Archive for January, 2014

First course: Nagomi Teppan & Lounge

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January 14th, 2014



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Chef Victor Jian prepares at dish of Nagomi special soba, below, at the newly open Nagomi Teppan & Lounge.Nadine Kam photos

The teppan restaurant is open; the bar and lounge is a work in progress, so I'm waiting to go back when I can see the complete package. In the meantime, you can check out Nagomi Teppan & Lounge.

Okonomiyaki and negiyaki are specialties here, but on a first visit, I liked many of their appetizers and side dishes more, as well as the simplicity of teppan-grilled seafood. The menu is full of  options for those who crave variety and izakaya-portioned grazing.

Note: Prices subject to change.
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The restaurant is at 1687 Kapiolani Boulevard, across from 24 Hour Fitness. Parking in back of the restaurant. Call 312-3534.

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Nagomi special soba, $16.50, with calamari, shrimp, jumbo scallops, tiger prawns, thin-sliced pork, cabbage and onions.

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Garlic jumbo scallops, $13, with crispy garlic bits on top. Yum! (more…)

Keizo Shimamoto brings his famed ramen burger to Taste

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January 13th, 2014



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Keizo Shimamoto's famed ramen burger is coming to town.

The creation of the blogger-turned-chef became an instant hit when it debuted at Brooklyn's Smorgasburg last August.

In the beginning, 300 people lined up for one of his 150 ramen burgers. These days, he can sell 700 burgers in four hours.

You'll be able to get a taste at Taste Table in Kakaako, beginning 11 a.m. Jan. 15, until 700 burgers—at $10 a pop—are gone.

In a press release statement, Shimamoto said, "My grandfather was born in Hawai’i and many of my relatives from the Shimamoto family tree still live there, so it was only natural that I take the Ramen Burger to Honolulu."

The ramen burger comprises a burger patty sandwiched between fried Sun Noodle ramen noodles, with a secret shoyu-based sauce and spiced arugula.

Shimamoto, who's second-generation Japanese, began exploring his culinary roots by sampling ramen everywhere he went, and writing about it on his Go Ramen blog.

When the subprime mortgage crisis hit, he quit his mortgage company job and moved to Japan, where he worked at noodle shops and saw people eating a ramen sandwich with chashu pork, fueling his idea for a Japanese take on an all-American classic.

Can't wait to try it!
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Taste Table is at 667 Auahi St.

 

Jamba Juice introduces Whole Food Nutrition smoothies

By
January 13th, 2014



 

Jamba Complete Nutrition Smoothies Photo

Jamba Juice photo

On the heels of my juice cleanse, Jamba Juice is celebrating the new year with the unveiling of its new Whole Food Nutrition™ smoothies.

Whole Food Nutrition smoothies are made with whole food ingredients including kale, carrots, chia seeds and Greek yogurt. With 10 to 14 grams of protein, these smoothies were created to provide balanced nutrition and serve as a convenient breakfast, lunch or snack on-the-go, and are available in three flavors:

Kale-ribbean Breeze: A tasty blend of mangos, kale, passion-mango juice, Greek yogurt and chia seeds, delivering protein and fiber, Omega-3s and a full serving of kale.

PB Chocolate Love: A blend of chocolate, peanut butter, bananas and 2% milk for protein and fiber, plus a full serving of whole grains.

Carrot Orange Fusion: A blend of fresh orange juice, whole carrots, Greek yogurt, soymilk, mangos, bananas and chia seeds that works as a good source of protein, fiber and Omega-3s, with a full serving of veggies.

Post detox: Return to normalcy in the new year

By
January 2nd, 2014



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The table was set with beautiful lacquerware at Kensei Takeda's Japanese new year dinner.Nadine Kam photos

New Year's Day marked Day 2 of my return from Blue Tree Cafe's five-day "Renew" juice cleanse. I'd been slowly introducing solid foods back to my diet, and after starting the morning with a banana, another handful of raw, unsalted almonds, and lunch of more of my homemade chicken soup, dinner would mark my return to normalcy.

I had been invited to a friend's home for what was described as "a little traditional Japanese New Year's food." Knowing Kensei, it probably would not be a little, but it would be healthful, and delicious. It sounded ideal for my return to social dining.

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"Creation namasu" of cauliflower and Japanese cucumber marinated in ume and rice wine vinegar, topped with turkey bacon and cracked black pepper.

Of course his idea of "traditional" involves what he calls "Creation," a bit of fusion and contemporary interpretation. Traditional foods and ingredients such as ozoni, mizuna and mochi, were not to be found, for instance. He explained that every year in Japan, people die after choking on mizuna and mochi so he wanted to offer alternatives.

The resulting meal numbered eight courses presented on a mix of antique Wajma, Imari and Noritake porcelain, Japan Imperial household lacquerware, European crystal and ceramic ware by the artist Nanzan, whose work also inspires meals at the Pensacola Street restaurant Nanzan Giro Giro.

It was a lot of food, though the meal comprised mostly vegetables, and I rationalized that most of it would have filled only two of the 16-ounce juice jars I was ingesting over a two-hour period the past few days. With dinner spread over three-and-a-half hours, it worked out fine.

Did I overeat? I would say yes, by five dishes, but it was worth every bite on this special occasion.

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Second course of steamed edamame potsticker topped with a light Middle Eastern style sauce of tomato, onions and cumin.

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New Year Osechi platter including kuro-mame (black soybeans) signifying good health, datemaki (sweet rolled omelet), kamaboko topped with uni,  kazunoko (herring roe) with a touch of yuzu, and chestnut purée.
(more…)

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