The 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival kicked off last week with “Aloha ‘Aina, Aloha Kai – Love of the Land, Love of the Sea” in Waikoloa on the Big Island. The festival concluded this past weekend with 4 big events, with the latter 3 events being sold out—Keiki in the Kitchen: Food, Fitness, & Fun; Corks & Forks; Battle of the Brunch Showdown; and It’s A Food World After All.
A bunch of breakfast/brunch places have been opening up on the island lately—bills Sidney, Koko Head Cafe, The Nook, and now Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop. We love to eat breakfast on the weekends, especially since that’s the only time when we really get to do so together due to our work schedules. While looking at Scratch’s menu on their website, I knew that I wanted to go there for breakfast. But more than breakfast, I wanted to check out their dinner offerings. We will just have to return for breakfast another day.
Lucy’s Lab Creamery is a brand new hole-in-the-wall on Kamakee Street, just down the road from McKinley High School and next to Harry’s Cafe. The bright blue, walls offer a visual escape from the Lab’s drab and dated neighbors. It’s almost as if Lucy’s Lab was plucked from either the hipster friendly Kakaako or the rejuvenated Kaimuki and dropped in the middle of nowhere.
Having taken over the space of my once favorite southern food joint on the island, Kiss My Grits, I stepped into the Nook Neighborhood Bistro with a bit of resistance. All was forgiven, though, once I took my first bite into those mochi waffles. Oh those mochi waffles. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
If you grew up in Hawaii, then chances are that you have very fond memories of the manapua man. Every neighborhood had its own manapua man. They were ubiquitous when I was a kid. My manapua man would drive through my neighborhood at least five times a day, from morning until late into the evening. I can still remember the manapua man that drove his white van through my neighborhood in Ewa. He was an old Chinese man, with a full head of white hair. He always wore a button up shirt.
Chef Masaharu Morimoto is one of my favorite Iron Chefs. When we were in Philadelphia several years ago, I was excited to make reservations at his namesake restaurant there. I remember the cool lighting in the booths that changed colors. I was even more excited when I first found out that he was opening a restaurant in Waikiki.
I am no novice when it comes to afternoon tea. I like eating freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam, little finger sandwiches, and petit fours. To me, afternoon tea is a nice way to pass time with friends while enjoying a leisurely and light fare. And lucky for me, my husband does not mind joining me for afternoon tea.