakes- three pancakes layered with an espresso Kahlua mascarpone and drizzled with chocolate sauce - friends told me this was super light and delicious. I would imagine that this was a very nice end to an amazing dinner, but I had to leave a tad before the meal ended. My friend Chanel described this as "pretty good, the Mascarpone was delicious!"
So, during a hike with one of my closest girl friends, we started talking about food. Of course, the 'where are we gonna eat after we just burned off all these calories?' conversation began before the hike even ended. I wanted something flavorful, like kim chee fried rice or adobo. Then the discussion about Filipino food came up. Biancha is pretty much 100% Filipina, I think she may have a tiny bit of Chinese, but we all identify the Ewa resident as being Pinay. For me, I haven't really eaten a lot of Filipino food in my lifetime. With the exception of Elena's famous fried rice omelette, and a few bites here and there, I wasn't all that experienced when it came to this type of cuisine. So the decision was made. We raced to the top of the mountain, jumped in our cars and I followed her to Waipahu. Thelma's Restaurant is where Biancha loves to score her favorite Filipino dishes and delicacies!
Here's a look at what the two of us ordered, that's right it was just us two.
Palabok - if you love Pancit, you will likely love this too. The rice noodles are covered in a light chicken stock sauce with ground meat, tiny shrimp, green onion and topped with hard boiled egg. I couldn't stop eating this. So simple, yet so flavorful. Adding a squeeze of calamansi really enhances the flavor too!
94-366 Pupupani St # 116, Waipahu, HI 96797