Archive for March, 2015

Shokudo giving away $10k

By
March 11th, 2015



Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar celebrated 10 years in Hawaii with a media party on its Kapiolani Boulevard open-air patio on March 10.

Wine and Kirin frozen foam beer flowed, while guests nibbled on pupu including roast pork, potstickers, fried rice and arabiki sausages, ordered hand-rolled sushi, and sampled the month's anniversary special of maple-bacon honey toast.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comOrdering Shokudo's anniversary maple-bacon honey toast this month could win you $1,000.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Ordering Shokudo's anniversary maple-bacon honey toast this month could make you $1,000 richer.

It's a three-tier monster of a dessert which, playing off Willy Wonka, could be your golden ticket toward winning $1,000. Each order of the maple-bacon honey toast — $19.95 and available for purchase with any food item — will come with a gold envelope containing a prize ranging from a $10 discount coupon for your next visit to the restaurant, to one of 10 $1,000 cash prizes.

Other prizes include surfboards and golf clubs.

Kirin frozen foam beer was in demand.

Kirin frozen foam beer was in demand.

Shokudo is marking its 10th anniversary, and will soon debut a new menu, as well as a sister restaurant next door, specializing in tapas and Italian fare.

Shokudo is marking its 10th anniversary, and will soon debut a new menu, as well as a sister restaurant next door, specializing in tapas and Italian fare.

Hamachi, and salmon and avocado, were among handroll sushi options.

Hamachi, and salmon and avocado, were among handroll sushi options.

Plenty of soybeans served as pupu.

Plenty of soybeans served as pupu.

Crunchy arabiki sausage isn't on Shokudo's current recipe, but it should be!

Crunchy arabiki sausage isn't on Shokudo's current recipe, but it should be!

The honey toast aftermath. Four people only managed to polish off 1-1/2 layers of the three-tiered dessert.

The honey toast aftermath. Four people only managed to polish off 1-1/2 layers of the three-tiered dessert.

The restaurant will roll out new menu items next month and will also unveil its sister restaurant next door, in the former Angelo Pietro space. I'm looking forward to trying its tapas and Italian fare.

Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar is in the Ala Moana Pacific Center, 1585 Kapiolani Boulevard. Call (808) 941-3701.

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

New year sparks dau lau memories

By
March 3rd, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comDau Lau, or Dau Lo, was a surprise treat at Grand Cafe and Bakery's Chinese new year celebration. We picked up the mochi with a toothpick, and that's a piece of candied lotus in the background.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Dau Lau, or Dau Lo, was a surprise treat at Grand Cafe and Bakery's Chinese new year celebration. We picked up the mochi with a toothpick, and that's a piece of candied lotus in the background.

Grand Cafe and Bakery hosted a Chinese New Year celebration Thursday at the Hawaii State Art Museum, with new year delicacies on the table and lion dancers from Saam Fu Chinese Cultural Arts.

What was amazing was the power of food to bring back forgotten memories from my childhood that had been wiped away by every outside-my-own-heritage food experience I've had since then. I may be Chinese by blood, but all-American by culture, and that culture is so strong I remember making pancakes with my mom and siblings as a bonding experience because I see pancakes all the time.

But I forgot we shared that same experience making dau lau, or dau lo, soft mochi dumplings coated with crushed peanuts and brown sugar.

It was one of the sweets served up by Grand Cafe and Bakery chef owner Mona Chang Vierra and her son Anthony Kui Sin Vierra, and I don't even think I recognized it on sight. But as soon as I tasted it, I thought, "Hey, I made this with my mom when I was a kid. How come she stopped making this?"

Well, we kids grew up. There are things people are willing to do for others and offspring that seem like luxuries or humbug to do for oneself. I know this because I cooked at least four evenings a week when my husband Christopher was alive. He was always fun to cook for because he was the most loving and appreciative audience a woman could have.

Absent that cheerleading and support, I feel no desire to cook for myself when the prep takes hours and the payoff lasts 15 minutes.

Shrimp chips and salad.

Shrimp chips and salad.

Look funn rolls.

Look funn rolls.

Kalua pork bau.

Kalua pork bau.

Grand Cafe is all about maintaining a legacy of family ties and recipes. During the event, I also enjoyed picking candied dried fruit from The Tray of Togetherness as a sweet way to start the new year. I haven't enjoyed these since the closing of Chinatown's Shung Chong Yuein, so it was nice to nibble on candied coconut symbolic of togetherness, and lotus root, representing abundance.

I'm left wondering what else I may have forgotten in my journey through life.

Patsy Izumo and Mona Chang Vierra, foreground, feed the lions at Grand Cafe and Bakery's Chinese new year celebration.

Patsy Izumo and Mona Chang Vierra, foreground, feed the lions at Grand Cafe and Bakery's Chinese new year celebration.

Chef Anthony Vierra is also blessed by the lion.

Chef Anthony Vierra is also blessed by the lion.

It's always fun to watch kids respond to the lions.

It's always fun to watch kids respond to the lions.

There's a science to this phenomenon of recall through smell and taste. Food molecules reach the olfactory bulb that is part of the brain's limbic system, associated with memory and feeling, and this prompts instant recall of memories and the people, places and emotions linked with them.

That just tells me how important it is to share family meals together. You don't want your kid one day recalling, "Oh yeah, I used to eat this when I was all alone in my room watching YouTube."

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

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