Fueling up for adventures
I travel to eat.
Food is important. Food is experience. Food is ubiquitous.
Hawaii is not a food destination. It’s not bad, but it’s not exciting either. If you are into delicious greasy food, then you’ll enjoy Hawaiian lunch plate dishes. I did for sure. But the only thing I will actually miss fondly is poke. And no, poke cafes in NYC are lame in comparison to Hawaiian hole-in-the-wall shops.
Matt had discovered poke when we tried Ahi Assassins in Honolulu (it had a perfect 5-star review on Google with many reviews). He ordered double portion and then went back and bought more… Disregard unappetizing look. That poke was excellent (I ordered another portion as well).
The second poke was in Kona on the Big Island at Umeke’s. We didn’t ask for a repeat this time, but it was delicious nevertheless. The purple thing on a side is taro or poi or sweet potato… Pick your preferred name. It’s a cultural staple in Hawaiian cuisine, almost like regular white potato in Ukraine. However, Ukrainians don’t have desserts made out of it, while poi-based sweets are a thing.
Another staple of Hawaiian lunch plate is Loco Moco: a burger patty with egg on top drowning in gravy over rice. It tastes exactly how it sounds. If you like food like that, it’s delicious. If not…
Right next to it is ox tail soup (because I wanted to try everything), which also appeared on most menus. Simple (oxtail, cabbage, ginger and light broth) and tasty.
Another day, another soup: seimin. A hybrid of ramen and Chinese soups. It was also light but filling, a good lunch option.
Then I had to try shaved ice. Hm… I just got cold and tired of eating it.
One pound laulau after the Waimanu valley hike… Cabbage stuffed with pork. And more pork on the side. Pork is probably the most common meat in Hawaiian cuisine.
The red thing is salmon salsa. We ate it on a few occasions and it was actually quite good.
Food from a Thai truck: drunken noodles and red curry (Matt was very hungry and I let him buy 2 orders of noodles and one curry for the two of us… Big mistake!)
Despite its looks (we had to eat in the car as it was pouring outside), it was one of the best meals we had in Hawaii. Spicy and super flavorful! We couldn’t finish it though… I still feel guilty for the destiny of the leftovers 🙁
This was our last lunch in Waikiki. We found a Korean BBQ lunch place with good reviews (well justified) and ordered the meatiest dish on the menu. When I asked for a side of kimchi, the woman who worked there exclaimed: you know kimchi?! Hm…
The fancier version of food on the islands was called Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. We tried it on a few occasions.
This was our dinner at the Volcano House with no volcano in view (it was hiding behind thick fog and misty rain). I ordered mahi mahi wrapped in grilled pineapple on a rice cake. And Matt had opa (fish) with banana and bok choy.
Fish in Hawaii was really good, no matter the cooking style or price. I even had fish for breakfast. With a side of macadamia nut pancakes. When on vacation… I eat like on vacation 🙂
As for our camping food… That was an adventure! It took a considerable amount of effort to figure out how to use our camping stove. So on the first night we cooked using camp fire (Matt is very good at making camp fires!).
If you consider grilling spam and pastrami as “cooking”…
Then we finally made that stove work! The result? Warm oatmeal with peanut butter and freshly brewed coffee for breakfast 😋
For our next camping adventure we got really greedy and brought pasta, rice, canned chilli and tuna. Heavy stuff but well worth it after a grueling hike.
Matt loves pasta and dynamite chilli… it’s his favorite childhood food.
Hm… I focus a lot on food. But why not? I love food 🙂