Archive for the ‘Eating Out’ Category

Gudetama goodies at Eggs 'n Things, Sanrio

By
September 30th, 2016



Gudetama, a popular new Sanrio character, appears at Eggs 'n Things on sunny side up eggs, pancakes, and beverages hot and cold. Photos by Erika Engle.

Gudetama, a popular new Sanrio character, appears at Eggs 'n Things on sunny side up eggs, pancakes, and beverages hot and cold. Photos by Erika Engle.

The public will have chances to eat Gudetama-inspired food and to meet Gudetama Saturday and Sunday at Ala Moana Center’s Sanrio store.

The Sanrio Gudetama character was wheeled in to Eggs 'n Things for a media preview this week.

The Sanrio Gudetama character was wheeled in to Eggs 'n Things for a media preview this week.

Gudetama is the latest sensation from the Hello Kitty maker, and is the inspiration for a fundraising partnership between Eggs ’n Things and the Japan-based lifestyle brand.
Gudetama means “lazy egg” in Japanese, and Sanrio's ovoid character is decidedly unmotivated, asking for "just five more minutes' sleep" under a blanket of bacon, and shrugs off the world with a "meh."
Understand it or not, it is increasingly beloved by many, especially millennials, said Sanrio USA’s Susan Tran, senior manager of marketing.

A different Gudetama sticker will be offered at each location of Eggs 'n Things during the month-long fundraiser.

A different Gudetama sticker will be offered at each location of Eggs 'n Things during the month-long fundraiser.

Gudetama will make 20-minute, top-of-the-hour appearances at the Ala Moana Sanrio shop from 11 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The shop will give customers a small gift with each Gudetama merchandise purchase of $25 or more, limited to one per customer.
The fundraiser is at Eggs ’n Things’ three Hawaii locations at Ala Moana Center and in Waikiki, which are offering two set Gudetama menus through Oct. 28. Each location offers a different Gudetama sticker.
The Gudetama "Sleepy" menu includes a hot chocolate with a cocoa powder Gudetama on top; a  loco moco with a Gudetama-branded egg under a bacon blanket, and for dessert, a pancake with an image of Gudetama stenciled on it in lemon frosting. It is also served with whipped cream, fresh strawberries and chocolate sauce. The dish is served from noon to closing.

Eggs 'n Things and Sanrio are offering two different Gudetama-inspired set menus to raise funds for earthquake victims in Japan.

Eggs 'n Things and Sanrio are offering two different Gudetama-inspired set menus to raise funds for earthquake victims in Japan.

The Gudetama "Lazy" menu is served from 4 p.m. to closing and includes iced coffee or iced cappuccino with a cocoa powder Gudetama on top; a burger topped with a Gudetama-branded egg and French fries, and the same pancake dessert that comes with the "Sleepy" menu choice.

Eggs 'n Things and Sanrio are offering two different Gudetama-inspired set menus to raise funds for earthquake victims in Japan.

Eggs 'n Things and Sanrio are offering two different Gudetama-inspired set menus to raise funds for earthquake victims in Japan.

The Gudetama face on the sunny-side-up egg yolk is essentially an edible sticker, Tran said.
The Gudetama set menus cost $15 and $16, respectively.
Three dollars from each purchase will be donated to the Japan Society's Kumamoto Relief Fund, to aid victims of April’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake in the Japanese prefecture, said Michael Skedeleski, Eggs 'n Things director of operations.

https://www.eggsnthings.com/

 

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Smoky goodness at Yacchaba

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September 29th, 2016



Japanese Restaurant Yacchaba is open 5 to 11 p.m. Tuedays to Sundays. It will eventually offer lunch service as well.

Japanese Restaurant Yacchaba is open 5 to 11 p.m. Tuedays to Sundays. It will eventually offer lunch service as well.

The cozy setting of Japanese Restaurant Yacchaba, Hawaii's first "iburi," or smoked dish, eatery, comes not just from the little nooks of space and warm lighting, but the quiet sizzling and warmth generated by the little hot-stone grills delivered to tables. These keep plates of seafood and meats wonderfully warm and tender so patrons can leisurely enjoy their visit without sacrificing on the quality of the food.

This is supreme comfort food, but what takes the morsels from satisfying to delicious are four flavor salts that accompany the plate: yuzu, curry, yakuri/plum and sansyo. Each delivers a punch of tastiness with just a light sprinkle.

Seafood gets the iburi treatment on stone grill plates made from Mt. Fuji stone. Food is grilled for 2 minutes before eating. The experience also includes grilling over cherry and apple smoking chips.

Seafood gets the iburi treatment on stone grill plates made from Mt. Fuji stone. Food is grilled for 2 minutes before eating. The experience also includes grilling over cherry and apple smoking chips.

While the stone grills are headliners, there's so much on the menu to keep customers' taste buds engaged: Items such as saba and pork benefit from the special seasoning shio koji, made from rice-malt salt.  Starters such as a simple Japanese-style potato salad is elevated with the inclusion of half a boiled egg that's been smoked. The smokiness of the creamy egg adds layers of texture and flavor that elevates the humble dish. Ditto on the Kuro Edamame, with flavor that penetrates the seared shells.

Other delicious items: Curry Kimpira, Fried Ebi-Bread, a fresh smoked salmon salad and Inaniwa Udon, a cold dish centered on thin, soft udon that nonetheless boasts a delicate chew.

The drink menu includes Kirin and Asahi beers, Honolulu Beer works craft beers,  wine, sake and shochu.

Yacchaba offers a new way to enjoy fresh, simple, nicely prepared Japanese food, with a flavor profile that is sure to appeal to the local palate.

The restaurant, located at 1718 Kapiolani Blvd., is across the Hawaii Convention Center. It currently serves dinner, but look for lunch service in the near future. Hours: 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays. Call 945-0108.

A standard starter of potato salad is livened up by a smoked boiled egg.

A standard starter of potato salad is livened up by a smoked boiled egg.

 

Curry Kimpira stood up to the smoky flavors of the rest of the dishes.

Curry Kimpira stood up to the smoky flavors of the rest of the dishes.

 

Another starter, Homemade Atu-age Tofu was delicious.

Another starter, Homemade Atu-age Tofu was delicious.

 

Fried Ebi Bread pieces each had a shrimp inside -- satisfying comfort food.

Fried Ebi Bread pieces each had a shrimp inside -- satisfying comfort food.

 

Inaiwa Udon is a more delicate noodle than what Hawaii folks are accustomed to in an udon. It's soft yet has nice texture. The dish comes with dipping sauce and condiments of green onion, bonito flakes and grated ginger.

Inaiwa Udon features a more delicate noodle than what Hawaii folks are accustomed to in an udon. The noodle is soft yet it has nice body and texture. The dish comes with dipping sauce and condiments of green onion, bonito flakes and grated ginger.

 

Delicious grilled saba, with a smoky touch.

Delicious grilled saba, with a smoky touch.

 

A variety of meats on the stone pot grill -- great to share with a pau-hana crowd. The grill is made of Mt. Fuji stone.

A variety of meats on the stone pot grill -- great to share with friends pau-hana. The grill is made of Mt. Fuji stone.

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Kona Grill open in Waikiki

By
September 15th, 2016



Arizona-based Kona Grill has opened its first Hawaii location in the International Market Place, on the third floor Grand Lanai.

The Big Kahuna cheeseburger at Kona Grill. Photos courtesy Kona Grill Inc.

The Big Kahuna cheeseburger at Kona Grill. Photos courtesy Kona Grill Inc.

Offering such items as the Big Kahuna cheeseburger, sushi rolls both traditional and naruto-style, or rice-free, the more than 30-location restaurant company has recently rebranded to avoid using such terms as Hawaiian, or Asian-fusion, to describe its menu offerings.

The Atlantic roll at Kona Grill includes baked salmon, spicy aioli, cucumber, tempura flakes and eel sauce.

The Atlantic roll at Kona Grill includes baked salmon, spicy aioli, cucumber, tempura flakes and eel sauce.

The company calls its 8,380 square-foot restaurant in Waikiki the first of its kind in Hawaii. Led by chef Alejandro Baez, the restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

The Kona Grill bar offers daily pau-hana specials including cocktails and pupu.

http://www.konagrill.com/locations/waikiki-hi

Stripsteak by Michael Mina and Eating House 1849, by Roy Yamaguchi, opened on August 25, the day of the International Market Place opening. Additional restaurants will be opening on the Grand Lanai in the coming months including Chinese dim sum restaurant and tea house Yauatcha, in November; pizza restaurant Flour & Barley, in December; Herringbone, by celebrity chef Brian Malarkey in February; and Japanese restaurant Baku, in Spring of 2017. Other restaurants, including locally based Goma Tei, are characterized on the International Market Place website as "coming soon."

http://www.shopinternationalmarketplace.com/dining_entertainment

 

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Kalo crunch 'pie' hits market

By
September 14th, 2016



Adam Tabura's kalo crunch "square pie" will be sold in individual portions and 8-by-8-inch whole cakes.

Adam Tabura's Kalo Krunch "square pie" will be sold in individual portions and 8-by-8-inch whole cakes. Photo by Betty Shimabukuro.

When Adam Tabura was in his first year of culinary school, the students were given an assignment: "You had to make something you grew up with that you didn't know how to make."

Tabura, who grew up on Lanai largely under the watchful eye of his grandfather, decided on a sweet potato crunch cake that his grandparents made.

Years later that exercise has developed into a cake made with poi and sweet potato, with a crust of macadamia nuts and pecans, topped with coconut cream and more crunchy nuts. In a partnership with Hawaiian Pie Co. — they're calling it a "square pie" — Tabura now has his creation, the Kalo Krunch, on the market.

Chef Adam Tabura discusses food styling, dishes and backgrounds for his Filipino cookbook with photographer Kaz Tanabe and Mutual Publishing production director Jane Gillespie at The Pearl restaurant at Leeward Community College. on Tuesday March 15, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo by Kat Wade special to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Tabura has several projects in the works this year; the crunch cake is the first to be announced. Photo by Kat Wade.

Tabura, owner of the Spice Rack and a 20-year veteran of several island resort restaurants, shot to fame when he and his brother Lanai and friend Shaun Felipe won the Food Network's "The Great Food Truck Race" in 2013. He says the crunch cake always sells out when he offers it on the truck, but "I only made it when I was in the mood."

It's a lot like a classic pumpkin crunch dessert but because of the taro blend is not nearly as sweet; the delicate cream plays well with the substantial heft of the cake.

It sells for $8.50 per 4-inch square (which can be cut into at least four portions) or $32 for a whole 8-inch "pie." A half-sheet is available for $80 by preorder.

Hawaiian Pie is at 508 Waiakamilo Road; call 988-7828. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Tabura's new Filipino cookbook launches next week. See Crave on Sept. 21.

 

 

Dean & DeLuca previews first Hawaii location

By
September 9th, 2016



Dean & DeLuca’s first Hawaii location is a bright, airy, two-story market, cafe and wine bar at the base of the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach, at 383 Kalaimoku Street, that will open to the public on Wednesday.

Assistant General Manager Karina Pinto and Executive Chef Johan Svensson of Dean & DeLuca display platters for Star-Advertiser photographer Dennis Oda. Photo by Erika Engle.

Assistant General Manager Karina Pinto and Executive Chef Johan Svensson of Dean & DeLuca display platters for Star-Advertiser photographer Dennis Oda. Blog photos by Erika Engle.

The first floor features a coffee bar and cafe that will offer coffees and other hot or cold drinks with pastries and additional baked goods, as well as ready-to-eat, or heat-and-eat foods that can be purchased for grab-and-go or by-the-pound.
Hawaiian sodas, Dean & DeLuca’s take on Italian sodas, will be offered in tropical flavors including lilikoi, according to General Manager Luke Blubaugh.
The first floor also has a gourmet market with Dean & DeLuca-branded food items and snacks such as coated almonds in a range of flavors, and a variety of chocolate bars, such as salted dark chocolate, and logo items such as tote bags, canvas and insulated, water bottles, and more.

Dean & DeLuca General Manager Luke Blubaugh shows an example of branded merchandise the market will have for sale. Photo by Erika Engle.

Dean & DeLuca General Manager Luke Blubaugh shows an example of branded merchandise the market will have for sale.

Dean & DeLuca chocolate bars on shelving awaiting further stocking.

Dean & DeLuca chocolate bars on shelving awaiting further stocking.

Matcha-flavored coated almonds are among the treats offered at Dean & DeLuca.

Matcha-flavored coated almonds are among the treats offered at Dean & DeLuca.

The second floor wine lounge will offer wines by the glass and noshables such as charcuterie, cheese, or bruschetta platters made using a range of imported, domestic, and made-in-Hawaii products.

An example of a charcuterie platter that will be offered in the second floor wine lounge.

An example of a charcuterie platter that will be offered in the second floor wine lounge.

An example of a cheese platter that will be offered in the second floor wine lounge.

An example of a cheese platter that will be offered in the second floor wine lounge.

An example of a bruschetta trio that will be offered in the second floor wine lounge.

An example of a bruschetta trio that will be offered in the second floor wine lounge. Choices can be mixed and matched.

Specialty meats and cheeses also may be purchased by the pound, and there are 30 to 35 cheeses from which to choose, said Johan Svensson, executive chef for Dean & DeLuca. More are coming from local purveyors, he said. Svensson also is executive chef for BLT Market on the building’s eighth floor.
Dean & DeLuca’s first-floor patio offers outdoor seating for 40, while the second floor lounge can seat as many as 20 people.
Dean & DeLuca will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily starting Wednesday. The first hour of parking is complimentary with a minimum purchase of $30, and costs $4 for each half-hour thereafter.

Corrected: Based on information from the company, a previous version of this story reported a different opening date.

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Making the airport part of the vacation

By
September 7th, 2016



English breakfast at Gatwick airport in London.

English breakfast at Gatwick Airport in London.

Twenty hours of flying at the start of a vacation is made easier by the air of anticipation, but 20 hours at the end is pure drudgery. Curb the pain a little by treating layover time as an eating extension of your vacation.

I usually refuse to buy food in airports, as a captive audience often equals high prices and limited quality, but we were lucky enough to find a couple of exceptions as we returned Wednesday from a trip to Europe. It was a grueling airport-fly-airport-layover-repeat cycle.

When your layover is three or more hours long and the airline provides nothing but crackers even when the flight is 10 hours long, you may as well eat in the terminal. The act uses up time and provides sustenance. And as it is my job to eat food, I treated it as a learning experience.

At Gatwick Airport in London I had a version of an English breakfast fry-up with fried eggs, sausage and potatoes, plus grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers. On the side, an avocado and mango guacamole-type mix. Not sure how traditional that last item is, but it was delish.

HP Sauce, a version of ketchup.

HP Sauce, a version of ketchup.

Offered along with ketchup was HP Sauce, which I learned (by reading the bottle) is a "brown sauce" make in the Netherlands by Heinz (same as the ketchup). It's more tangy than ketchup, made with malt vinegar, tomatoes and various spices. Learn something new every day.

We also used up our last euros on two salads for the flight and a box of nuts.

A Canadian merlot with a portobello burger at the Vancouver airport.

A Canadian merlot with a portobello burger at the Vancouver airport.

At Vancouver International it was harder to find a traditional Canadian dish (besides poutine, which is not my favorite), although local salmon and beef were featured in the higher-end sit-down restaurants. A lot of Asian food is offered at the takeout stands here. Nothing wrong with that, but it didn't fulfill my quest to sample something local at each stop on my way home.

So I went with wine, a Jackson-Triggs merlot from British Columbia. Went well with a mushroom burger topped with local goat cheese.

 

 

5 foods Germany

By
September 5th, 2016



I’ve been on a low-carbohydrate diet for going on two years now, but all those good intentions evaporated when we hit Germany on vacation. From Munich, traveling on to Stuttgart and later to the German-speaking part of Switzerland, we were struck repeatedly by the quality of the breads.

Germany's beer, wine, sausage, schnitzel and cheese are also worthy of applause but on my list of favorite things, 3 out of 5 involve starch.

I'm not pretending to be any kind of German food expert, this is just a  list of foods that made the greatest impression on a traveler.

A selection of pretzels on display at a train station kiosk in Munich.

A selection of pretzels on display at a train station kiosk in Munich.

Soft pretzels: The bretzel is a food group unto itself here — flavorful and chewy (but not at all hard to chew). These pretzels are substantial in size — I saw some that were more than a foot across — and sold everywhere, including as part of a traditional Bavarian breakfast of pretzel, sausage and wheat beer. I had them with toppings including a heavy dose of pumpkin seeds, in forms such as rolls and croissants, and split to make sandwiches.

All manner of fillings in a variety of breads can be found at take-out stands all over German cities.

All manner of fillings in a variety of breads can be found at take-out stands all over German cities.

Super sandwiches: It’s possible to eat in a cafe in many parts of Germany for 10 euro ($11) or less per person (until you add beer, which it would be shame to do without). This is not bad, but given that airfare, train tickets and hotel fees have already sucked the life out of your wallet, you may want to go easy on dining. Supplement the  occasional sit-down meal with grab-and-go sandwiches, freshly prepared and tastily displayed in little stands everywhere. Train stations are loaded with them, so if you’re hopping from city to city, you’ll find them to be a great convenience, with sandwiches at 3 to 5 euro for all kinds. A popular type is a take on Italian caprese salad — mozzarella and tomatoes with pesto in place of the basil leaves.

Flammentachen, or German pizza, with ham, cheese, onions and garlic, in a cafe in Tumingen, Germany.

Flammkuchen, or German pizza, with ham, cheese, onions and garlic, in a cafe in Tumingen, Germany.

Pizza is a universal language: A game I sometimes played would be to try to decipher a menu before the server arrived to shame me with his/her perfect English (me being a typical dumb single-language American). Google told me that flammkuchen was a tart, so I ordered it expecting a tiny quiche of some kind, only to be rewarded with a footwide pizza, with a thin crust perfectly scorched in a wood-burning oven. Turns out to be a specialty of southern German and parts of France (where it is called tarte flambe). This one -- the classic -- is spread with creme fraiche and comes topped with ham and onions — speck and zweibel, words I was able to translate off the menu. So you could say I got the details right, anyway. It  was a great happy accident.

A venison and wild boar sausage served with bread and horseradish.

A venison and wild boar sausage served with bread and horseradish.

Sausage (with bread): Always easy to spot on a menu — just look for something-wurst, and don’t worry about the something part, just order and take your chances. You can also get sausage made into a salad (wurstsalat) My favorite was venison and wild boar, a fairly dry combo ordered with a red wine from a Stuttgard-area vineyard. Slept well that night. Sausage normally comes with sauerkraut or potato salad, American versions of which you’ve probably had. I’d make these side dishes top choices on their own, but I’m trying to keep this list to five.

In the average market, sausages in jars.

In the average market, sausages in jars.

 

Poha, or gooseberry, sold by the carton in a grocery store in Stuttgart.

Poha, or gooseberry, sold by the carton in a grocery store in Stuttgart.

Tropical tartness: I was so surprised to see this fruit on a breakfast buffet in Munich that I exclaimed, “Hey, that’s poha!,” words that no one around me understood. I always thought of this tart, golden berry with its parchment shroud as a rare tropical fruit. You’ll find poha jelly in Hawaii, but seldom can you find the fresh fruit. In Germany it's a called physalis (in English, gooseberry) and it's easy to find in regular supermarkets for cheap. Ate my fill.

New Waikiki hot spot lures thousands

By
August 31st, 2016



The redeveloped International Market Place opened in Waikiki this week with thousands of kamaaina and visitors checking out the long-awaited event. All photos by Erika Engle.

A conch shell blower, a Hawaiian chant and speeches by elected- and company officials launched the new IMP.

A conch shell blower, a Hawaiian chant and speeches by elected- and company officials launched the new IMP.

Naturally there were speeches by elected officials and executives with the center's developer, Michigan-based Taubman Centers Inc.

What the crowd was eagerly anticipating, was the doors of about half of the 90 shops and three completed restaurants to open.

Kona Coffee Purveyors, with San Francisco-based b.patisserie inside, had vigorous business on opening day. Photo by Erika Engle.

Kona Coffee Purveyors, with San Francisco-based b.patisserie inside, had vigorous business on opening day.

Belinda Leong, James Beard Award-nominated pastry chef and co-owner of b.patisserie, prepares her famed Kouign-amann pastries for baking. Photo by Erika Engle.

Belinda Leong, James Beard Award-nominated pastry chef and co-owner of b.patisserie, prepares her famed Kouign-amann pastries for baking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honolulu Cookie Co. had a long line of people awaiting the opening of the doors to its shop, which offers free taste-before-you-buy samples of its various baked-in-Hawaii cookie flavors.

New-to-Hawaii candy store Sugarfina, also brightly and cheerfully lit, was packed with people perusing the shop's sweets, many of which are whimsical and geared toward grown-up tastes.

These candy-coated almonds made to look like martini olives. Photo by Erika Engle.

These chocolate-coated almonds are made to look like martini olives.

The shop offers a large assortment of gummies in various flavors. hoto by Erika Engle.

The shop offers a large assortment of gummies in various flavors.

The Cuba libre gummies, taking their inspiration from a rum and cola beverage, are another grown-up-themed candy selection.

The Cuba libre gummies, taking their inspiration from a rum and cola beverage, are another grown-up-themed candy selection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also on the ground floor, a billboard relays a promise of things yet-to-come. The Street, curated by Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Michael Mina and his team, is set to open in the Spring. Among its more than one dozen dining options will be the Ramen Bar, by chef Ken Tominaga. Tominaga and Mina are partners in Pabu, a popular San Francisco izakaya. The Ramen Bar, which serves Tokyo-style ramen right next door to Pabu, in the city's financial district.

The Street, a food hall concept with more than one dozen casual dining options, is to open in the Spring.

The Street, a food hall concept with more than one dozen casual dining options, is to open in the Spring.

On the third floor Grand Lanai, Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi, and Stripsteak, by Mina, were ready to open on the first day of IMP's new life. By 11:15 a.m., the Eating House bar was full, and many of the tables also were full of eager diners.

One view of the large bar at Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi, in Waikiki.

One view of the large bar at Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi, in Waikiki.

The Eating House kitchen was bustling with Executive Chef Mike Leslie calling out orders and cooks churning out orders.

Executive Chef Mike Leslie works on an order with a red-bandanna-wearing crew member.

Executive Chef Mike Leslie works on an order with a red-bandanna-wearing crew member.

A line formed outside Stripsteak as local people sought to try the famed cuisine by an award-winning chef.

On the market place's opening day, local people and visitors got to try award-winning chef Michael Mina's menu, as prepared by Mina and Executive Chef Ben Jenkins.

On the market place's opening day, local people and visitors got to try award-winning chef Michael Mina's menu, as prepared by Mina and Executive Chef Ben Jenkins.

Smartly dressed Stripsteak General Manager Ron Bonifacio was ready for a busy day with sensible, yet whimsical footwear, for which he is known.

Stripsteak General Manager Ron Bonifacio is known for his shoe collection, which includes these hula-girl festooned sneakers.

Stripsteak General Manager Ron Bonifacio is known for his shoe collection, which includes these hula-girl festooned sneakers.

The expansive International Market Place spans nearly six acres, with stores and restaurants on three levels. Touch-screen directories offer helpful navigational guidance, if you'd like to formulate a plan before heading in to Waikiki.

 IMP's large directories are interactive, with touch-screen technology that also allows for scrolling to the desired information.

IMP's large directories are interactive, with touch-screen technology that also allows for scrolling to the desired information.

More restaurants will open on the Grand Lanai in the coming weeks, and additional retailers also will be opening as time progresses. The International Market Place offers 700 parking stalls, and validated parking, though depending on how long you're there, you may still have to use your plastic in order to exit.

 

 

 

 

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5 foods Montreal

By
August 28th, 2016



From the delicacy of foie gras to the hot mess that is poutine, this town can eat. Favorite foods here are as cosmopolitan as the population, reflecting an amalgam of immigrant heritages. It's -- hey! -- a melting pot. I imagine that the loco moco would be quite happy here.

I spent just a few days in Montreal, and make no claims to being an expert, but I did ask consult several natives about the iconic foods of this city, and some of them were indeed quite expert. Then I made it my mission to taste them all.

Bagels are dumped into these baskets straight from the oven at St-Viateur Bagel in Montreal's Mile End neighborhood.

Bagels are sorted into these baskets straight from the oven at St-Viateur Bagel in Montreal's Mile End neighborhood. You can see them pulled from the oven as you stand in line to order.

  1. A Montreal bagel -- as opposed to a New York bagel -- is thinner, crunchier on the outside, softer on the inside, and sweeter. Among bagel connoisseurs, the relative superiority of either city's bagel is subject to often impassioned debate. I stand firmly on the Canadian side on this one. Both types are boiled, then baked, but the Montreal version is boiled in sweetened water and baked in a wood-fired oven. No salt is used in the dough, which is always hand-rolled (no machines). All this adds up to major differences in taste and texture. Bagels can be found everywhere in the city, but the most acclaimed are from St-Viateur Bagel or Fairmont Bagel, both in the Mile End neighborhood. The favorite flavor, by the way: sesame.
A smoked meat sandwich from a stall in the Jean Talon market.

A smoked meat sandwich from a stall in the Jean Talon market.

2. They call it smoked meat, but it will likely remind you of pastrami. You can get it at food stands, delis and sit-down restaurants in this city, served simply on bread with mustard and a pickle -- although you could skip the carbs and just eat a pile of it plain. Smoked meat is beef brisket that is brined, marinated in a spice blend, smoked and then steamed to tenderness. In preparation it is much like pastrami. Differences in flavoring, smoking methods and time taken for each step, as well as the exact cut of meat, account for the taste variation. Like bagels, smoked meat is a delicious tradition that grew out of Montreal's Jewish heritage.

Portuguese chicken from Piri-Piri.

Portuguese chicken from Piri Piri restaurant.

3. Portuguese chicken a la Montreal is first marinated in a blend of paprika and other spices, then brushed with a spicy sauce made with piri piri, or bird's eye peppers, and, finally, turned on a rotisserie over a coal fire. More piri piri sauce goes on top, if you like. The usual companion is french fries. It's like an extra-extra special rotisserie chicken, with the flavor cooked deep into the meat. Delicious hot or cold.

A foie gras mousse atop toast with pickles is served at Maison Publique, a pub in the Plateau neighborhood.

A foie gras mousse atop toast with pickles is served at Maison Publique, a pub in the Plateau neighborhood.

4. This town is exceptionally big on the French classic of foie gras, with some restaurants that make it a specialty, offering several preparations a night. Especially famous for it: Joe Beef, which offers a Double Down "sandwich" of two deep-fried slabs of foie gras with bacon, cheese and chicken-skin mayonnaise between; and Au Pied de Cochon, where the menu lists 10 foie gras dishes, including "Fg" on burgers, in croquettes and over fries (see poutine, next). In some restaurants it's even merged with desserts.

Fries + gravy + cheese curds = poutine.

Fries + gravy + cheese curds = poutine.

5. Last and by all means least -- poutine. The word is Quebec slang for "mess"; the dish is french fries with cheese curds and brown gravy. Not all poutine is created equal. The cheese is basic -- mild, fresh, unaged cheddar -- but the rest is only as good as the gravy and the quality of the fries.  You can get a basic version like this one from food stands or fast-food restaurants. Fancy restaurants dress it up with special sauces, even foie gras. Take it or leave it, depending on of the depth of your personal culinary mission to pursue the iconic foods of Quebec.

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SALT eateries prep for prime time

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July 29th, 2016



Todd Constantino, executive chef, and Mason Hundhausen, general manager of Moku Kitchen, serve Pumpkin Patch ravioli at a preview event. Photo by Erika Engle.

Todd Constantino, executive chef, and Mason Hundhausen, general manager of Moku Kitchen, serve Pumpkin Patch ravioli at a preview event. Photo by Erika Engle.

At some 8,000 square feet, Moku Kitchen by Peter Merriman will be the largest tenant in Kakaako's SALT development when the restaurant opens in October. Executive Chef Todd Constantino and General Manager Mason Hundhausen, as well as a number of other employees, will be making the trek from Monkeypod Kitchen in Ko Olina to open the new restaurant, to ensure a smooth opening, according to Sara Hill, vice president of development and general counsel for parent company Handcrafted Restaurants.

Some menu items will be familiar to Monkeypod Kitchen devotees, while Moku Kitchen also will offer its own signature dishes cooked in a rotisserie oven. Constantino said the oven and the dishes that emerge from it will give the restaurant a point of differentiation from other restaurants.

To see a listing of SALT tenants that are preparing to open and when, as well as places that are open and operating, keep reading.

Handcrafted pot pies, including kalua pork, traditional chicken, and vegetarian kabocha-kale, as well as other combinations, will be offered at the Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room. Photo by Erika Engle.

Handcrafted pot pies, including kalua pork, traditional chicken, and vegetarian kabocha-kale, as well as other combinations, will be offered at the Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room.
Photo by Erika Engle.

Village Bottle & Tasting Shop, set to open in early August, is a project by Star-Advertiser beer industry writer Tim Golden and his business partner Daryn Ogino. The "beer cafe," as Golden calls it, will offer a rotating selection of beers and wines on tap, as well as savory pies and other baked goods by HI Pie owner and baker Casey Burns (shown below). Village is "Hawaii's first bottle shop and tasting room," Golden says, as it also is a retail shop that will specialize in beers. The business isn't aiming to offer the largest beer selection, "just, the best," Golden said. A certified cicerone, like a sommelier is for wines, Golden and Ogino plan to curate the shop's selection and offer "beer geeks" and beer noobs, or those new to brews, "a really good experience," he said.

Customers who chose to buy a bottle can enjoy it on-premises for a corkage fee, from $2 to $4, depending on the bottle size, "and we'll give you glasses," for sharing with friends, perhaps at the 19-foot communal table, while smartphone and laptop users can avail themselves of the free WiFi.

"We want people to feel comfortable here, even if it's just for 20 minutes," Golden said.

Given his longstanding relationships with local brewers, the shop will feature local beers, both on tap and bottled for sale. "Hawaii's (beer) scene is strong and vibrant, and we want to help that thrive," said Golden.

HI Pie owner Casey Burns with a box full of the buttery-crusted savory pies she baked fresh this morning for service at Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room in Kakaako. Photo by Erika Engle.

HI Pie owner Casey Burns with a box full of the buttery-crusted savory pies she baked fresh this morning for service at Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room in Kakaako. Photo by Erika Engle.

Burns' baked goods also can be found at the four Island Vintage Coffee shops on Oahu, and soon, at Mr. Tea Cafe. One of its two locations is across from Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room.

Mr. Tea Cafe has become a popular stop among Pokemon GO players, as he offers a discount for active players. Owner George Huang's shops in Kakaako, and at 909 Kapiolani Blvd., specialize in boba teas, smoothies, and other refreshing treats. The SALT location has been open two months, while the Kapiolani Boulevard shop has been open about two years, he said.

A freshly made latte from 9Bar HNL Coffee, Breakfast and Bake Shop. Artful latte by barista Ryan Plaza. Photo by Erika Engle.

A freshly made latte from 9Bar HNL Coffee, Breakfast and Bake Shop. Artful latte by barista Ryan Plaza. Photo by Erika Engle.

Set to open in early August, 9Bar HNL Coffee, Breakfast & Bake Shop is a modern, gleaming mom-and-pop run by former coffee wholesalers Stephen and Tracey Seta. You will not find a countertop espresso machine. Instead, the equipment is built into the counter providing a more open feeling between customers, the barista, and the kitchen in back. Traditional coffee, fancier coffees such as espressos, lattes and the like, as well as still, cold-brews and nitro brews also will be available. The shop's beverage-making technology also will enable customers to order sparkling juices and teas, said Tracey Seta. As for the business name, 9Bar refers to "the pressure required to extract the perfect espresso shot," Stephen Seta said.

Gabrielle Sanehira, an employee at photography shop Treehouse, holds a vintage camera as an example of the store's merchandise. Photo by Erika Engle.

Gabrielle Sanehira, an employee at photography shop Treehouse, holds a vintage camera as an example of the store's merchandise. Photo by Erika Engle.

Photography buffs may already be familiar with Treehouse's Ward Avenue location, above Kramer's Big & Tall shop. It will be moving to the second floor of SALT, set to open by the end of the year. It will be located near the elevators, said employee Gabrielle Sanehira. The photography shop sells vintage cameras, film, and other accoutrements for photogs and hobbyists who like to keep it old-school.

Open, or preparing to open at SALT:

• ARVO - cafe and lunch spot, inside Paiko - open and operating.

• Bevy - a bar and restaurant, often with live entertainment - open and operating.

• Hank's Haute Dogs - gourmet hot dogs, burgers, Italian beef sandwiches and more - open and operating.

• Highway Inn - Hawaiian food and other local favorites - open and operating.

• Juic'd Life - cold-pressed juices - open and operating.

• Lanikai Juice - juices, smoothies, bowls, more - open and operating.

• Lonohana Chocolate - a Manoa-based maker of estate-grown chocolates - opening date pending.

• Moku Kitchen - a new restaurant concept by chef and restaurateur Peter Merriman - opening in October.

• Morning Brew - a Kailua favorite coffee shop and restaurant - opening in the fall.

• Mr. Tea Cafe - specializing in boba teas, smoothies and other refreshments - open and operating.

• 9Bar HNL Coffee, Breakfast and Bake Shop - specialty coffees, teas, all-day breakfast and baked goods - opening early August.

• Orange Theory Fitness - a gym and health studio - opening in the fall.

• Paiko - botanical boutique - open and operating.

•  Sprint - mobile communications, other services - open and operating.

• Starbucks - specialty coffees, meals, baked goods and other snacks - open and operating.

• The Boiling Crab - seafood restaurant, think brown paper on the tables. Its first location in Hawaii - to open first quarter of 2017.

• Treehouse - cameras, vintage cameras, film, and other photography needs - opening by the end of the year.

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