Tagged: Restaurant

Biggest Project Yet: “Strawberry Spree”

Guys, I did it. It’s finally over. Mother’s Day 2012 at Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar was a huge (and not to mention, all-consuming, body-exhausting, & mind-blowing) success! A widespread brunch/lunch buffet of Japanese fare was followed by “Strawberry Spree” Sweets buffet (by yours truly), where 460-something voracious, yet surprisingly pleasant, guests devoured 1800-something servings of 12 different types of strawberry-themed desserts within a span of 5 hours and 3 full-seating turnovers. Let’s not forget that this was, believe it or not, after these bottomless bellies were stuffed with mountains upon mountains of sushi, tempura, udon, salad, chicken, king crab, and God knows what else. All I really want to know is, who are these thoroughly inhuman people with such exigent appetites and where on earth did they come from? Because I have this ever-growing hunch that I must be related to them. After all, there is a most uncanny resemblance between my belly and theirs.Stomach resemblance aside, there may have been little else alike between these wonderful guests and I. Though the picture doesn’t show it (thank God), I slept for a very true-to-saying, painstakingly short-and-sweet 45 minutes. The grueling fun-filled hours leading up to that nap and the even more agonizing joyous hours that followed were wholeheartedly dedicated to baking and assembling a mass amount of the greatest (and most practical) homemade desserts I could muster up and create from scratch. Exhausted as I may have been, and trust me when I say exhausted is a euphemism for the physical state I was in at the time, this project was my absolute pride and joy from unshaped, prenatal beginning to expectant, postnatal forthcoming. It was Mother’s Day, for crying out loud, and this project was my beautifully overweight newborn. Continue reading

Jin Din Rou

After months and months of elated anticipation, Jin Din Rou officially opened their doors to a mob of famished and impatient customers  about a month ago on an already restaurant-laden and culinary-active South King St. Notwithstanding the hegemony of Pan-Asian cuisine in Hawaii, Jin Din Rou immediately enthralled locals and tourists alike for their Taiwanese specialty xiao long bao or soup dumplings (surprisingly, not-so-featured nor readily available in Oahu).


The chaotic and overpopulated restaurant¬† mirrors the atmosphere of China, while the interior decor and architectural aesthetics embodies the essence of Japan. The initial impression is that of a sensory overload (at least in sight, smell, and sound). The structure of the rather small restaurant is simple yet refined, making it visually appealing despite the manifest lack of space and privacy between cramped tables (minus the more spacious booths for parties of 4 or more, an unfortunate discrimination against couples, which I happen to travel in!). The window displaying their dainty kitchen and industrious chefs combined with the savory fragrance of steaming dumplings only arouse further eagerness and hunger for what’s to come, drowning out the commotion of an equally excited crowd around you. But, alas, is all this hype about Jin Din Rou reprehensible? I know that I, for one, have certainly rescinded my enthusiasm and expectations for the seemingly promising restaurant and its dining experience. Continue reading

Chinpei Ramen.

I did it. I survived the first two weeks of my senior year as college student. Whewwwww. While I could totally attribute my victory in this squabble with school to numerous factors, one indispensable and tremendously influential aspect of my college life thus far stands out: Ramen. Sure, I’ve refrained from meeting friends and going to parties, been begrudgingly glued to word documents on the computer screen, pulled zombie-forming all nighters, and followed other practices of abnegation. However, one affordable luxury and comforting source of sustenance has dependably been ramen.

I must admit though, the kind of ramen I grew up with and am still quite fond of is the cheap, red packaged Shin ramen you find at grocery stores. So you can imagine my sheer amazement and utter excitement in finding out that there is so much more to gourmet ramen than having a well-flavored soup base packet and adding an egg to it.

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Lobster King.

Thanks to the enticing name and favorable location, this restaurant is able to maintain a veneer of excellence. Harsh as it may sound, I need to be honest about my disappointment. To the average food-loving human being, the word “Lobster” typically evokes a salivating, pupil-dilating reaction. Furthermore, the word “King” in regards to food and beverage, implies the highest quality or acme of the preceding word. So, it was only natural for me to hold high expectations for this newly opened restaurant.

I don’t mean to simply upbraid this restaurant and write it off as an abominable, but in all seriousness, the only dish that was remotely enjoyable was actually their lobster. Way to live up to the name, although “Lobster Baby” may be more appropriate than “Lobster King.” Like I said, I’m just being honest and honestly, in this case, there are no euphemisms for “the food sucked.” Continue reading

Sweet Home Cafe.

My apologies for the mini-hiatus that followed the mini-dinner party. Sadly, upon reflection of my posts, I have become aware of how narcissistic blogging can be. Furthermore, I have come to realize that so far, I have only fulfilled half of what I claimed to be this blog’s objective. That being said, enough show-casing of my gradually accumulating culinary repertoire, for now, and onto equally important eating excursions. As I have mentioned in earlier posts and such, Hawaii is comprised of a semi-wide range of cuisines. I say ‘semi’ only because there are often times I find myself eating some version of the same thing, especially since Hawaii is well-known for their ‘plate lunches’ and other such wonderfully simple and filling plates.

However, due to this omnipresent comfort food, anything remotely out of this domain of food is usually considered fairly ‘new’ and ‘hip.’ For example, I have only been to one restaurant in town during my time here that specializes solely in Shabu Shabu. It’s either because there aren’t many restaurants that are popularized by this dish or probably more so because I’m biased and haven’t sought out such restaurants. I realize that Shabu Shabu is all the craze amongst many, but I had quite the unfortunate experience of Shabu Shabu indigestion in Korea when I was younger and have never liked the dish since.
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