Aloha! It’s Hanna again! I’m guest blogging for Beyond Voyage, documenting my honeymoon in Hawaii. If you haven’t yet, check out my previous post about Top 5 Things to Do in Oahu. Today, I’m going to share all the culinary sensations Hawaii has to offer. It’s more than just pineapples and luau pigs. Keep an open mind and perhaps you’ll be tempted to try something new and unexpected!
Malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery
Leonard’s Bakery is one of, if not the most famous malasada shop on the Hawaiian islands. Malasadas are Portuguese donuts, sans hole.
In Hawaii, you’ll see the word “poke” on a lot of local menus. Poke is a salad made of raw tuna typically served as an appetizer. The fish here is so fresh that you have to try it at least once. Some of the locals have added their own twist to it including adding in roe (fish eggs) or making it spicy. It was so good, I kept ordering it as my meal!
Though Hawaii is known for pineapples, lesser known fruits like lilikoi (passion fruit), guavas and papayas are as plentiful on the island as apples and bananas back on the mainland. One of the best fruit platters we had was at the Hula Grill in Waikiki. It came with the most amazing pina colada dipping sauce.
Just be careful not to eat too much papaya when you’re in Hawaii! I learned it was a natural laxative.
Hawaiian culture has been heavily influenced by Japan over the past several decades. For instance, there are a ton of noodle shops that can be found in the Waikiki area. One of our favorites was Marukame Udon in Waikiki. There’s a line out the door at most hours of the day, but the wait is worth it. It’s cheap and fast but everything tastes so fresh.
Just what is an acai bowl? Acai berries are blended with other berries and frozen until the mixture becomes sorbet-like. The mixture is then topped with fruit and granola, and drizzled with honey. It tastes incredibly decadent but it’s really good for you (acai is known to be high in antioxidants)!
My favorite was from Bogart’s Cafe. It’s a mile from the base of Diamond Head Monument so it’s a great place to stop off at if you plan on hiking the crater.
On our first day in Hawaii, we had just landed tired but hungry. We accidentally found the most amazing Japanese food court called Shirokiya in the Ala Moana Mall in Waikiki. Stalls with different types of food are spread out on two floors. One of our favorites was the Brug Bakery with their delicious breads and baked goods:
Take a drive up to the North Shore and you’ll see tons of food trucks advertising garlic shrimp. We tried one of the most popular trucks, Giovanni’s. Shrimp is sauteed in a very garlic-heavy sauce and served with rice. Just a word of warning, this gets messy. Shrimps have to be peeled and you will reek of garlic afterwards so bring lots of gum if you want to talk to people.
To wash down all of that garlic shrimp, stay on the North Shore and try a shave ice. Round blocks of ice are shaved into a cup with fruit flavored syrups drizzled on top. You can add ice cream in the middle or even condensed milk on top. What you end up with is an icy sweet treat. Whenever President Obama makes his trip to Hawaii, he always stops by Island Snow.
Since this was our honeymoon, we decided to treat ourselves to some fine dining while in Hawaii. We highly recommend Roy’s Waikiki. They specialize in Hawaiian and Japanese fusion-type food that blends nicely with European cooking techniques. The Macadamia Nut Crusted Monchong was fantastic. If you are a fan of dessert, like me, then their molten chocolate cake and pineapple upside down cake are perfection!
Here is a map of Hanna's favorite places to eat in Oahu!