Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii ~ Oct 29, 2011

Honolulu, Oahu ~ Hawaii ~ 10/2911

Called “The Gathering Place” ever since Hawaii’s royalty assembled here, Oahu has drawn visitors with its gentle surf and pristine sands.   Home to Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, the North Shore, and the majority of Hawaii's population, Oahu is a vibrant fusion of the contemporary and the cultural, with countless “town and country” adventures to experience.   Honolulu is actually the biggest city in the world, its municipal boundaries reach across 540,000 square miles of the Pacific, most of which is underwater.

Hawaii Food Tours

Honolulu, Hawaii


(808) 926-FOOD (3663)

Toll free ~ 1-800-715-2468

Hawaii Food Tours gives a well-rounded view of what people eat in Hawaii and provides the historical context as well. In a fun way, of course! Plus, you get to eat lots of great food and walk around Chinatown.

The Hole in the Wall Tour features Yummy food, Fascinating History and Culinary Decadence.  Bring a big appetite for this tour.  You’ll taste, touch and visit several hidden food gems and ethnic restaurants that contribute to Honolulu’s delicious melting pot.

We asked Hawaii’s best chefs what they would like to eat on their day off and here’s what specialties they suggested you try;

Hawaiian Plate Lunch, Chinese Dumplings, Local style grinds, Pastry, Thai Noodles, BBQ’ed Meat Satay, Vietnamese Summer Rolls, Bento Boxes, Mediterranean and Hawaii’s Mysterious Crack Seed.

Your guide will answer all your food questions.  You’ll get valuable tips on how to make your Hawaiian vacation more memorable.  Prepare yourself for a fantastic day of eating behind-the-scenes in beautiful Honolulu.

Attire: Causal comfortable shoes

Pick up: 10am

Return:  2pm

Price: $99.00 pp plus tax

~ Here is what WE did on our Hole in the wall Tour ~

Royal Kitchen for Baked Manapua:
Chinatown Cultural Plaza
100 North Beretania Street

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Baked Manapua (Hawaiian-Chinese fusion based on the Chinese Bao Buns) - Traditionally these Little buns are done steamed with Chinese sweet roast pork (called char siu).  Here at Royal Kitchen they do a baked version of the original, along with several other fillings (smoked kalua pork, chicken, curry chicken, Portuguese sausage, Chinese lup cheong sausage, Okinawan purple sweet potato, coconut, and Chinese black sugar).

The 19th century marked a historical period in Hawaii as thousands of immigrants from different countries came to the islands seeking work. Over 50,000 Chinese immigrants brought their customs, cultural activities and especially their ethnic foods.

Food vending in the street was a common trade in the marketplace towns of China. In Hawaii, food peddlers sold a variety of delectable items especially their famous char siu bao. The peddlers would stack their foodstuffs in large cans and sling the cans by cords at each end of a pole. Hoisting the poles on their shoulders, they roamed the neighborhoods with their savory-filled buns. Char siu bao immediately became a favorite among the locals, and was given the name manapua, or mea ono pua'a ("mea ono" for cake or pastry, and "pua'a for pork).

The food peddlers today, also known as the Manapua Man, don't roam the streets on foot anymore. He can be found in a big truck parked at beaches, small neighborhoods, near the business districts and other places around the island. For many, eating a manapua can be nostalgic, bringing childhood memories of making a trip to the manapua man's truck.

Liliha Bakery for Coco Puffs515 North Kuakini Street
Honolulu, HI 96817


Coco Puff Pastry - A cream puff shell filled with a rich, buttery, creamy and sexy chocolate filling, topped with a Chantilly frosting (made of butter, egg yolks, sugar, evaporated milk, & salt - recipe below).  Liliha Bakery sells over 7000 of these little coco puff pastries everyday. *Definition of the word Liliha: To be nauseated by rich and fatty foods.

Chinatown Walk

Ying Leong Look Funn Factory - 
1028 Kekaulike St. - 537-4304 - For more than 50 years now, Fu Ying Chee, originally from Hong Kong, has operated this rice noodle factory that turns out thousands of pounds of rice noodle sheets each day.  You can watch the workers oiling pans that are filled with the rice noodle batter, which is then steamed to perfection, hand folded and stacked.  Plain noodle sheets are sent off to    restaurants that make fresh chow fun (noodle) dishes.
Outside the shop, you tasted the shrimp & spring onion, and the roast pork & spring onion versions of their rice noodles, along with Korean BBQ chicken from Jackie's Kitchen inside the Maunakea Marketplace food court.

You took a few minutes to explore the Kekaulike Market before having...
The "half moon" dumplings (Chinese pot pie) with Spicy Mustard came from Char Hung Sut: 64 North Pauahi Street (808) 538-3335

+ along with the ma tai su flakey pastries (Chinese pot pie) came from Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery.

Exotic Fruit Tasting: You tasted longan (the small round fruit that tastes like honeydew melon - the Chinese call this dragon eye fruit), then beautiful juicy-sweet Rambutan!

Then, a couple local favorites, Spam Musubi, and ahi poke!

Then those luscious coconut tarts

Pineapple, two ways, followed; fresh-cut, and also sprinkled with li hing powder.

Cocktail time (yay!) came next; you had the "Kekaulike Cocktail"  (lychee-vodka-pineapple smoothie).   And you learned the Hawaiian Toast for "Bottom's Up" which is Okole Maluna ("Buttocks Up!").

Sun Chong - 127 N. Hotel St. in Chinatown - Our favorite (and very colorful) shop in Chinatown that sells "crack seed" and all those exotic preserved fruitsnutsseedscrackersfish and candies that were displayed.

Char Siu House - 808-536-1588 - 1134 Maunakea St. Honolulu, HI 96817-5131 ---  This is where we had the yummy Hong-Kong style barbecued char siu (Chinese sweet boneless pork), and the 5 layers of heaven roast pork (with the crunchy skin)


  ...then we drove through town, pointing out the Iolani Royal Palace and the Kawaiaha'o Church, on our way to...

Leonard's for Malasadas, the Portuguese Doughnut - 933 Kapahulu Ave. - Honolulu, Hawaii - 808.737.5591 - Served warm directly from the back kitchen, these golden puffs of moist and rich fried dough are rolled into granulated sugar.  Unlike some versions of fried dough that often weigh as much as a billiard ball, malasadas are light and airy, *if* they're not filled with one of their luscious home-made custards!

(Here's a link to our "Around The Island" file in case you are planning a drive to the North Shore - www.HawaiiFoodTours.com/AroundtheIsland.pdf)
Matthew's Oahu restaurant list is located at: www.HawaiiFoodTours.com/oahu.html - The lists for our neighbor islands follow; Maui is at www.HawaiiFoodTours.com/maui.html - Kauai is at www.HawaiiFoodTours.com/kauai.html - and the Big Island list is at www.HawaiiFoodTours.com/bigisland.html - Enjoy!

Chinatown walking tour info

Honolulu Waterfront

Historic Honolulu

Kapiolani Park

More Hawaiian Words ~

Aloha: Hello, goodbye, love
E komo mai: Welcome
Hana hou: Do it again, encore
Haole: White person, foreigner
Kamaaina: Hawaii born or long time Hawaii resident
Kane: Man
Kapu: Forbidden, keep out
Keiki: Child or children
Lua: Bathroom
Mahalo: Thank you
Ohana: Family
Pau: Finished
Wahine: Woman

Flower ~ Hibicus (yellow) 1988
Song ~ Hawaii Ponoi ~ 1967
Bird ~ Nene (Hawaiian Goose) ~ 1957
Tree ~ Kukio (candlenut) ~ 1959

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