Thursday, May 14, 2015

My Trip to Hawaii | What We Ate

One of the best part about my Hawaii trip is all the yummy food I ate. My boyfriend and I hit up a lot of places that were highly rated on blogs and Urbanspoon so today I wanted to share with you some of the things we ate. If you are ever planning a visit to Hawaii, I hope you find this post helpful. And if you aren't planning to visit anytime soon,  just sit back and feast your eyes.......
Rainbow Drive-In:
One of the most popular places in Honolulu, Rainbow Drive-In serves up a variety of Hawaiian plate lunches. The place has a food court style set-up with lots of seats in the parking lot area. 
Loco Moco from Rainbow Drive-In
The Loco Moco consists of two burger patties over a bed of white rice that's doused in gravy with an easy over egg on top. The gravy was quite delicious and the runny egg gave a lot of gooey creaminess. The Mixed Plate comes with boneless chicken, ahi tuna, and a piece of barbequed beef. The beef was a bit tough, but both the fish and the chicken was pretty yum. The Mixed Plate lacked some serious sauce so the rice was left disappointingly dry.

Both plates came with a scoop of macaroni salad, which was just ok. You can actually substitute the rice with fries and macaroni salad with slaw, but neither of us saw the little asterisked memo on the menu, and the server didn't ask us what we preferred so we both ended up with rice and macaroni. Overall I was actually quite disappointed with this place because it was the place that every source recommended yet the food (at least the Mixed Plate I ordered) was barely mediocre.
Mixed Plate
Giovanni's Shrimp:
I love spicy things and I love shrimp. So when I read about Giovanni's Shrimp Truck I added it onto our to-do list right away. I was ecstatic to try the No Refunds Hot & Spicy Shrimp. The server said it was about an 8 out of 10 on the spicy level and she was damn wrong. I can handle things that are really spicy but this was the kind of spicy that makes your entire body sweat. Literally after one bite my body decided that it was not going to sit well. The spicy level is off the charts to the point where you taste nothing but fire. Believe it our not, I managed to finish it because I didn't want to waste a $13 plate of shrimp, which was actually pretty overcooked as well.
No Refunds Hot & Spicy Shrimp
My boyfriend enjoyed the Shrimp Scampi which I, fortunately, was unable to taste because my tongue was on fire after the first spicy shrimp. However, we were taken aback by the fact that the scampi plate was literally swimming in oil. Not sure what's that about but I personally do not recommend this place, simply because that spicy shrimp was wack!
Shrimp Scampi
Marukame Udon:
Jumping from the worst meal on the trip to the best, next up is Marukame Udon. A hectic Japanese restaurant right in the centre of Waikiki, Marukame has a line that goes on for as long as the eye can see. The line moves surprisingly fast though because the restaurant is cafeteria-styled so people move in and out very quickly.
We ordered a large Curry Udon, a large Ontama Udon, and an assortment of tempura. The tempuras were all pretty good but nothing spectacular. It was really the udons that took the center stage. Chewy, elastic, and not at all soggy and mushy, the udon here are handmade, right in front of your eyes. The curry udon I had was honestly heavenly. I left the place feeling more full than I ever did. This place has hands down the best udon I've ever had and I am glad they don't have a Marukame in Vancouver because otherwise I would never leave that place. It's that good!
Curry Udon
Ontama Udon
Assorted Tempura
Also, Marukame was where we tried the legendary Hawaiian Spam Musubi, which is basically a piece of spam over white rice wrapped with a strip of seaweed. It was pretty delicious, but the meat versus rice ratio was way off. Overall though, eating musubi was a novelty experience more than anything.
Spam Musubi (front) and Salmon Musubi (back)
Takoyaki Yama Chan at Shirokiya, Ala Moana Center:
If you love Japanese food then the second floor food court of the Japanese department store Shirokiya inside the Ala Moana Center is a must-visit place. It is here that I tried the best takoyaki I've ever had from Takoyaki Yama Chan. Slightly crispy on the outside and amazingly melty and flavorful on the inside, these takoyakis are simply amazing!
Takoyaki at the Shirokiya food court, inside Ala Moana Center
Slightly out of focus, but look at that ooey gooey goodness!
Takoyaki at the Shirokiya food court, inside Ala Moana Center
Ono Seafood:
A small Poke joint not too far away from Waikiki by car or bus, Ono serves up an amazingly fresh selection of Poke bowls, which are essentially raw marinated fish over rice. We tried the Shoyu Tako (soy sauce octopus), Hawaiian Ahi, and Spicy Ahi. The tuna is melt-in-your-mouth tender and the flavors are just amazing.
Selection of Poke Bowls
Shoyu Tako
Hawaiian Ahi
Alright, that is a selection of what I ate on my trip. I actually have so much more to share, but I will save those for another post.
If you've been to Hawaii, where was your favorite eats? Share with me in the comments below!