Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Aloha Time

“I saw you in my dreams
We were walking hand in hand
On a white, sandy beach of Hawaii
We were playing in the sun
We were having so much fun
On a white, sandy beach of Hawaii”…… This song from Israel Kamakawiwo'ole reminds me of the beautiful Island of Hawaii.

I went to Hawaii for the 3rd time last year in October and what an amazing time I had. Yes there are palm trees, the sweet smell of frangipani trees down the streets and the ever so touristy “ Hawaii” merchandise. But as it was my 3rd trip to Hawaii I felt laid back and saw a different Hawaii . I saw some really beautiful sites and tasted some amazing meals and I wanted to share it with you all.

Hawaii to me is just magical in the day time you can be mesmerised by the turquoise waters at Hanuama Bay(pic below ) ,(magnificent bay that was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967). It was on this day that I let my fears escape me and with goggles in hand swam to meet the fishies of the sea an absolute must for keen divers or lovers of marine life.

 Night time in Hawaii is just as beautiful with the the warm night air carrying the sweet smell of frangipani flowers down the main street. It was on this night that (and many other nights) that my friends and I ate out. I realised that burgers and fries were popular of course but salads were huge...I mean literally huge but Yum!

One of my favourite meals was at the “Cheesecake Factory” I know weird name for a place that sells absolutely everything and yes it does sell cheesecake’s too. I ordered the “Santa Fe” (above) salad with crispy wonton shells and it was amazing you can tell from the photo. It had ice berg lettuce, tomatoes, cashew nuts, corn and a bean salad in there as well and finished with shredded carrot and as you can see the wonton sqauares layered the salad in 3s. Yummm.

I noticed on the cheesecake factory menu is the low calorie meals or healthy planned meals as well as appropriately labelled cakes. Now don’t get me wrong I could of easily gone for a strawberry cheesescake with marinated strawberries and thick cream but instead my friends and I shared a low calorie cheesecake(pic below) and it wasn’t too bad at all.

Check out http://www.thecheesecakefactory.com/.

The next favourite snack I will call it ,was at a cute little bakery called “Panya bakery” located in Kakaako centre. Panya Bakery has two locations one at the amazing Ala Moana Centre which seats 45 people and the other is where I visited.

Panya bakery sells delicious pastries, bread rolls and cute little biscuts packaged.

On this particular warm morning my girlfriend and I were waiting anxiously for 8:30am to arrive so we could eat ……and we did eat. We both brought 2 cheese puffs similar to bread with melted cheese on top (below left) and then we both bit into a cream cheese doughnut (below right)….this was divine and I remember thinking I want another one. You must check this bakery out whne you visit Hawaii ..it’s open for breakfast and lunch.

Gosh there were so many deliciously amazing restaurants if you looked for them and on the ocean front you knew you were in for a good meal.

 I had heard about the restaurant Ocean House on my recent trips to Hawaii and knew it was a 5 star menu and place. My girlfriends and I discussed where to eat and as the place next door was advising us to "grill our own chicken", and that it would be fun .....we decided that didn’t sound fun at all and moved into Ocean House. Oh my goodness this restaurant was amazing from the staff’s impeccable service to the layout of the restaurant ( ocean view frontage), white table clothes with wooden fans spinning over head , to the beautifully laid out menu.

I ordered the Grilled chicken breast with porcini mushroom sauce and Maui mashed potatoes and I pretty much licked the plate clean..so unlady like but I couldn’t help it and my girlfriend Daniela ordered the seafood plate which looked divine.

Dessert is always my favourite and when I am ordering I always offer and say,“you can have some of mine” however I ordered the bread and butter pudding with a Vanilla bean ice cream (pic below) and when the plate was placed in front of me and the spoon full of sweet custard goodness was in my mouth …there was no sharing taking place.

In between the meals I ordered a Pina Colada which is my favourite drink and then for the main dish I thought something light so I ordered a Mai Tai ..and you be the judge from the photo below  I was quite happy.

Check out http://oceanhousewaikiki.com

Nearing the end of my trip I remember walking back to the Hotel and did a double take at a stunning picture in a shop window I instantly thought “I want that” and went inside.

The shop is called “ Green Room” (pic below)  is an international establishment committed to the celebration of Hawaiian surf culture and lifestyle through collaborations with artists and a series of community centered cultural events. Established in Japan in 2005, Greenroom has gained considerable momentum since its humble beginning as a small group of enthusiasts looking to share their love of surf. In three short years, it has flourished into a thriving organization that includes art galleries and boutiques featuring surf inspired artwork and Asia’s largest surf culture festival attracting forty thousand people to Tokyo annually.

I remember walking in that night and spotting the print I saw it was of two Hawaiian ladies (pic is at top of blog)and it was just beautiful. The shop owner advised you can buy the original which was out of my budget for that trip but I am definitely buying one soon so I opted for two amazing prints one was of the Hawaiian Girls.

I was ecstatic with my purchases as I had been looking to buy something that when I looked at it, it would remind me of Hawaii and how special qualites of Hawaii and these prints did evoke that feeling for me . I then saw a signature on the print and it read “Kat Reeder” so when I arrived home I looked up Kat Reeder and was delighted to see her pictures they really bring a smile to your face.

Kat Reeder is an illustrator and designer living on Oahu’s western shore. Her artistic sensibilities are deeply rooted in her Latin-American heritage. Her use of color and texture are directly influenced by her love of the Hawaiian islands as you can tell when you view her work.Kat Reeder’s work is characterized by striking retro-inspired visuals that combine conversational drawing, photography and digital media. Her themes range from Hawaiian to vibrant coquettes bursting with light and color. Kat draw inspiration from commercial art and packing from 70s and 80s.

Kat Reeder’s work is  simply beautiful check out her web page you can order online and I know I will be, as  the Hawaiin Girls original print as well as several others  will be mine.

Thank you Kat Reeder for your amazing, beautiful artwork which not only sends me back to the shores of Hawaii but puts a smile on my face. Mahalo.

Check out www.greenroomhawaii.com and www.katreeder.com is a must see.

Now to end my Hawaiian adventure I will leave you this …Now everyone has seen the  movie "BIG",right??? You know where the young boy goes to the Zoltar machine and wishes he was Big. Well on my last night in Hawaii I saw the machine (except it was called Swami, pic below ) but it was the same thing you put a coin in and made your wish and then out came out a card.

I made my wish and I wished to come back to Hawaii very soon and stay longer and the card popped out and it read “your wish is granted”. :)  Woo Hoo

Next blog I will have the best low calorie cookie recipes and my version of the quickest and yummiest Bread and Butter pudding as well as amazing Chefs to read about.

Until next time Keep laughing and baking !!


  1. Hi Matthew,
    Thank you for your comment : )Too long indeed.
    I will be doing regular blogs next one is about upcoming Chefs to look out for and of course some yummy recipes.