The most rewarding moments that stem from keeping this blog are the occasions when I receive random, unexpected email. These emails can come from complete strangers, an old friend, a college professor who realizes that the quiet student in his accounting class is the same individual who write this blog he follows, or, in the case of this past week, someone who I’ve never spoken with before, but happen to share over a dozen friends in common. Such was discovered when Ross and I met at Amuse for dinner a few nights ago. We share the same high school alma mater, only a year apart, and quite a number of common friends.
It’s funny how you can often get along so seamlessly with certain people, even though it’s the first time you’ve met. Even better when you share the similar food tastes and obsessions (uni, anyone? ;) So, over three hours of cocktails, and more wine that I’ve drunken in a while, we grazed over a trio of heavy pupus and a generously portioned dessert sampler. For those unfamiliar with the Amuse system, the Wine Bar is situated inside the Honolulu Design Center, sharing a kitchen with Stage Restaurant, though with a completely seperate menu. It’s a self-service wine bar, with 80 different bottles sold by the ounce. Buy a card with a dollar amount, slide it into the machine, and pick the wine of your fancy. Thank you, to Ross for buying all the wine that night :)
Oh, and yes, there’s live music Wednesday, Friday, and Saturdays.
We got around to the food a few glasses in, and started with a very lovely Ahi Carpaccio, livened by pops of chilled pops of pearls of chili pepper and soy wasabi. From there, we moved on a dish of peppery, extra crisp fried shrimp. I find it odd when you eat fried shrimp with someone and they leave the shrimp head or tail behind on the plate. It’s fried! You can eat it all! Whole! I am often tempted to pick the head/tail off the plate and consume it for them. The only thing which stops me is public manners ;) You can thus imagine how happy/relieved I was when Ross wiped the shrimp out, head and tail. Eating with someone who likes to eat just as much is very…comfortable, I think that’s the right word. Comfortable enough for me to double dip into the remoulade, heheheh.
They didn’t ask how we wanted the burger cooked, so it wasn’t a surprise when it arrived at the bar well-done. (A teeny tiny part of me hoped that they simply cooked it medium-rare by default). No matters, the plush house-made potato roll, and slather of local avocados proved to be highly redeeming components. Oooh, and the fries! Awesome little numbers, greaseless and heavily dusted with paprika.
No proper meal concludes without dessert as far as I’m concerned, and we did well. After a quick run through of the menu, involving Lilikoi-Mango Meringue Tarts and Cinnamon Creme Brulee with Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream, we concluded that the Dessert Samplers would be the most practical way to go about this. From top left: Marscapone Cheesecake, Apple Foster’s, soft Gingerbread Cookies, Toasted Coconut Ice Cream, Chocolate Bombe, and Nutella Crunch. The nutella crunch was my favourite of the set, though the gingerbread cookies were a close second, when lavishly dipped into semi-melted coconut ice cream.
Halfway though dessert, we ran into two other fellows, one a friend of mine, and another, a friend of Ross’. It was quickly discovered that we all shared a common interest: food and wine. I was the most uneducated about wine in the group, but that simply means there’s more opportunity for me to learn. Learning keeps things interesting :)
Amuse Wine Bar
Honolulu Design Center
1250 Kapiolani Blvd, 2nd Floor
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96814