Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014

Not sure if the statue in #1 is still there, but it was for sure in 2008. 8) Had to blur #2 cause was too duck soup, and #3 I think can! Shoots!

Last week‘s Winnahs:
* Liliha Bakery (che)
* Keeaumoku Walmart (che & Lia)
* Simply Organized (Lia)

Photo #1
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 30, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 30, 2014

Photo #2
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 30, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 30, 2014

Photo #3
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 30, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 30, 2014


SCOOPS!

* SPOTTED!
Former Advertiser blogger Cat Toth and I recently teamed up to host/promote Hawaiian Electric Companies’ The Electric Kitchen Home Recipe Contest, which just launched on Monday. If you have a killer home recipe that falls under one of the following three categories, we encourage you to submit it for a chance to win a $1,000 getaway!

  • Island Eats: Made with at least 50% local products
  • Ono on the Go: Recipes ready in 30 minutes of less
  • Eco Cuisine: Energy-saving recipes (using less electricity)

Check out our promo below…


Cat and I introduce the The Electric Kitchen Home Recipe Contest


WEEKLY VH07V UPDATES!

==============================
VH07V at the Yajima-Ya “Shop & Eat” Event!
THIS SATURDAY 8/02/14 (10am-3pm)!

==============================

THIS SATURDAY VH07V will be back again to hold our second “Shop & Eat” event at the Yajima-Ya Lunchwagon lot, but this time, we invited some friends! In addition to Yajima-Ya‘s meeeaaaan plate lunches and drinks from Ilandsoda, I’ve invited and confirmed the popular Eden In Love Boutique & Skylar Soares and her HiSky Hats!!! Cool right!?!? πŸ™‚ Can’t wait! So to summarize…

Visit VH07V at Eat & Shop Event at Yajima-Ya!
Visit VH07V at “Shop & Eat” Event at Yajima-Ya!

==============================
VH07V at the Made in Hawaii Festival!
8/15/14-8/17/14!

==============================

I literally just got an email yesterday asking if I wanted to participate in this year’s event (I was on the waiting list and someone dropped out). Just trying to confirm if I can get some last minute help in the booth, but most likely, VH07V will be there in full force! It’s the 20th Anniversary too! Can’t wait. It’ll be at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall during the following hours. Hope to see you there!

  • FRI 8/15 @ 10am-9pm
  • SAT 8/16 @ 10am-9pm
  • SUN 8/17 @ 10am-5pm

Visit VH07V at Eat & Shop Event at Yajima-Ya!
Visit VH07V at the Made in Hawaii Festival!

==============================
VH07V at Rice Fest!
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2014 (11am-5pm)

==============================

As always, VH07V will be at the annual Rice Fest taking place from 11am-5pm on Sunday, September 28th at Ward Centers (we’re looking to block off part of Auahi Street fronting Ward Warehouse). Here’s the brand new commercial TV spot! Hope to see y’all there!


Visit VH07V at the 5th Annual Rice Fest!

* Mailing List
If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to get the latest scoops! I promise I don’t email too often (takes planny effort you know da kine! πŸ˜› ).

* Order Online!
Get all of the latest VH07V gear at:

VH07V Online Store - shop.vh07v.com
SHOP.VH07V.COM

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)

=============================================================

VH07V Facebook
VH07V FB
(“Like” VH07V!)
Facebook
Facebook
(Add me! πŸ˜› )
Twitter
Twitter
(Follow me!)
Blog
Blog
(Random stuffs)

=============================================================

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!
Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Advertisements

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 23, 2014

July 23, 2014

#1 is Duh! #s 2 & 3 are blurred on purpose. Hopefully not too obvious! πŸ˜‰ Chance um!

Last week‘s Winnahs:
* Shokudo (Blaine)
* California Pizza Kitchen (NOBODY)
* Pho808 (NOBODY)

Photo #1
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 23, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 23, 2014

Photo #2
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 23, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 23, 2014

Photo #3
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 23, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 23, 2014


SCOOPS!

* SPOTTED!
Unreal wave photographer Clark Little was recently spotted at his Gallery wearing some VH07V! So honored and stoked to see him in it!

Clark Little sharing some VH07V
Clark Little sharing some VH07V!

* Marcus Cancervive online Fundraiser!
My friend Marcus Reimel is battling a rare form of melanoma cancer called Mucosal Melanoma and needs your kokua through the online fundraiser called YouCaring. This is to help offset his mounting medical expenses. There are 9 days left in his fundraiser and he is almost there! ($20,940 raised of $25,000 goal) Please consider donating:

Marcus Cancervive Online Fundraiser
Marcus Cancervive Online Fundraiser


WEEKLY VH07V UPDATES!

* VH07V at Yajima-Ya “Shop & Eat” Event! – 8/02/14
In August, VH07V will be back again to hold our second “Shop & Eat” event at the Yajima-Ya Lunchwagon lot, but this time, there will be more than just us there! In addition to Yajima-Ya‘s meeeaaaan plate lunches and drinks from Ilandsoda, I’ve invited and confirmed the popular Eden In Love Boutique & Skylar Soares and her HiSky Hats!!! Cool right!?!? πŸ™‚ Can’t wait! So to summarize…

Visit VH07V at Eat & Shop Event at Yajima-Ya!
Visit VH07V at “Shop & Eat” Event at Yajima-Ya!

* VH07V at Rice Fest! – 9/28/14
It’s a bit out, but since we’ve already locked in the date, I figured I’d mention Rice Fest and VH07V‘s appearance there as well. πŸ™‚ It’ll be from 11am-5pm on Sunday, September 28th at Ward (blocking off part of Auahi Street fronting Ward Warehouse). Here’s the brand new commercial TV spot! Hope to see y’all there!


Visit VH07V at the 5th Annual Rice Fest!

* Mailing List
If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to get the latest scoops! I promise I don’t email too often (takes planny effort you know da kine! πŸ˜› ).

* Order Online!
Get all of the latest VH07V gear at:

VH07V Online Store - shop.vh07v.com
SHOP.VH07V.COM

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)

=============================================================

VH07V Facebook
VH07V FB
(“Like” VH07V!)
Facebook
Facebook
(Add me! πŸ˜› )
Twitter
Twitter
(Follow me!)
Blog
Blog
(Random stuffs)

=============================================================

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!
Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Joy of Sake Info & How-To Guide

July 18, 2014

Tonight, at the Hawaii Convention Center, the world’s largest sake celebration outside Japan takes place, offering the opportunity to taste 370 premium labels in peak condition and eat ono kine grindz from 19 top restaurants from Hawaii and California! I think it’s still not too late to purchase your Joy of Sake tickets for the event, so go getum!

Joy of Sake
Joy of Sake

The following is a guide for those who will be attending this year.

Joy of Sake how-to guide – (from Frolic Hawaii’s Mari Taketa)

  1. Nobody gets through all 370 sake, so stop worrying about that. Thirty to 40 is a very good sampling.
  2. If you’ve never tried sake, start with a daiginjo A. It’ll be floral, nuanced, gentle, a good intro.
  3. Check the card in front of each sake: It’ll tell you if judges awarded it a gold or silver star in its category. No star doesn’t mean it’s bad. The overall level of sake entered in Joy of Sake judging is impressive and hard to match even in Japan, where the JOS tour ends this fall after a stop in New York next month.
  4. If you see a black star, that sake isn’t available in the U.S. The card also tells you where it was made, in case you’re interested in sake from a particular region.
  5. If you’re a novice, don’t worry about searching for the harmony of taste, aroma, body and texture the pros look for. Everyone will have a different personal favorite. Just sip to find what you like.

Crab Parfait with dashi gelee, soy milk mousse and crunchy green beans - from Kaiwa
Crab Parfait with dashi gelee, soy milk mousse and crunchy green beans – from Kaiwa

And here’s the list of restaurants and their featured dishes for the night!

  • Banzai Sushi Bar – Seared Opah marinated in vinegar, dashi and soy sauce with lemon, garden vegetables and needle-cut chili peppers
  • BLT Steak – Torched Steak Tartare with rice crisp & horseradish
  • Buho Cocina y Cantina – Slow-cooked Pork Belly Tacos with pineapple pico and achiote aioli on homemade tortillas
  • Cakeworks – Plum Wine, Pikake & Green Tea Gelee
  • Chef Chai – Shrimp Salad with lemongrass mango dressing on a crispy wonton chip
  • Doraku – Dashimaki Tamago with minced scallop, shrimp, Kona kampachi and yamaimo mountain yam
  • Gokujo Sushi – Gokujo spicy ahi or California temaki sushi
  • Halekulani – Olive Oil-poached Cubed Salmon with horseradish and watercress salad
  • Hoku’s (The Kahala Hotel & Resort) – Roast Pork Summer Roll with umeboshi honey paste & Asian slaw
  • Hopscotch (Oakland) – Tri-tip Yukke with pine nuts and quail egg
  • Kaiwa – Crab Parfait with dashi gelee, soy milk mousse and crunchy green beans
  • Koko Head Cafe – Mazemen Soba with crispy chicken skin, parmesan dashi cream and carmelized onion tsuyu
  • Memphis Minnie’s BBQ Joint (San Francisco) – 18-hour slow-smoked Texas Beef Brisket
  • Migrant Maui – Migrant Adobo with mushrooms, bay leaf rice, atchara pickled green papaya and Boy Bawang
  • MW Restaurant – “Spam” Musubi of mochi-crusted smoked pork and arabiki meatloaf
  • The Pig and The Lady – Freshly grilled layers of betel leaf, minced garlic beef and a shiitake cap filled with sake and a drop of artisan Red Boat
  • Pili Group – Molokai Venison with Namihana Hawaiian Shochu and fresh pa`i`ai
  • Three Fat Pigs – Featured Dish: Kauai Shrimp Poisson Cru
  • Vintage Cave Honolulu – Featured Dish: Oyster with yuzu & ginger

Mazemen Soba with crispy chicken skin, parmesan dashi cream and carmelized onion tsuyu - from Koko Head Cafe
Mazemen Soba with crispy chicken skin, parmesan dashi cream and carmelized onion tsuyu – from Koko Head Cafe

Joy of Sake Honolulu
Friday, July 18, 2014 from 6:30pm-9pm (5:30pm for early bird ticket holders)
Hawaii Convention Center
1801 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815

Freshly grilled layers of betel leaf, minced garlic beef and a shiitake cap filled with sake and a drop of artisan Red Boat - from The Pig and The Lady
Freshly grilled layers of betel leaf, minced garlic beef and a shiitake cap filled with sake and a drop of artisan Red Boat – from The Pig and The Lady

=============================================================

VH07V Facebook
VH07V FB
(“Like” VH07V!)
Facebook
Facebook
(Add me! πŸ˜› )
Twitter
Twitter
(Follow me!)
Blog
Blog
(Random stuffs)

=============================================================

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!
Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014

All food today gangy… Tons of possibilities. Guess away! πŸ™‚

Last time‘s Winnahs:
* Laie Beach (Nobody)
* Hawaii State Capitol (carokun)
* Cafe Kaila (carokun)

Photo #1
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 16, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 16, 2014

Photo #2
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 16, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 16, 2014

Photo #3
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 16, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 16, 2014


SCOOPS!

* Joy of Sake is THIS FRIDAY!
Did you get your tickets to this year’s Joy of Sake event yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Purchase your Joy of Sake tickets today and attend the world’s largest sake celebration outside Japan, offering the opportunity to taste 370 premium labels in peak condition and eat ono kine grindz from 19 top restaurants from Hawaii and California!

Joy of Sake
Joy of Sake

For those of you who got your tickets, here’s a handy Joy of Sake how-to guide (from Frolic Hawaii’s Mari Taketa) on how best to approach your JOS experience:

  1. Nobody gets through all 370 sake, so stop worrying about that. Thirty to 40 is a very good sampling.
  2. If you’ve never tried sake, start with a daiginjo A. It’ll be floral, nuanced, gentle, a good intro.
  3. Check the card in front of each sake: It’ll tell you if judges awarded it a gold or silver star in its category. No star doesn’t mean it’s bad. The overall level of sake entered in Joy of Sake judging is impressive and hard to match even in Japan, where the JOS tour ends this fall after a stop in New York next month.
  4. If you see a black star, that sake isn’t available in the U.S. The card also tells you where it was made, in case you’re interested in sake from a particular region.
  5. If you’re a novice, don’t worry about searching for the harmony of taste, aroma, body and texture the pros look for. Everyone will have a different personal favorite. Just sip to find what you like.

Joy of Sake
Joy of Sake

And here’s the list of restaurants and their featured dishes for the night!

  • Banzai Sushi Bar – Seared Opah marinated in vinegar, dashi and soy sauce with lemon, garden vegetables and needle-cut chili peppers
  • BLT Steak – Torched Steak Tartare with rice crisp & horseradish
  • Buho Cocina y Cantina – Slow-cooked Pork Belly Tacos with pineapple pico and achiote aioli on homemade tortillas
  • Cakeworks – Plum Wine, Pikake & Green Tea Gelee
  • Chef Chai – Shrimp Salad with lemongrass mango dressing on a crispy wonton chip
  • Doraku – Dashimaki Tamago with minced scallop, shrimp, Kona kampachi and yamaimo mountain yam
  • Gokujo Sushi – Gokujo spicy ahi or California temaki sushi
  • Halekulani – Olive Oil-poached Cubed Salmon with horseradish and watercress salad
  • Hoku’s (The Kahala Hotel & Resort) – Roast Pork Summer Roll with umeboshi honey paste & Asian slaw
  • Hopscotch (Oakland) – Tri-tip Yukke with pine nuts and quail egg
  • Kaiwa – Crab Parfait with dashi gelee, soy milk mousse and crunchy green beans
  • Koko Head Cafe – Mazemen Soba with crispy chicken skin, parmesan dashi cream and carmelized onion tsuyu
  • Memphis Minnie’s BBQ Joint (San Francisco) – 18-hour slow-smoked Texas Beef Brisket
  • Migrant Maui – Migrant Adobo with mushrooms, bay leaf rice, atchara pickled green papaya and Boy Bawang
  • MW Restaurant – “Spam” Musubi of mochi-crusted smoked pork and arabiki meatloaf
  • The Pig and The Lady – Freshly grilled layers of betel leaf, minced garlic beef and a shiitake cap filled with sake and a drop of artisan Red Boat
  • Pili Group – Molokai Venison with Namihana Hawaiian Shochu and fresh pa`i`ai
  • Three Fat Pigs – Featured Dish: Kauai Shrimp Poisson Cru
  • Vintage Cave Honolulu – Featured Dish: Oyster with yuzu & ginger

Joy of Sake Honolulu
Friday, July 18, 2014 from 6:30pm-9pm (5:30pm for early bird ticket holders)
Hawaii Convention Center
1801 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815

* New VH07V Polos!
We did a small run of Moisture Wicking Polos with white and neon yellow thread on our black blank. Came out pretty cherry yeah?

VH07V Polos
VH07V Polos!

* Marcus Cancervive online Fundraiser!
My friend Marcus Reimel is battling a rare form of melanoma cancer called Mucosal Melanoma and needs your kokua through the online fundraiser called YouCaring. This is to help offset his mounting medical expenses. There are 16 days left in his fundraiser and he is almost there! ($20,940 raised of $25,000 goal) Please consider donating:

Marcus Cancervive Online Fundraiser
Marcus Cancervive Online Fundraiser

* Thoughts on LeBron’s return to Cleveland?
* Thoughts on Jeter’s performance at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game?
* Thoughts on local political races?


WEEKLY VH07V UPDATES!

* VH07V at Yajima-Ya “Eat & Shop” Event! – 8/02/14
In August, VH07V will be back again to hold our second “Eat & Shop” event at the Yajima-Ya Lunchwagon lot, but this time, there will be more than just us there! In addition to Yajima-Ya‘s meeeaaaan plate lunches and drinks from Ilandsoda, I’ve invited and confirmed the popular Eden In Love Boutique & Skylar Soares and her HiSky Hats!!! Cool right!?!? πŸ™‚ Can’t wait! So to summarize…

Visit VH07V at Eat & Shop Event at Yajima-Ya!
Visit VH07V at “Eat & Shop” Event at Yajima-Ya!

* VH07V at Rice Fest! – 9/28/14
It’s a bit out, but since we’ve already locked in the date, I figured I’d mention Rice Fest and VH07V‘s appearance there as well. πŸ™‚ It’ll be from 11am-5pm on Sunday, September 28th at Ward (blocking off part of Auahi Street fronting Ward Warehouse). Hope to see y’all there!

Visit VH07V at the 5th Annual Rice Fest!
Visit VH07V at the 5th Annual Rice Fest!

* Mailing List
If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to get the latest scoops! I promise I don’t email too often (takes planny effort you know da kine! πŸ˜› ).

* Order Online!
Get all of the latest VH07V gear at:

VH07V Online Store - shop.vh07v.com
SHOP.VH07V.COM

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)

=============================================================

VH07V Facebook
VH07V FB
(“Like” VH07V!)
Facebook
Facebook
(Add me! πŸ˜› )
Twitter
Twitter
(Follow me!)
Blog
Blog
(Random stuffs)

=============================================================

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!
Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 9, 2014

July 9, 2014

Yes! Another week where all three photo locations were guessed correctly. Tryna find the right balance between posting pics that are too “duck soup” and those that are “das why hahhhd”. Will get the right pH balance one day… πŸ˜‰

Last time‘s Winnahs:
* Hanauma Bay Trail (makaha wahine)
* Alii Place (carokun)
* Kahului Airport (carokun)

Photo #1
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 9, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 9, 2014

Photo #2
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 9, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 9, 2014

Photo #3
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 9, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 9, 2014


SCOOPS!

* Spotted!
Another fun time was had at our last pop-up event at the 4th of July Spectacular at Schofield Barracks! Mahalo to all those Military members and their guests who stopped by the VH07V booth!

VH07V at the 2014 4th of July Spectacular!
VH07V at the 2014 4th of July Spectacular!
(pc: Traci Yoshioka)

* Joy of Sake is Coming Next Week!
Honolulu’s Joy of Sake event is the world’s largest sake celebration outside Japan, and is celebrating Hawaii’s hundred-year history with sake. The event offers the opportunity to taste 370 premium labels in peak condition, half of them daiginjos, most not available in the U.S. New this year is an upscale street food section called “Izakaya Alley” to go along with the sake-friendly appetizers by 19 top restaurants from Hawaii and California including Vintage Cave (Honolulu), The Three Fat Pigs (Waikoloa), The Pig and the Lady (Honolulu), The Halekulani (Honolulu), Pili Hawaii (Honolulu), MW Restaurant (Honolulu), Migrant Maui (Wailea), Memphis Minnie’s (San Francisco), Koko Head CafΓ© (Honolulu), Kaiwa (Honolulu), Kahala Hotel & Resort (Honolulu), Hopscotch (Oakland), Gokujo Sushi (Honolulu), Doraku (Honolulu), Chef Chai (Honolulu), Cakeworks (Honolulu), Buho Cocina y Cantina (Honolulu), BLT Steak (Honolulu), & Banzai Sushi Bar (Haleiwa). Early bird tickets (which gives you access one hour early) are $145 while General Admission Tickets are going for $95. Purchase your Joy of Sake tickets today!

Joy of Sake Honolulu
Friday, July 18, 2014 from 6:30pm-9pm (5:30pm for early bird ticket holders)
Hawaii Convention Center
1801 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815

Purchase Tickets to next week's Joy of Sake event!
Purchase Tickets to next week’s Joy of Sake event!

* Marcus Cancervive online Fundraiser!
My friend Marcus Reimel is battling a rare form of melanoma cancer called Mucosal Melanoma and needs your kokua through the online fundraiser called YouCaring. This is to help offset his mounting medical expenses. There are 22 days left in his fundraiser and he is almost there! ($20,340 raised of $25,000 goal) Please consider donating:

Marcus Cancervive Online Fundraiser
Marcus Cancervive Online Fundraiser

* Following the World Cup at all?
* Ready for the 5th Season of Hawaii Five-0?
* Thoughts on the sleeping fan suing ESPN for $10 million?


NEW AROUNDHAWAII ARTICLE!

* Bubble Tea Mania – The Hunt for Hawaii’s Best Bubble Tea – Part III
The 3rd and final part in my Bubble Tea Mania series has been published! This time, covering some key wesssssiiiiide locations! Check it out!

Bubble Tea Mania - The Hunt for Hawaii's Best Bubble Tea - Part III
Bubble Tea Mania – The Hunt for Hawaii’s Best Bubble Tea – Part III


WEEKLY VH07V UPDATES!

* VH07V at Yajima-Ya “Eat & Shop” Event! – 8/02/14
In August, VH07V will be back again to hold our second “Eat & Shop” event at the Yajima-Ya Lunchwagon lot, but this time, there will be more than just us there! In addition to Yajima-Ya‘s meeeaaaan plate lunches and drinks from Ilandsoda, I’ve invited and confirmed the popular Eden In Love Boutique & Skylar Soares and her HiSky Hats!!! Cool right!?!? πŸ™‚ Can’t wait! So to summarize…

Visit VH07V at Eat & Shop Event at Yajima-Ya!
Visit VH07V at “Eat & Shop” Event at Yajima-Ya!

* VH07V at Rice Fest! – 9/28/14
It’s a bit out, but since we’ve already locked in the date, I figured I’d mention Rice Fest and VH07V‘s appearance there as well. πŸ™‚ It’ll be from 11am-5pm on Sunday, September 28th at Ward (blocking off part of Auahi Street fronting Ward Warehouse). Hope to see y’all there!

Visit VH07V at the 5th Annual Rice Fest!
Visit VH07V at the 5th Annual Rice Fest!

* Mailing List
If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to get the latest scoops! I promise I don’t email too often (takes planny effort you know da kine! πŸ˜› ).

* Order Online!
Get all of the latest VH07V gear at:

VH07V Online Store - shop.vh07v.com
SHOP.VH07V.COM

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)

=============================================================

VH07V Facebook
VH07V FB
(“Like” VH07V!)
Facebook
Facebook
(Add me! πŸ˜› )
Twitter
Twitter
(Follow me!)
Blog
Blog
(Random stuffs)

=============================================================

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!
Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Bubble Tea Mania – The Hunt for Hawaii’s Best Bubble Tea – Part III

July 1, 2014
Part I | Part II |  Part III 

 

Not to be outdone by their “townie” counterparts, this collection of merchants all make the claim that the westside is the bestside when it comes to serving up ono bubble drinks for us country bumpkins. Let’s take a looksee for ourselves shall we?

Coffee or Tea? (Pearl Kai)
Hallelujah! Our prayers have been answered!

Outside Coffee of Tea? (Pearl Kai)
Outside Coffee of Tea? (Pearl Kai)

As westsiders, making the trek to McCully Shopping Center to get our Coffee or Tea? fix is like going to the moon. We’ll make it a point to go if we’re already nearby, but if not, ah, no can. The wife and I kept joking with each other saying, “Wouldn’t it be perfect if ‘Coffee or Tea?’ opened up another location closer to us? We should just ask the owners if we could start our own franchise!” That’s when we knew we were insanely obsessed. Thankfully, those dreams became realty when long-time employee Shuru Yang was awarded her very own franchise in the Pearl Kai Shopping Center by owner Hunter Chao.

“I worked there for 7 years since I was in high school.” says Yang. “The owners treated me like family and one day told me to look for a location for my very own store.”

Coffee of Tea? Pearl Kai Owner Shuru Yang with their popular Passionfruit Smoothie
Coffee of Tea? Pearl Kai Owner Shuru Yang with their popular Passionfruit Smoothie

The new Pearl Kai location – right next to Tadashi Japanese Restaurant – only opened its doors on May 21st of this year and we’ve probably already been there about half a dozen times! If you’ve been to the McCully Shopping Center one (see Part I to refresh your memory – http://www.aroundhawaii.com/lifestyle/around_town/2014-05-bubble-tea-mania-the-hunt-for-hawaiis-best-bubble-tea-part-i.html), you’ll immediately recognize the layout. In fact, it’s almost an exact carbon copy of the original, only flipped (cash register on the right and seating area on the left).

Inside Coffee or Tea? Pearl Kai
Inside Coffee or Tea? Pearl Kai

Be sure and support Shuru and her team (Grand Opening special: 10% discount off all beverages through July 31st) and see why they are one of our favorite Bubble Tea drinks around!

Wife says: “Wow!!! Coffee or Tea closer to home? Yes, please!!! I couldn’t be happier that my favorite milk tea joint opened a second location… Which makes it easier for me to get my milk tea fix! The taste of their milk tea & boba is exactly the same as the original location (in McCully). I love that their drinks are so consistent! Even the layout of the store is an exact replica of the original location (except flipped). The owner of this location is super sweet & friendly, too!”

Coffee or Tea? (Pearl Kai)
98-199 Kamehameha Hwy, Unit C6
Aiea, HI 96701 (Street View)
808-487-5168
Sun-Thu: 9am-10pm
Fri-Sat: 9am-10:30pm

 

Tea Time (Taiwan)

I don’t remember how we first heard about Tea Time, but I vaguely recall someone telling us about a new place in Pearl City and how it had some kind of association with Taste Tea. Something about the former owner of Taste Tea leaving to open Tea Time. Whether it is an actual partner/franchise operation or a spin-off, I’m not sure, but the layout and ordering method is eerily similar.

How to order your bubble drink at Tea Time
How to order your bubble drink at Tea Time

Since Tea Time only recently had their soft opening (early February of this year) and their official Grand Opening on February 22, they are still relatively new to the area and internal processes. Like their Taste Tea counterparts (see Part II), they’ve run out of large tapioca balls (boba) on me on more than one occasion, one of my pet peeves.

Medium Milk Tea with Small Tapioca Balls (not by choice)
Medium Milk Tea with Small Tapioca Balls (not by choice)

Since the milk tea from Tea Time and Taste Tea supposedly come from the same roots, I asked my friend and die-hard Taste Tea fan Mel Sumida to compare the two. Her response pretty much sums it up: “I like the milk teas at both locations. The Taste Tea one is on the sweeter/milkier side, and the Tea Time one is less so, more ‘tea-ey’. For the milk tea portion, I probably prefer Taste Tea just a little more. But, oddly, I like the tapioca balls better at Tea Time. I’m weird.”

Medium Milk Tea with Large Tapioca Balls x 2
Medium Milk Tea with Large Tapioca Balls x 2

As always, wife has the last word…

Wife says: “This tea shop reminds me a lot of Taste Tea. The menu options are quite similar to Taste Tea – you can customize your boba size, level of sweetness, & select from a variety of tea flavors. I was so excited to try the milk tea & it didn’t disappoint – the milk tea wasn’t too sweet & the boba was soft & firm. However, the last two times we tried the milk tea it tasted different… I can’t figure out exactly what was different about it, but it seemed a little more watery than normal and the boba was also slightly harder.”

Tea Time (Taiwan)
98-1254 Kaahumanu St, Suite 172
Pearl City, HI 96782 (Street View)
808-488-8898
Sun-Thu: 10am-10pm
Fri-Sat: 10am-11:30pm

 

Bambu Desserts & Drinks (Aiea)

Bambu came with a lot of fanfare behind it. Following the release of Part I in my Bubble Tea series, I’ve had my fair share of requests to go and check them out, and, with a 4 out of 5 star rating with 150+ reviews on Yelp!, it’s hard to argue.

Though again, since I live in boonieland, making my way to their Kapahulu location in town proved to be quite the challenge. Upon further research, I discovered that Bambu was actually part of a larger franchise with locations as far away as California, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, to the more convenient Aiea, Hawaii (next to Aiea Town Square).

Outside Bambu Desserts & Drinks in Aiea
Outside Bambu Desserts & Drinks in Aiea

The Bambu location in Aiea opened its doors at the end of last year (December 14th), so it is still relatively new to the area. The interior has that polished, new, franchise feel to it.

Inside Bambu Desserts & Drinks in Aiea
Inside Bambu Desserts & Drinks in Aiea

Milk Tea-wise, the flavor was on point. Nice, strong tea flavor with just the right amount of milk. The tapioca balls however, were a letdown. They were way too soft & mushy. I’m hoping that it was just this batch and not always this way.

Black Milk Tea x 2
Black Milk Tea x 2

Wife says: “We heard a lot of great things about Bambu’s drinks, so we had to check it out! Although the menu is extensive, we wanted to try the milk tea with boba. The milk tea tasted yummy (it had a slightly stronger tea taste as compared to other milk teas I’ve tried, but still good). But it was the boba that was suuuper soft (almost mushy!) the batch we had was definitely overcooked. Shucks! I’m assuming that it was just a fluke since we heard great things about them.”

Bambu Desserts & Drinks
99-165 Moanalua Rd, Suite 200
Aiea, HI 96701 (Street View)
808-484-0288
Open 11am-9pm Daily

 

HulaShake

With two young kids, an exciting night out these days for us usually means a trip to Target out in Kapolei. On the way there, we often grab dinner from Pho808 in the Kapolei Marketplace. On a somewhat recent trip there, we noticed a bright, colorful store that had the makings of a froyo shop and had to pop in to check it out.

Inside HulaShake
Inside HulaShake

According to a poster in the store, their 12 most popular drinks are the Strawberry Green Tea, Japanese Tea Smoothies, Mango Smoothies, Chocolate/Belgium Chocolate drink, Coconut Milk Tea, Taro Smoothies, Green Apple Green Tea, Passion Fruit Green Tea, Taro Milk Tea, Blue Coral drink, Thai Tea, and their Signature Milk Tea.

Signature Milk Tea from HulaShake
Signature Milk Tea from HulaShake

I particularly enjoyed it, especially since the owner Hillary had a lot of energy and seemed very passionate about making her new business (opened in August of last year) work. The store layout, professional product shots, and logo and icon usage had all the makings of a franchise but I could not for the life of me find any other affiliated stores. If Hillary is doing all of this on her own, that’s very impressive.

Side note: Not to be confused with HulaShake, Hula Boba in the Crossroads at Kapolei Shopping Center (Simply Organized, Chun Wah Kam, Brick Oven Pizza, etc.) across the street also serves up bubble drinks, though they do not have fresh tea options at last check.

(For HulaShake) Wife says: “I was pleasantly surprised that this cute little shop served freshly brewed milk tea drinks! The decor is cheery & bright and reminds me of a frozen yogurt shop. I had no idea it served bubble drinks! My first experience was amazing… the owner was working & she was very helpful & friendly. The two workers that made our milk tea drinks made it perfectly! I was so happy that I found a great place to get milk tea without having to drive into town. However, I tried this shop a couple more times & have been disappointed. The signature milk tea drink tasted nothing like my first delicious cup! The mixture of the milk tea didn’t taste right. I suppose it depends on the worker(s) who are making your cup?”

HulaShake
Kapolei Marketplace
590 Farrington Hwy, Unit 517
Kapolei, HI 96707 (Street View)
808-260-1098
Mon-Sat: 10am-9pm
Sun: 10am-6pm

 

Hi Sandwich & Drink

When we first started researching (yes, there is actual research that goes on here every once in a while…) for bubble drink places on our side of the island, Hi Sandwich & Drink was one of the first that came up. Located in the Waimalu Shopping Center between Zippy’s and Chun Wah Kam, Hi Sandwich & Drink – as the name suggests – serves up both drinks (smoothies and dessert drinks) and sandwiches (on fresh baked bread).

Menu board at Hi Sandwich & Drink
Menu board at Hi Sandwich & Drink

Since parking was a challenge to find, as it often is here, the wife just ran in to grab a drink for herself as I left the car running with two knocked out kids in the backseat. Her quickie photo and feedback are as follows.

Milk Tea from Hi Sandwich & Drink
Milk Tea from Hi Sandwich & Drink

Wife says: “Hi Sandwich & Drink is a cute, tiny shop that we heard served bubble drinks. Of course we had to give it a try! On our first trip, I tried the milk tea with boba and I was in heaven! This place made a super delicious milk tea & great boba! I even compared it to my favorite place Coffee or Tea! Of course we went back again to get more… but I was disappointed that it tasted so different than the first time! Almost as if they used a creamer or powder??? I can’t say for sure, but it definitely tasted off. We even tried it a third time, and again, I was puzzled by its unusual taste. At least the boba had a good consistency. I’m guessing people go here more for their sandwiches and fruit drinks.”

Hi Sandwich & Drink
Waimalu Shopping Center
98-042 Kamehameha Hwy
Aiea, HI 96701 (Street View)
808-487-7372
Open 10am-9pm Daily

 

Bee’s Dessert House

Bee’s is one of those early day drink shops that everyone seems to know about. Conveniently located in the northwest end of Moanalua 99 marketplace in Mapunapuna (formerly 99 Ranch Market), Bee’s serves up a wide variety of drinks, desserts, and burgers even!

Bee's Dessert House at Moanalua 99
Bee’s Dessert House at Moanalua 99

We went there so long ago that the only thing I remember was that I ordered a blueberry bubble drink with no whip cream yet it was very milky/melty as you can see in the (left) image below. I took that picture as soon as I got it and it was already running all over me.

Blueberry, Strawberry and Milk Tea Bubble drinks from Bee's
Blueberry, Strawberry and Milk Tea Bubble drinks from Bee’s

Wife says: “I don’t remember. Maybe we need to go back again!”

Bee’s Dessert House
Moanalua 99
1151 Mapunapuna St
Honolulu, HI 96819 (Street View)
808-834-8888
MON-SAT: 8am-10pm
SUN: 9am-7pm

 

Lyndliz Bubble Drinks

I used to go to the Lyndliz in Wahiawa when it was a small, closet-like walk-in store and was moderately saddened when they closed a few years ago. I recently rediscovered them when they re-opened at the much larger (former Tutti Frutti) location in Wahiawa Town Center just a couple doors down.

Lyndliz Bubble Drinks
Lyndliz Bubble Drinks

Back in the day, I used to always get their fruit-flavored bubble drinks, which, although very sweet, is still on point.

Acai Bubble Drink from Lyndliz
Acai Bubble Drink from Lyndliz

With the wife’s crazy Milk Tea obsession, I had to grab her one from here too. They told me that they usually make it in a blended format, which we don’t like, so I requested the iced/liquid version.

Milk Bubble Tea from Lyndliz
Milk Bubble Tea from Lyndliz

They assured me that it was fresh tea (as opposed to a powder) which is perfect, but the milk ratio was a little too rich/creamy for me. Almost as if they used an artificial powder/creamer.

Interestingly enough, when researching Lyndliz, I came across this video from their old shop which somewhat documents how they make their Thai Tea Bubble Drink. Watch if you please. πŸ™‚


How to make a Thai Tea Bubble Drink from Lyndliz

 

Wife says: “I don’t remember. Maybe we need to go back again!”

Lyndliz Bubble Drinks
Wahiawa Town Center
935 California Ave
Wahiawa, HI 96786 (Street View)
808-621-8262
MON-FRI: 9am-7pm
SAT: 11am-7pm
SUN: Closed

 

Bubble-Drink.com

Although named after a domain name, ironically the web site does not work. Either way, I went to this place mostly out of convenience (I was at Pearlridge for work).

Bubble-Drink.com at Pearlridge Downtown
Bubble-Drink.com at Pearlridge Downtown

Like Lyndliz, the Blueberry Bubble Drink I got was really sweet. I don’t recall the wife making any commentary on the Milk Bubble Tea I got her.

Blueberry and Milk Tea Bubble Drinks
Blueberry and Milk Tea Bubble Drinks

Wife says: “I don’t remember. Maybe we need to go back again!”

Bubble-Drink.com
Pearlridge Downtown
98-1005 Moanalua Rd, Suite 402
Aiea, HI 96701 (Street View)
808-488-2990
MON-SAT: 9am-9pm
SUN: 9am-6pm

 

And that about wraps things up in this series on Bubble Drinks. I know I missed a few places like the newly opened LemonTea Hawaii in Pearlridge Uptown II (TWC WiFi here!), the soon to open Mr. Tea Café, Timi House, Bubble Puff & Tea, Hawaii Juice Factory… The list goes on and on. Perhaps it’ll be a good way to satiate the Milk Tea Nazi known as my wife and lead us into Part IV in the series. You nevah know… πŸ˜‰

WESSSSTSIIIIIIDE!

 

 

Part I | Part II |  Part III 

 

 


Tarp Surfing in Hawaii – VH07V Style (Click to Play!)

 

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – June 18, 2014

June 18, 2014

Back and in full effect from last Wednesday’s King Kamehameha day holiday. You guys had da day off too or wot?

Last time‘s Winnahs:
* Cheesecake Factory (carokun)
* Kats Sushi (Lia)
* Maui Arts and Cultural Center (Lia)

Photo #1
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - June 18, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – June 18, 2014

Photo #2
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - June 18, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – June 18, 2014

Photo #3
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - June 18, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – June 18, 2014


SCOOPS!

* Marcus Cancervive Fundraiser Birthday Bash!
My friend Marcus Reimel is battling a rare form of melanoma cancer called Mucosal Melanoma and needs your kokua. Please consider supporting in one or both of the following ways:

  1. Donate to his YouCaring online fundraiser. This is to help offset his mounting medical expenses. At last check they are close to their $20,000 goal with $17,240+ with just 10 days to go.
  2. Attend the Marcus Cancervive Fundraiser Birthday Bash on Sunday, June 22nd from 11am-2pm. Advanced ticket sales are now closed but they welcome walk-ins! $40/adults and $20/keiki at the door.

Marcus Cancervive Fundraiser Birthday Bash!
Marcus Cancervive Fundraiser Birthday Bash!

* Bill Amis & Miah Ostrowski Basketball Skills Camp
Former University of Hawaii Athletics University of Hawaii Men’s Basketball stars Bill Amis & Miah Ostrowski are holding a skills training basketball camp for Hawaii’s youth from July 17th-19th at McKinley High School. Register and attend the Bill Amis & Miah Ostrowski Basketball Skills Camp today!

Bill Amis & Miah Ostrowski Basketball Skills Camp
Bill Amis & Miah Ostrowski Basketball Skills Camp

* RIP Tony Gwynn!
😦


Weekly VH07V Updates!

* Spotted!
Talented ukulele player Karlie Goya covers Israel Kamakawiwo`ole’s “Kaleohano” song while wearing her Black/Blue Keiki VH07V Tee!


“Kaleohano” – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole cover by Karlie Goya

* VH07V at Honolulu Night Market! – THIS SATURDAY 6/21/14
Visit the VH07V booth at the popular Honolulu Night + Market this Saturday, June 21st from 6pm-11pm and take advantage of special, show only pricing and giveaways!

Visit VH07V THIS SATURDAY at Honolulu Night Market!
Visit VH07V THIS SATURDAY at Honolulu Night Market!

* VH07V at the 4th of July Spectacular at Schofield! – 7/04/14
VH07V will have a booth at the 43rd Annual 4th of July Spectacular at Schofield Barracks on Friday, July 4th from 10am-6pm! Visit our booth for special, show only pricing and giveaways and stick around for games, food, rides for the keiki, a car giveaway, and entertainment by Third Eye Blind, Willie K, and more!

Visit VH07V at the 43rd Annual 4th of July Spectacular at Schofield Barracks!
Visit VH07V at the 43rd Annual 4th of July Spectacular at Schofield Barracks!

* VH07V at Yajima-Ya “Eat & Shop” Event! – 8/02/14
In August, VH07V will be back again to hold our second “Eat & Shop” event at the Yajima-Ya Lunchwagon lot, but this time, there will be more than just us there! In addition to Yajima-Ya‘s meeeaaaan plate lunches and drinks from Ilandsoda, I’ve invited and confirmed the popular Eden In Love Boutique & Skylar Soares and her HiSky Hats!!! Cool right!?!? πŸ™‚ Can’t wait! So to summarize…

Visit VH07V at Eat & Shop Event at Yajima-Ya!
Visit VH07V at “Eat & Shop” Event at Yajima-Ya!

* VH07V at Rice Fest! – 9/28/14
It’s a bit out, but since we’ve already locked in the date, I figured I’d mention Rice Fest and VH07V‘s appearance there as well. πŸ™‚ Hope to see y’all there!

Visit VH07V at the 5th Annual Rice Fest!
Visit VH07V at the 5th Annual Rice Fest!

* Mailing List
If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to get the latest scoops! I promise I don’t email too often (takes planny effort you know da kine! πŸ˜› ).

* Order Online!
Get all of the latest VH07V gear at:

VH07V Online Store - shop.vh07v.com
SHOP.VH07V.COM

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)

=============================================================

VH07V Facebook
VH07V FB
(“Like” VH07V!)
Facebook
Facebook
(Add me! πŸ˜› )
Twitter
Twitter
(Follow me!)
Blog
Blog
(Random stuffs)

=============================================================

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!
Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – June 4, 2014

June 4, 2014

OK, so this blog went from celebrating its 6th year anniversary to being dormant for an entire month! Ummm… Sorry ah!

For whatever reason, I had super early meetings/calls/travel every single Wednesday last month, so the Tuesday nights before (the night I usually work on these blogs) was used to go bed early. I have something tomorrow morning again, but it’s been long enough! My two readers need me! πŸ˜›

Anyway, sorry for the unintentional hiatus. We back yo. Let’s do this!

Last time‘s Winnahs:
* Kakaako Kitchen (Lia)
* Rocky’s Coffee Shop (NOBODY)
* Maui Coffee Roasters (Lia)

Photo #1
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - June 4, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – June 4, 2014

Photo #2
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - June 4, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – June 4, 2014

Photo #3
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - June 4, 2014
Where in Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – June 4, 2014


SCOOPS!

* Marcus Cancervive Fundraiser Birthday Bash!
My friend Marcus Reimel is battling a rare form of melanoma cancer called Mucosal Melanoma and needs your kokua. Please consider supporting in one or both of the following ways:

  1. Donate to his YouCaring online fundraiser. This is to help offset his mounting medical expenses. At last check they are close to their $20,000 goal with $16,500 with just 25 days to go.
  2. Purchase tickets and attend the Marcus Cancervive Fundraiser Birthday Bash on Sunday, June 22nd from 11am-2pm (See details below).

Marcus Cancervive Fundraiser Birthday Bash!
Marcus Cancervive Fundraiser Birthday Bash!

* Bill Amis & Miah Ostrowski Basketball Skills Camp
Former University of Hawaii Athletics University of Hawaii Men’s Basketball stars Bill Amis & Miah Ostrowski are holding a skills training basketball camp for Hawaii’s youth from July 17th-19th at McKinley High School. Register and attend the Bill Amis & Miah Ostrowski Basketball Skills Camp today!

Bill Amis & Miah Ostrowski Basketball Skills Camp
Bill Amis & Miah Ostrowski Basketball Skills Camp


My New AroundHawaii.com Article: Bubble Tea Mania!

We continue our epic bubble tea journey with 5 more milk tea establishments located in town. We found out about Dragon Tea after the wife saw her friend post a drink photo on Instagram. Since we hardly ever go to Waiks, we thought it would be some time until we got to visit and taste what Dragon Tea had to offer. Luckily, my clothing company (VH07V) got the wonderful opportunity to vend at the popular Waikiki SPAM Jam festival again, so we decided to grab a hotel at the Outrigger Waikiki for the weekend to have a mini staycation since we would be there anyway…

Bubble Tea Mania - The Hunt for Hawaii's Best Bubble Tea - Part II
Bubble Tea Mania – The Hunt for Hawaii’s Best Bubble Tea – Part II


Weekly VH07V Updates!

* Spotted!
Super talented ukulele duo Honoka & Azita posted another crazy video to their YouTube channel on Monday, this time, covering the popular song “Wipeout”. The girls look awesome thanks in large part to their schooling at Ukulele Hale and the filming/editing magic of Shibby Stylee!


“Wipeout” by Honoka & Azita

* VH07V at Honolulu Night Market!
VH07V will be making its triumphant return to the popular Honolulu Night + Market on Saturday, June 21st! Visit our booth from 6pm-11pm for special, show only pricing and giveaways! See you there!

Visit VH07V at the June 21st Honolulu Night Market (Summertime in the Park)!
Visit VH07V at the June 21st Honolulu Night Market (Summertime in the Park)!

* VH07V at the 4th of July Spectacular at Schofield!
VH07V will have a booth at the 43rd Annual 4th of July Spectacular at Schofield Barracks on Friday, July 4th from 10am-6pm! Visit our booth for special, show only pricing and giveaways and stick around for games, food, rides for the keiki, a car giveaway, and entertainment by Third Eye Blind, Willie K, etc.

Visit VH07V at the 43rd Annual 4th of July Spectacular at Schofield Barracks!
Visit VH07V at the 43rd Annual 4th of July Spectacular at Schofield Barracks!

* Mailing List
If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to get the latest scoops! I promise I don’t email too often (takes planny effort you know da kine! πŸ˜› ).

* Order Online!
Get all of the latest VH07V gear at:

VH07V Online Store - shop.vh07v.com
SHOP.VH07V.COM

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)

=============================================================

VH07V Facebook
VH07V FB
(“Like” VH07V!)
Facebook
Facebook
(Add me! πŸ˜› )
Twitter
Twitter
(Follow me!)
Blog
Blog
(Random stuffs)

=============================================================

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!
Like Hawaii Self Storage on Facebook!

Bubble Tea Mania – The Hunt for Hawaii’s Best Bubble Tea – Part II

June 1, 2014
Part I | Β Part IIΒ  | Part III

 

We continue our epic bubble tea journey with 5 more milk tea establishments located in town.

Β 

Dragon Tea

We found out about this hidden gem after the wife saw her friend post a drink photo on Instagram. Since we hardly ever go to Waiks, we thought it would be some time until we got to visit and taste what Dragon Tea had to offer. Luckily, my clothing company (VH07V) got the wonderful opportunity to vend at the popular Waikiki SPAM Jam festival again, so we decided to grab a hotel at the Outrigger Waikiki for the weekend to have a mini staycation since we would be there anyway.

First stop? Dragon Tea!

Outside Dragon Tea in Waikiki
Outside Dragon Tea in Waikiki

This cute little shop is tucked away on a side street (Nahua off Kuhio, behind the old International Market Place) on the ground floor of the Aqua Waikiki Pearl. Pearl? Coincidence? I think not! πŸ˜› The staff is friendly and the prices are reasonable (16oz for $3.35 or 22oz for $4.35).

16oz Black Milk Tea with Tapioka ($3.35)
16oz Black Milk Tea with Tapioka ($3.35)

They even have a loyalty stamp card (buy 8 cups, get 1 free), offer discounts and specials online and are active on social media. What’s not to love?

Wife says: “I love the milk tea here! The creamy milk tea taste is very similar to kung fu tea. The boba is delicious – firm, but not too soft. This spot is perfect for all the Waikiki tourists – and refreshing after a hot day at the beach.”

Dragon Tea
423 Nahua St
Honolulu, HI 96815 (Street View)
(808) 921-9988
10:30am-10:30pm Daily

 

Taste Tea

Our next stop is one many of you are probably very familiar with: Taste Tea near Ala Moana. With its recognizable sign off Kapiolani Boulevard (buggah even lights up at night!), Taste Tea is tough to miss.

Taste Tea Sign
Taste Tea Sign

Because of its convenient location, Taste Tea is often very crowded as well, so expect to hunt for parking and stand in line to get your fix.

Line at Taste Tea
Line at Taste Tea

On my last visit there, I noticed that they had several new Milk Tea options like Strawberry, Honeydew, and Chocolate. Since Chocolate Milk Tea is one of my faves at Coffee or Tea? (see Part I http://www.world-wide-ed.com/2014/05/01/bubble-tea-mania-the-hunt-for-hawaiis-best-bubble-tea-part-i),Β  I figured I’d give it a whirl here. Of course, as luck would have it, they were out when I tried to order it.

Taste Tea was one of the first places that offered its patrons varying serving options like Sweetness Level (Unsweetened–>Light Sweet–>Half Sweet–>Less Sweet–>Regular Sweet–>Extra Sweet), Ice Level (Less Ice–>Regular Ice–>Extra Ice) and Tapioka size (Small or Big), and even lets you taste your tea (hence their name) and approve of it before serving you the full portion. Pretty good service for those who are unsure of what sweetness level is right for them.

The down side to all of these options – at least in my experience – is that they seem to run out of the more popular Big size Tapioca quite often. I’ve been there two or three times when all they had to offer was the Small size, and IMHO, the small tapioca balls just don’t do it for me.

To show the difference between the two though, I took one for the team and ordered one in each option (small and big tapioca). You’re welcome. πŸ˜‰

MT = Milk Tea, ST = Small Tapioca, BT = Big Tapioca, Less=Less Sweet, Ed = Ed. Not sure who Ted is. ;)
MT = Milk Tea, ST = Small Tapioca, BT = Big Tapioca, Less=Less Sweet, Ed = Ed. Not sure who Ted is. πŸ˜‰

Just like in part I, the boss, er wife has the last say, so here ya go…

Wife says: “I understand why this place is so popular: Customizable tea drinks, large variety of tea options & friendly service! This milk tea is one of my favorites! I love that you can order your drink exactly the way you want it. Drink options include everything from the amount of sugar to the size of the boba. The mini bobas are popular, but I still prefer the regular boba size (mostly because it seems like I’m swallowing the mini ones!).Β  I also like that you can sample the drink before they seal your cup. You can’t go wrong!”

Taste Tea
1391 Kapiolani Blvd, Suite 105
Honolulu, HI 96814 (Street View)
(808) 951-8288
Mon-Thu: 10am-10:30pm
Fri-Sat: 10am-11:30pm
Sun: 10:30am-10:30pm

 

City Cafe

City Cafe was actually a recommendation from my social media friend Nat Nishida (@nanigurl) who read the first part in this series.

 

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

 

We’ve been to City Cafe years ago (when wife was preggers with #1), but only to eat their popular Taiwanese Shave Ice. Nat is a bit of a foodie herself so I had to jump on that recommendation real-quick-like.

Outside City Cafe
Outside City Cafe

To me, the Black Milk Tea tasted almost exactly like the one from Coffee or Tea?, which is a Facebook thumbs up in my book.

Tall Black Milk Tea from City Cafe ($2.63 + $0.72 for tapioka)
Tall Black Milk Tea from City Cafe ($2.63 + $0.72 for tapioka)

Wife Says: “This cute little shop makes some surprisingly good tea drinks! The milk tea has a stronger tea flavor than others I’ve tasted, but it’s still taste great! The boba is soft, too. I can’t say that this place is my favorite milk tea shop, but it definitely tastes authentic. I’ll have to give it another try again!”

 

For the final portion in this part of the series, I’ll be featuring two shops that specialize in fresh fruit based bubble drinks (although they do carry blended milk tea options). As a result, there will be no quotes from the wife, for, as we know, no milk tea = no wife. 8)

As mentioned in Part I, City Square Shopping Center alone has three different bubble drink specialty stores. We already mentioned Shaka Shaka Tea Express in part I. Following are the other two.

City Cafe
1518-F Makaloa St
Honolulu, HI 96814 (Street View)
(808) 398-7598
Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm
Sat: 11am-6pm
Sun: Closed

 

Thang II

Thang II is the second location of the popular Thang Coffee & Bubble Tea in Chinatown off Maunakea Street. Conveniently located in City Square Shopping Center, Thang II serves up a wide variety of bubble drinks and snacks.

Quite possibly my favorite fresh fruit bubble drink on the island is their #1 choice, the Pineapple Bubble Drink.

Pineapple Bubble Drink from Thang II
Pineapple Bubble Drink from Thang II

I’ve also tried their Strawberry version, which is also quite delish.

Strawberry Bubble Drink from Thang II
Strawberry Bubble Drink from Thang II

The drinks only come in one (rather large) size, so be sure you’re thirsty before picking yours up!

Thang II
City Square Shopping CenterΒ  (TWC WiFi Here!)
1287 Kalani St
Honolulu, HI 96817 (Street View)
(808) 845-2164
Mon-Sat: 8:30am-6:30pm
Sun: 10am-3pm

 

Sweet Fantasies

Rounding out part II is a relative newcomer to the scene: Sweet Fantasies, which is literally right next to Shaka Shaka Tea Express!

Outside Sweet Fantasies
Outside Sweet Fantasies

In addition to their bubble drink options, they also offer sandwiches, salads, spring rolls, shave ice, and a whole freezer’s worth of ice cream!

Ice Cream at Sweet Fantasies
Ice Cream at Sweet Fantasies

But back to the business at hand. We’re here for the bubbles!

Since there was no wife present, I “cheated” on her and went for the fresh fruit, Blueberry Bubble Drink variety. It was good, but a little too sweet for my tastes.

Blueberry Bubble Drink from Sweet Fantasies ($3.99)
Blueberry Bubble Drink from Sweet Fantasies ($3.99)

Sweet Fantasies
City Square Shopping Center (TWC WiFi Here!)
1199 Dillingham Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96817 (Street View)
9am-7pm Daily

Next month, we’ll be headed to the wessssiiiide of Oahu to review Tea Time, HulaShake, Hula Boba, HI Sandwich & Drink, Lyndliz and the brand spankin’ new, second Coffee or Tea? location in Pearl Kai Shopping Center. Coincidence? I think not!

Brand New Coffee or Tea? Location at Pearl Kai Shopping Center
Brand New Coffee or Tea? Location at Pearl Kai Shopping Center

 

 

Part I | Β Part IIΒ  | Part III

 

Tarp Surfing in Hawaii – VH07V Style (Click to Play!)

 

Bubble Tea Mania – The Hunt for Hawaii’s Best Bubble Tea – Part I

May 1, 2014
 Part I  | Part II | Part III

The wife is out of control.

Ever since she was preggers with baby #2, she has had this fanatical craving – bordering on obsession – with the popular Taiwanese-born milk tea drink cleverly referred to as “Bubble Tea”. Pair that with the recent explosion of specialized bubble tea shops popping up around town lately, and ya got one crazed bubble gulp’n momma!

Bubble/Boba/Pearl Milk Tea, named such for the round, tapioca balls that float around at the bottom of the drink, has been around for a while now (it was invented in Taiwan the 80s). Hawaii-wise, I remember frequenting a tiny place in Wahiawa called Lindliz (original location) during our lunch breaks back in the day for a fruity version of the popular bubble drink. And one of the wife’s and my first dates was actually at Coffee or Tea? – one of the pioneers in the industry – which is as good a place as any to start this bubble tea series.

Coffee or Tea?
Conveniently located smack-dab in the middle of McCully Shopping Center, Coffee or Tea? is probably our favorite place to get Bubble Milk Tea on the island.

Outside Coffee or Tea?
Outside Coffee or Tea?

They offer their milk tea in a bevy of choices including green, vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, Irish cream, malt flakes, pudding, taro, honeydew, coconut, almond, lavender, watermelon, peppermint, ginger, and my personal favorite chocolate.

Chocolate Milk Tea with Tapioka Pearls
Chocolate Milk Tea with Tapioka Pearls

I mean, c’mon. Chocolate Milk, Tea, AND sweet tapioka balls? How can you go wrong?

They are a little on the pricier side for their portions, but they make up for it by offering something unique. For $15, you can call ahead and place an order for a “Party Size” (gallon) of their milk tea, which is perfect for milk tea parties or 1 obsessed wife. (I keed, she goin’ keel me if she heard that.) There is a 2 day window that they say you need to drink this gallon by so finishing it by yourself is almost impossible. Individuals should upsize to the Jumbo (23 oz.) or Super Jumbo (33 oz.) instead.

Milk tea party at home
Milk tea party at home

If you want tapioca balls to go with your Party Size order, you will need to call at least 24 hours in advance, but if having the milk tea sans the bubbles is fine with you, in my experience, you often can just walk right in and ask for it.

Before they got “famous”, I used to be able to set up shop and “coffice” there for the day. It was a great alternative to the overcrowded Starbucks option, especially since I don’t drink coffee. Now, they are a little more strict about patrons who do this. I completely understand why, but I do still kinda miss those days. Regardless, their milk tea is #onobu and again, one of our faves.

Happy, milk tea-fed wife, happy life.
Happy, milk tea-fed wife, happy life.

Wife Says: “This is my absolute favorite place to grab a milk tea drink! The milk tea here is consistent, and I don’t have to worry whether the person making it will make it with the right combination of milk, tea & sugar. However, it also means that if you don’t care for the strong sugary milk tea taste, you probably won’t love it as much as I do. You can’t customize the sugar level or choose the size of the boba. But, I do like the simplicity of ordering and the taste of their milk tea. The texture of the boba is perfect & it’s always soft and chewy! Milk tea heaven!”

Coffee or Tea?
McCully Shopping Center (TWC WiFi Here!)
1960 Kapiolani Blvd #106
Honolulu, HI 96826 (Street View)
(808) 942-4357
Sun-Thu: 10am-11pm
Fri-Sat: 10am-11:30pm


Kung Fu Tea
New to Hawaii, but not new to the Milk Tea game is Kung Fu Tea. They are actually a rather large franchise with 16 stores in New York (where they started), and 7 more in key locations like Boston, Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco, Florida and the one that just opened up last month in Honolulu off Piikoi Street.

Inside Kung Fu Tea in Honolulu
Inside Kung Fu Tea in Honolulu

If I were to close my eyes and visualize what the Milk Teas in Taiwan taste like, I would imagine them tasting like those from Kung Fu Tea. The tea part of the drink is very strong and is somewhat reminiscent of the tea you drink at many of the local Chinese restaurants around town. If it even makes any sense, the Bubble Milk Tea from Kung Fu tastes and feels “legit”. πŸ™‚

Bubble Tea from Kung Fu Tea
Bubble Tea from Kung Fu Tea

One of my pet peeves is when my bubble to tea ratio is off. Kung Fu Tea packs their tea with CHOKE bubbles so I never once had to lift my straw from the bottom of the drink to regulate that ratio.

Choke Bubbles at the bottom of Kung Fu Tea's drinks!
Choke Bubbles at the bottom of Kung Fu Tea’s drinks!

Their bubbles also seemed to be more plump and firm here, just the way I like it. πŸ˜‰ #twss

Kung Fu Tea
510 Piikoi St,
Honolulu, HI 96814 (Street View)
808-589-0088
Sun-Thu: 10:30am-10pm
Fri-Sat: 10:30am-11pm

Wife Says: “I was only able to visit this shop once, but from my one visit I was pleasantly surprised! The milk tea is creamy and delicious! The boba has a unique, stronger flavor than I’m used to… but I like it. It does take a little “getting used to”, but I was pretty hooked on it near the end! The boba’s texture was also a little more chewy but had a good consistency. You can also customize the milk tea according to your taste. I really wish I could have tried this place more than once to give an honest review. I need to go back again!”


Shaka Shaka Tea Express
One of actually three bubble drink stores at City Square Shopping Center off Dillingham, the wife prefers this one best because it “tastes kinda like Coffee or Tea?”. LOL!

Outside Shaka Shaka Tea Express at City Square Shopping Center
Outside Shaka Shaka Tea Express at City Square Shopping Center

Like Coffee or Tea?, Shaka Shaka also offers many flavors and options, including their fresh fruit options which I particularly enjoy. Along with Thang II (which I’ll cover later in this series) in this same aforementioned shopping center, they are probably two of my favorite fresh fruit bubble drink locations around. Here’s a look at their Strawberry/Banana and Watermelon fresh fruit bubble drinks.

Strawberry/Banana Fresh Fruit Bubble Drink
Strawberry/Banana Fresh Fruit Bubble Drink

Watermelon Fresh Fruit Bubble Drink
Watermelon Fresh Fruit Bubble Drink

And here’s a shot of their milk tea.

Can I get some tea & bubbles with my milk?
Can I get some tea & bubbles with my milk?

Oh great… She’s passing the mania on…

Wife Says: “This place is near the top of my list. The milk tea is tasty and the service is always friendly & knowledgeable. They like to emphasize that they use natural ingredients. You can also customize the milk tea according to your taste and the lady (owner?) is very willing to help you make the right choice. The boba was made perfectly and was soft & chewy! I love that they offer a stamp card and encourage people to come back.”

Shaka Shaka Tea Express
City Square Shopping Center (TWC WiFi Here!)
1199 Dillingham Blvd A, Ste 107
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 377-1583
Mon-Fri: 8am-8pm
Sat-Sun: 9am-9pm

Like the various features I did for poke (Poke Paradise – Experiencing the Best Poke Around Hawaii), ramen (Hawaii Ramen Quest), shave ice (Shave Ice Ice Baby), pho (Pho Fantasy – A Tour of Hawaii’s Favorite Pho Restaurants) and açai (Açai in Hawaii), this bubble tea series is going to be fun, especially for the wife. She’s already starting to use it as an excuse to drink even more! “Don’t you have to ‘research’?”

Oh boy.

Like I said, she be one crazed bubble gulp’n momma! To be continued…

 

 Part I  | Part II | Part III

 

Tarp Surfing in Hawaii – VH07V Style (Click to Play!)