Archive for February, 2014

First course: Goofy Cafe embraces local

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February 6th, 2014



goofyfishGrilled mahimahi with chardonnay butter and local vegetables. — Nadine Kam photos

In the old model of national invasions, the conquerors would plow over native cultures and instill their own set of values and traditions. The current tide of Japanese investment in our islands is much more respectful. It would seem they like us, they really do, and many, like Goofy Cafe—which I reviewed Feb. 5 in the Star-Advertiser—are doing what they can to help us negotiate a changing world to preserve what we can of our land, sea and culture.

I feel a similar protective instinct toward China. If I had the proper global standing, I would have told their leaders 20 years ago, look at us and learn from our mistakes. Don't promote the automobile. Don't build super highways. Keep your bikes; promote public transportation. They did the opposite to the detriment of their air and quality of life.

At the front of executive chef Keigo Yoshimoto's menu is Goofy's Traceability Report, as well as its food policy, which is "Local first, organic whenever possible." About 80 percent of its food and condiments are sourced locally, from the basics of Kunia tomatoes, Ewa onions and Big Island Kulana Ranch beef, to rum from Lahaina, and honey and vanilla from the Big Island.

The surf-themed cafe is very comfy, done up in rustic style with a warm wood interior. "Goofy" is a surf/skate/board sport reference to that small proportion of goofy-footed boarders who lead with their right, instead of more common left, foot.

These right-footed folks are viewed as being more artistic and rebellious, terms that reflect nicely on the cafe. Here's a look at a few of the dishes.
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Goofy Cafe is at 1831 Ala Moana Boulevard, Suite 201, in front of the Grand Waikikian Hotel. Call 808.943.0077. Open 7 to 11 a.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch, and 4 to 11 p.m. for dinner. Also www.goofy-honolulu.com

goofykaleKale namul.

goofyajilloA special of Big Island abalone ajillo, with plenty of garlic cloves. There is also a Hamakua mushroom version available daily. The textures are similar.

goofycornKahuku corn penne with cream sauce. (more…)

Crystal Cruises Serenity, journey of 4 hours

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February 6th, 2014



crystalAt the entry to Crystal Cruises Serenity ship, with first- and second-story lounges.Nadine Kam photos

I'm always looking for different dining experiences, so that's how I found myself on board Crystal Cruises Serenity when it docked in Honolulu Harbor Jan. 25 as part of its "Pacific Ocean Odyssey" voyage to Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan, with stops in Guam and Saipan.

While in harbor, cruise passengers are allowed to invite friends on board for dinner, or you might be able to arrange it as part of a sales tour.

I've heard about Crystal Cruises wonderful restaurants, and have always been intrigued by the idea of cruise dining because it can be several days before the ship arrives in ports allowing the pantry to be restocked, no such thing as emergency shopping. While in Hawaii, I definitely saw regional influences on the menu in the formal Crystal Dining Room.

Once on board, it's very tempting to stow away. Who wouldn't want to head on to Tokyo, without the hassle of air travel?

Only the idea of leaving our pets at home to starve over the next few weeks got us to our feet before the ship set sail at midnight.

cdiningroomThe Crystal Dining Room.

crystalcasinoThe journey to Tokyo takes seven days. When you're not dining, you can spend time in the casino. It was tempting to put some money in the slot machines, but they are locked when the ship reaches Honolulu Harbor.

crystalsalmonSalmon tataki and poke salad with julienne carrots, daikon and beets. (more…)

First course: Kaiseki returns to Hiroshi

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February 5th, 2014



hitakoBraised island tako was the second course served up during the inaugural New Age Kaiseki dinner at Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas. — Nadine Kam photos

The kaiseki dinner has long been a draw at Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas, but the concept was put on hold after namesake chef Hiroshi Fukui's departure last August.

With the new year, the kaiseki dinner returned on Jan. 28, now showcasing the work of executive chef John Iha, exec sous chef Axelrod Colobang, and pastry chef Cherie Pascua, a former James Beard nominee.

The trio honed their skills in Hiroshi’s kitchen, and are moving beyond “Eurasion”— a fusion of European and Asian aesthetic, opening the menu to a world of flavors and ingredients. Even so, the menu is rooted in local meat, seafood and produce in the belief that helping local producers enriches the entire community in terms of sustainability and livelihood.

The nine-course "New Age Kaiseki" dinner was priced at $75 per person, with six-course wine pairing set at $25.

To get on the mailing list for future dinners, email cgomez@dkresturants.com.

Here's what was on the inaugural menu:

carpaccioFirst course: Mekajiki carpaccio with sesame oil-chive relish, chili pepper water vinaigrette, micro greens and truffle oil. Accompanied by Birichino Malvasia Bianca. (more…)

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