Chambre de Sucre at the World Tea Expo

For those heading to the World Tea Expo in Vegas next week…

…stop by and say ‘hi’ to Lisa at the Chambre de Sucre booth. It’s the company’s first year showcasing and Lisa will be at booth #435. In addition to the Elements Collection, she just released other products like sparkly sugar wands

…and the happiest sugar balls in town. 

Also – four new CdS tea blends that will be available soon!

Tea No. 20: Chocolat et Fraise – Puerh with hand shaved dark and white chocolate and dried strawberries

Tea No. 24: Waiahole Valley – Green rooibos with tropical notes. Think coconut, pineapple, bananas, and apples. 

Tea No. 22: Mon Frère – The first oolong blend in the CdS family. Ti Kuan Yin with vanilla and roasted hazelnuts.

Tea No. 6: Kyushu – Sencha with safflowers, dried organic coconut and bananas. 

Congrats, Lisa!! ^_^

Honolulu | Tropics at Hilton Hawaiian Village

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Tropics at Hilton Hawaiian Village launched a new menu and I joined the super awesome Cynthia for a sunny (those skies!) lunch yesterday. First up, the poke sampler. How pretty is this? I try to eat poke as much as possible when in Hawaii…it’s just not the same anywhere else in the world.

Classic ahi poke with green onion, ogo and toasted sesame seeds…

ogo poke with sweet Maui onions and tomatoes…

…and shrimp poke with Okinawan sweet potatoes. 

One day we can do a “how to make poke” post…it’s one of my all-time favorite dishes. 

We also shared Kona crab tots (think mini crab cakes rolled in cornmeal and deep fried) and fries. 

I went with a seared ahi salad for my entree. Super fresh with a pepper crust. Served with Hirabara greens and edamame. Wasabi-ponzu dressing on the side. Just right for the warm weather. 

Cynthia’s Mahi Mahi tacos, am totally ordering this next time.

Christina (she revamped the drinks menu for the entire hotel) stopped by and of course…cocktails were a must!

For dessert, giant whoopie pies. Plushy chocolate cake-cookies, three scoops of vanilla ice cream and oodles of whipped cream and hot fudge. A pot of tea on the side…and I’m sure only a breezy, shaded poolside nap could have made the afternoon even better.

P.S. If the restaurant interior looks familiar, it’s because this is where they film Hawaii Five-O ^_^

Honolulu | Liliha Bakery Butter Rolls (and Waffles and Portuguese Sausage)

I cannot resist: Liliha Bakery Butter Rolls.

They are super buttery. A plush, extra rich dinner roll. A savory cross between parker house rolls and monkey bread. To get these Butter Rolls, you must drive to Liliha Bakery (open 24 hours), wait in line for a seat at the counter…and then order!

The Butter Roll is split in half, smeared with EVEN MORE butter…taken from that very bowl in the photo. Then grilled till it’s all toasty and golden. It’s served with the bakery’s electric pink jelly (looks scary but is addicting, also sold by the jar). Smear on the jelly and devour.

I eat one or two rolls in a seating but I’ve seen someone do FIVE rolls before. 

And because you can’t live off Butter Rolls alone, make it a full breakfast with the eggs, meat, and potato/rice combo. I’m always torn between Spam and Portuguese Sausage. Wish they would allow half-half, but no luck yet. And as much as I love Spam…Portuguese Sausage usually wins in the end.

Also! Waffles are a must. It looks simple but is anything but with that perfect balance of crunchy exterior and fluffy interior. It’s topped with some butter…but what is crazy is how much butter goes IN the waffle batter. So much flavor you don’t even need maple syrup. But I put it on anyways.

On your way out, stop by the bakery side to get:

1) Butter Rolls to go! That way you can split and grill at home. Good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try making ice cream sandwiches with this. OH MAN.

2) Coco Puffs! I’ve blogged about these chantilly-topped, chocolate pudding-stuffed coco puffs a million times in the past. A dessert that gets better and better with each visit.

Ok, hope you guys have a good week ^_^

Honolulu | The Whole Ox

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If you haven’t tried the $50 5-course dinner at The Whole Ox yet…go!

I recently went with Reid and am already plotting a return visit. We added a course (the “mushroom taste”) and Chef Justin sent out a great ahi app. I mentioned the burgers and sandwiches in my last post, but if you must pick between lunch or dinner, I’d go with dinner in a heartbeat. 

1st: Chilled Carrot Soup – daikon, horseradish, and tangerine

2nd: Ahi Tartare – radish sprouts, roasted pepper sauce, and tomato juice

3rd: Mushroom Taste – maitakes, shiitakes, kale, and boullion

4th: English Pea Quinoa Risotto – parmesan, brown rice, and toasted barley

5th: Line Caught Snapper – toasted almond milk and garlic

6th: Shinsato Pork Belly – roasted onion cream, kraut, and leeks

7th: Poha Berry and Lime

Next visit: fingers crossed for mango gelée and chicken liver pate on brioche o_O

Recently in Hawai’i | Lilikoi Bars, Banh Bot Loc, Whole Ox Burgers, Espresso Bar at Neiman Marcus, and La Mer

Apologies for the recent lack of posts…am tying up a few things before heading back to NYC (can’t wait!). I’ve been in Honolulu for two months, and while the first few weeks moved nice and slow, I am now scrambling to finish the ten million things I had planned to do…but have yet to touch.

Till then, 5 very delicious things on our happy island ^_^

1.  Lilikoi Bars from Sconees (the Kaimuki location is best). I love everything lilikoi, and these buttery wonders are Hawaii’s answer to the more popular lemon bar. Less tart, more sweet and creamy with a shortbread crust. 

2. Banh Bot Loc aka Vietnamese shrimp dumplings. The clear, chewy “skin” is made from tapioca starch, nuoc nam on the side. We get these from Andong Market in Chinatown. Go early…all the good stuff is usually out by 11am. 

3. Awesome burgers from The Whole Ox (with red onions and caper aioli). Get it plain… 

 …or with cheddar.

And sometimes you just want a fried chicken sandwich ^_^

Regardless of which burger/sandwich you order…don’t skip the Plantation Iced Tea (a mix of tea and pineapple juice) It’s one of the best on the island with tons of fresh pineapple blended into the drink.

4. Every other visit to Neiman Marcus isn’t for clothing, but these giant peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies at the Espresso Bar. Crisp, golden edges and chewy in the center. They also do oatmeal and chocolate chip-bacon cookies, but these are ones I keep returning for.

5. Sunset dinner for two at La Mer with Kristen. An annual tradition since our 17th birthday (they served us sparkling apple cider the first few years ;). No matter what we order for appetizers and entrees…we always end with warm chocolate soufflés. It’s tradition.


P.S. Top photo: mountain apples from our neighbor ^_^