Archive for May, 2014

Grand Cafe's family favorites

By
May 14th, 2014



Fried rice with roast pork and lup cheong is one of the family favorites to be featured as an occasional special at Grand Cafe & Bakery. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

FRIED RICE WITH ROAST PORK AND LUP CHEONG IS ONE OF THE FAMILY FAVORIES TO BE FEATURED AS AN OCCASIONAL SPECIAL AT GRAND CAFE & BAKERY.

Tucked away inside the Hawaii State Art Museum, Grand Cafe & Bakery doesn't get the street traffic of more visible restaurants, but for those who haven't discovered this downtown oasis, it's worth a visit.

Since moving to the site about a year-and-half ago, from its former Pauahi and Smith street location, the cafe has focused on classic dishes for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Beginning this month, they've also begun offering their Chang-Vierra clan family favorite dishes as a series of weekly specials every Tuesday and Wednesday, introducing two dishes at a time. My full write-up appears in the paper on May 14.

Last week it was a delicious beef rib stew ($15.50) with a side of pickled onions, and silky mac 'n' cheese ($10.50) combining brie, aged white cheddar and Parmesan with a creamy mornay sauce, topped with the crisp of a panko crust.

MEATY BEEF STEW WITH A SIDE OF ONIONS.

MEATY BEEF STEW WITH A SIDE OF ONIONS.

This is among the best mac 'n' cheese combos I've tasted. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

THIS IS AMONG THE BEST MAC 'N' CHEESE COMBOS I'VE TASTED.

Seems like these two should be on the menu every day, but it'll just leave you counting the days until they reappear June 3 and 4, and July 1 and 2.

The rest of the schedule for the month:

MAY 14

» Meat Loaf: A comfort staple made with beef and pork, $15.50.

» Chicken Tofu: A crowd pleaser attributed to co-owner Patsy Izumo, $14.75.

The Chang-Vierra clan's pickled roast pork makes its debut on the Grand Cafe menu May 20 and 21. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

THE CHANG-VIERRA CLAN'S PICKLED ROAST PORK MAKES ITS DEBUT ON THE GRAND CAFE MENU MAY 20 AND MAY 21.

MAY 21 AND MAY 22

» Pickled Pork Roast: A variation of the Portuguese vinho d’alhos ($15) created by chef Anthony Vierra's grandmother Elsie Ho Chang.

» Fried Rice: A family favorite ($12.75) cooked up by Vierra's grandfather Yun Kui “Yankee” Chang, chief statistician for Honolulu Rapid Transit Co. and stage, TV and film actor. It was enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Vierra now recreeates it to the best of his memory, not skimping on the char siu or lup cheong and roast pork flavor.

MAY 27 AND MAY 28

» Shoyu Chicken: A family favorite made with shiitake mushrooms, $14.

» Baked Beans and Hot Dogs: A small kid time favorite, made with another island classic, Gouvea sausage, $11.50.

Other classic dishes you'll find on the regular menu:

Caption goes here. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

HIGHLY CRAVEABLE NEW ORLEANS-STYLE BANANAS FOSTER FRENCH TOAST ($12.50). ADD $1.25 FOR A LA MODE.

Old-fashioned German-style corned beef hash with housemade brisket and a generous sprinkling of nutmeg. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

OLD-FASHIONED GERMAN-STYLE CORNED BEEF HASH WITH HOUSEMADE BRISKET AND A GENEROUS SPRINKLING OF NUTMEG.

Photographs lining the walls of Grand Cafe allow diners to step back into time. The scale of the streets and territorial style buildings made old Honolulu look more like a big city then than today. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

PHOTOS LINING THE WALLS OF GRAND CAFE ALLOW DINERS TO STEP BACK INTO TIME. THE SCALE OF THE STREETS AND TERRITORIAL-STYLE BUILDINGS MADE OLD HONOLULU LOOK MORE LIKE A BIG CITY THAN TODAY.

Grand Cafe & Bakery is on the ground floor of the Hawaii State Art Museum, 250 S. Hotel St. Open 7:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and for Sunday brunch from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sundays. Call (808) 531-0001 for reservations.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; see her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instragram and Rebel Mouse.

BLT says thanks to military

By
May 13th, 2014



Military personnel with valid I.D. will receive a discount at BLT Steak on Armed Forces Day. This is a seafood selection from the restaurant's raw bar. (Courtesy BLT Steak)

COURTESY BLT STEAK

Military personnel with valid I.D. will receive a discount at BLT Steak on Armed Forces Day. This is a seafood selection from the restaurant's raw bar.

BLT Steak Waikiki is honoring all military on Saturday, Armed Forces Day, by inviting all active and retired military personnel to enjoy 50 percent off dinner for up to two, or 20 percent off tables of three or more on that day.

Just present your military ID card to redeem. The discount does not apply to tax and gratuity.

At the bar. (Courtesy BLT Steak)

At the bar.

BLT Steak is in the Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk, 223 Saratoga Road. Call (808) 683-7440 for reservations.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage appears in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instragram and Rebel Mouse.

Stage to offer afternoon tea

By
May 8th, 2014



Tea at 1024's Michele Henry has partnered with Stage executive chef Ron de Guzman and pastry chef Canin Sabey to create Afternoon Low Tea every Wednesday at Stage restaurant's Lime Lounge, on the second floor of the Honolulu Design Center. The first seats for the elegant afternoon tea service will be available next week.

In England, where the ritual originated, low tea was served at 4 p.m. to tide people over until supper at about 8 p.m. The "low" in low tea referred to parlor coffee tables where the casual afternoon teas took place, versus high teas that took place later in the evening, often in place of supper, at regular dinner tables.

This tea will be served at low tables across from the bar. The service will feature tea sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, yuzu lilikoi curd, strawberry preserves, marmalade and vanilla bean-honey butter lightened with cream, and various petit fours.

There are alternative options for the gluten-free set. Instead of sandwiches, those who are gluten-intolerant will enjoy an assortment of vegetable and savory canapes, and their own platter of desserts.

The tea can accommodate 30 people. Advance reservations and a deposit are required for parties of 10 or more. The cost will be $34.95 per person, or $54.95 per person for Tattinger champagne service, with one glass per person; additional glasses will be available for purchase.

Stage is at 1250 Kapiolani Blvd. Call (808) 237-5429.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; see her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instragram and Rebel Mouse.

Sushi on rails at Waikele

By
May 2nd, 2014



Genki Sushi Waikele's new double-rail system officially debuts tomorrow. — Gary Hofheimer Photography

Genki Sushi Waikele's new double-rail system officially debuts Friday. (Courtesy Gary Hofheimer Photography)

Genki Sushi has a long headstart over the Honolulu rail project. The first Genki Bullet Express system installed last July at the Ala Moana store was so popular, the company has now brought it to Waikele Center. The newly renovated restaurant will open its doors Friday.

Utilizing the latest Japan magnetic technology, the rail system allows diners to place their orders at a touch-screen panel, then have their meal arrive by mini Bullet Train, F-1 Race Cars, Surf Board, Space Shuttle, and more, sure to be popular with keiki.

Where the Ala Moana store has one rail system in place, the Waikele store, with seats for 98, will have three systems installed to deal with area traffic.

Oh, and Luddites need not worry. The conveyor belt system hasn't gone away, and at peak meal times, when the sushi and other dishes are abundant and moving quickly, non-fussy eaters will find little reason to use the train.

The staff gathered for a blessing May 1. — Ritsuko Kukonu photo

The staff gathered for a blessing May 1. (Courtesy Ritsuko Kukonu)

But during slower times, when not as much food is placed on the line, the system allow you to quickly and easily place orders that are shuttled directly to you. Remove the plate and push a yellow button on the rail panel to send the cars back to the kitchen.

Certain menu items also give you access to a slot game in which you can win small prizes with a three-of-a-kind match.

During a private preview party Thursday, the system worked great. The only glitch was receiving a dish we didn't order. We sent it straight back to the kitchen and watched as staffers in the kitchen conferred over what to do. They sent it straight back. We kept it on the second go 'round, but wondered how long this game would have continued before someone came out to talk to us.

Not that they are lacking for service. In spite of the technology, there was also an abundance of human help. I like that.

Touch the screen to order. It's as intuitive as using your tablet or phone. — Nadine Kam photo

Touch the screen to order. It's as intuitive as using your tablet or phone. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

Old school touch. There is plenty of staff to help school tech-challenged diners and offer service the old-fashioned way.

Old school touch. There is plenty of staff to help school tech-challenged diners and offer service the old-fashioned way. (Courtesy Ritsuko Kukonu)

One of the rail "cars" bearing seared garlic salmon. — Nadine Kam photo

One of the rail "cars" bearing seared garlic salmon. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

Among dishes lifted off the old-fashioned conveyor belt were pumpkin tempura, hotate-topped shrimp tempura roll, and onion-topped salmon nigiri.

Among dishes lifted off the old-fashioned conveyor belt were pumpkin tempura, hotate-topped shrimp tempura roll, and onion-topped salmon nigiri. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

The newly renovated Waikele Genki Sushi, at 94-799 Lumiaina St., opens Friday. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. Call (808) 678-3180.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instragram and Rebel Mouse.

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