Posts Tagged ‘food porn’

Aloha Brisbane! – Part II: Exploring the City (#AlohaBNE)

January 1, 2013

 

Part I |  Part II  | Part III

 

After a 10 hour flight and a long night of heavy and indulgent eating and drinking, a serious siesta in the plush, cloud-like hotel bed was just what the doctor ordered. With the exception of that psychopath Catherine Toth (who decided to wake up early to work out!), the rest of us bloggers headed up to the 30th floor at a reasonable hour the next morning for the Special Club breakfast (served from 6:30am-10am) at Club Sofitel, Australia's largest executive club lounge.

My (2nd helping) breakfast plate with Melissa Chang & Kaleo Lancaster doing their thang
My (2nd helping) breakfast plate with Melissa Chang & Kaleo Lancaster doing their thang

On my plate, you'll notice a little container of Vegemite, a popular spread in Australia made from yeast extract (yes, I got brave). On paper, as a beer lover, I was supposed to enjoy it, but it was definitely something one needed to get used to. Here's Melissa and Cat's take on the Australian specialty:

 


Melissa Chang and Catherine Toth try Vegemite (via thedailydish's YouTube channel)

 

Refueled and ready, us four blogsketeers embarked on our journey to see Brisbane on the best mode of transportation on earth: foot. The stroll afforded us the opportunity to take in the scenery that Brisbane had to offer.

Going southwest through Queen Street Mall
Going southwest through Queen Street Mall

Treasury Casino & Hotel
Treasury Casino & Hotel

Art on Queen Street
Art on Queen Street

Brisbane Square Library
Brisbane Square Library

Chanukah display at Brisbane Square
Chanukah display at Brisbane Square

Crossing Victoria Bridge
Crossing Victoria Bridge

Outside the Queensland Art Gallery
Outside the Queensland Art Gallery

Queensland Museum & ScienceCentre
Queensland Museum & ScienceCentre

Cat navigating while Melissa and I document
Cat navigating while Melissa and I document

We made it to the Queen Elizabeth II Park/Parklands area on the banks of the Brisbane River
We made it to the Queen Elizabeth II Park/Parklands area on the banks of the Brisbane River

Nice look back at the metropolitan city we just walked from
Nice look back at the metropolitan city we just walked from

Cat, me and Melissa posing along the Brisbane River
Cat, me and Melissa posing along the Brisbane River

As we made our way along the river on Clem Jones Promenade, we noticed that there were a fair amount of joggers and bicyclists getting their exercise on. Here's a site you don't often see in America (at least one that's not destroyed or vandalized): a Community Bike Station, complete with tools, a place to mount your bike for repairs, and even a tire pump!

Community Bike Repair Station along the Clem Jones Promenade
Community Bike Repair Station along the Clem Jones Promenade

Along Clem Jones Promenade
Along Clem Jones Promenade

Panoramic shot of the Brisbane River
Panoramic shot of the Brisbane River (click to enlarge)

And then we got to the South Bank Parklands area where we found nice picnic areas, pools, and even a manmade beach called Streets Beach.

Pool at the South Bank Parkland
Pool at the South Bank Parkland

Manmade beach called Streets Beach
Manmade beach called Streets Beach

The sights were good enough to get Kaleo, Melissa and Cat a snappin'
The sights were good enough to get Kaleo, Melissa and Cat a snappin'

On the way back, we headed to the Queen Street Mall main stage to attend the Hawaiian Airlines Consumer Event. The locals got a total kick out of our folks from Hawaii spreading their Aloha with song and dance.

 


Hawaiian Airlines Consumer Event at the Queen Street Mall in Brisbane Australia

 

Shortly after returning to our hotel, some of Hawaiian Airlines' execs invited us to join them for an informal lunch in Fortitude Valley's Chinatown district, which was a short 15 minute stroll from our hotel. Twelve hungry Americans pounding "Hawaiian style"? Ouuuuraaaaiiii!

The sights along the way to Chinatown
The sights along the way to Chinatown

The first signs of Chinatown
The first signs of Chinatown

We landed at King of Kings (Chinese) Seafood Restaurant, which was a hit with a few of them on a previous visit.

King of Kings Seafood Restaurant in Brisbane Australia
King of Kings Seafood Restaurant in Brisbane Australia

It wasn't long before we found out why.

When in Chinatown...
When in Chinatown…

King of Kings Roast Duck
King of Kings Roast Duck

Just getting started...
Just getting started…

Custard Tarts off the Yum Cha menu
Custard Tarts off the Yum Cha menu

One of the highlights of the afternoon was watching Kaleo Lancaster go from blogger to "Dragon Slayer" as he took down the legendary "Dragon Drink", a series of three, increasingly potent drinks that King of Kings is known for. Here's a video I took of the momentous, yet painful looking event.

 

Kaleo Lancaster takes on the Dragon Drink from King of Kings Seafood Restaurant in Brisbane Australia

 

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to unwind before getting ready for another walk through South Bank and meal in Fortitude Valley. Part of the unwinding process naturally included Happy Hour at another visit to Club Sofitel.

Pre-gaming at Club Sofitel with some bubbly
Pre-gaming at Club Sofitel with some bubbly

And then, it was off – on foot again! – to South Bank, this time guided by Hawaiian Airlines staffers Jeremy Althof and Jesse Starmer. The sights and sounds of Brisbane at night give a totally different perspective to the scenic city. Highly recommended!

Remember the Treasury Casino & Hotel earlier today? Here's what it looked like at night.
Remember the Treasury Casino & Hotel earlier today? Here's what it looked like at night.

Walking through Brisbane Square, we saw some filming going on, which appeared to be a TV news segment.
Walking through Brisbane Square, we saw some filming going on, which appeared to be a TV news segment.

Getting reminiscent of Hawaii: here's a gecko sighting. I wonder if it has an Australian accent too? 8)
Getting reminiscent of Hawaii: here's a gecko sighting. I wonder if it has an Australian accent too? 8)

Here's a close-up of the famous Wheel of Brisbane.
Here's a close-up of the famous Wheel of Brisbane.

And here's us in front of it (l to r: Kaleo Lancaster, Melissa Chang, me, Catherine Toth)
And here's us in front of it (l to r: Kaleo Lancaster, Melissa Chang, me, Catherine Toth)

Moonlit Brisbane skyline from South Bank
Moonlit Brisbane skyline from South Bank

With our restaurant reservation coming up, we jetted off via taxi to our dinner destination: Alfred & Constance, an eclectic collection of random, mini restaurants (sorta), serving food, drinks and desserts. Here's a description of each of them:

  • The Vanguard Beer Garden & Restaurant: Booze, Beer and sharable feasts
  • White Lightning Tiki Bar: Tropical drinks and a party that never stops
  • Alfred's Café: Workday bites, salads, coffee and sweets
  • Late-Night Dessert Café: Featuring alcoholic juice & boozy smoothy stations

Since Jeremy and Jesse knew the owner there, we had a table waiting for us at the Vanguard Beer Garden. Perfs!

Here's one of two Cocktail Jugs we ordered: Watermelon & Ginger Swizzle, which consisted of Gin & watermelon liqueur shaken with homemade rhubarb syrup & topped with soda. The other one we got was the Pimms & Lemonade jug: Pimms No. 1 & Fresh house made lemon syrup, swizzled down with fresh mint & topped with soda.

Watermelon & Ginger Swizzle (Gin & watermelon liqueur shaken with homemade rhubarb syrup & topped with soda).
Watermelon & Ginger Swizzle (Gin & watermelon liqueur shaken with homemade rhubarb syrup & topped with soda).

Salt & Pepper Squid with Lemon & Sweet Paprika Mayo ($14.90)
Salt & Pepper Squid with Lemon & Sweet Paprika Mayo ($14.90)

Here, they are known for their free-range meats which are cooked whole in wood and charcoal ovens. We went with their popular roast pork with crackling.

250g of Roast Pork carved from the whole pig w/crackling ($29)
250g of Roast Pork carved from the whole pig w/crackling ($29)

Oysters Kirkpatrick (6 for $24). Raw oysters, barbeque sauce and bacon. 'Nuff said.
Oysters Kirkpatrick (6 for $24). Raw oysters, barbeque sauce and bacon. 'Nuff said.

Cat and Melissa opted for dessert from Alfred's Café. Melissa got the Baklava Muffin, while Cat got the Classic Crème Brulee.

Cat's Crème Brulee ($12)
Cat's Crème Brulee ($12)

And there's day 2 in the books. We've got just half a day left in Brisbane, but lots to see & do. Come back next month to witness koala and kangaroo petting, majestic views of Mount Coot-tha and grindz at The Shelter Bar.

To view more photos from the trip and get a sneak preview of what's to come:
https://picasaweb.google.com/114302480978989244855/AlohaBrisbaneAlohaBNE

Melissa Chang's #AlohaBNE blogs:
http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/?s=brisbane&searchsubmit=Go

Catherine Toth's #AlohaBNE blogs:
http://www.thecatdish.com/?s=brisbane

Kaleo Lancaster's #AlohaBNE blog:
http://kaleolancaster.blogspot.com/2012/12/brisbane-australia-hawaiian-airlines.html

My #AlohaBNE blogs/posts:
http://www.world-wide-ed.com/?s=brisbane

Instagram search results for #AlohaBNE:
http://web.stagram.com/tag/alohabne/

Twitter search results for #AlohaBNE:
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23AlohaBNE&src=typd

 

Part I |  Part II  | Part III

 

 

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The latest in Hawaii lifestyle apparel. Check it out!

 

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Yajima-Ya Lunch Wagon Revisited

August 1, 2012
Yatai in Hawaii (Part I) |  Yajima-Ya Revisited (Part II) 

The last time I covered the Yajima-Ya Lunch Wagon (located off of Sheridan Street near Keeaumoku), the majority of their menu items consisted of the noodle (soba or udon) and don (rice bowls) variety. Since then, they’ve expanded their menu to include well received plate lunch style items like teriyaki or mushroom chicken, steak, and a Japanese style beef stew called Hayashi Rice. I figgah now’s a good time as any to pay chef Tomoki Ito a (re)visit to see what’s new… with a little food p0rn/eye candy of course!

One of my favorite (and incidentally one of their most popular) dishes here is the mushroom chicken. Made with egg and tempura flour, the breaded crispiness of the chicken is offset nicely with the rich “graviness” of the rue. With a side of spinach and Japanese style mac salad, this one is fo’ real kine brok’ da mout’!

Mushroom Chicken Plate ($8.50)
Mushroom Chicken Plate ($8.50)

Prepared in a similar way sans the gravy, is their Teriyaki Chicken plate. Love the touch with the Furikake over the rice!

Teriyaki Chicken Plate ($8) (Photo Credit: Tomoki Ito)
Teriyaki Chicken Plate ($8) (Photo Credit: Tomoki Ito)

Another favorite of mine is the Hayashi Rice Plate (the Japanese style beef stew). Here’s a shot of that gem.

Hayashi Rice plate ($8)
Hayashi Rice plate ($8)

Wifey likes their Buta Shougayaki (Pork Ginger) plate, which is strange because she’s not a fan of ginger. In fact, neither am I, but we both can sure whack this buggah like that. Here’s a shot of Yajima-Ya’s combination plate with Pork Ginger and Wafu style New York Steak w/ponzu.

Pork Ginger and Wafu w/ponzu Steak combination plate ($9)
Pork Ginger and Wafu w/ponzu Steak combination plate ($9)

It’s hard to tell, but there’s a stack of steak underneath all that onion and ginger.

One of the great things about a combination plate at a place like Yajima-Ya, is that your options are practically endless. Some days you might be in the mood for Japanese style fair, while on other days, you might want full on local kine grindz. And then, there are those days when you just can’t make up your mind. This is when you combine the flava of the East with that of the options from way out west.

Here are a couple of combination plates, blending Hawaii and Japan.

Tempura and Teri Chicken combination plate ($8.50)
Tempura and Teri Chicken combination plate ($8.50)

Samurai Donburi & Mushroom Chicken combo ($8.50)
Samurai Donburi & Mushroom Chicken combo ($8.50)

And of course, they still have their tried and true donburi, udon and soba items like their Samurai Donburi…

Samurai Donburi ($7.50)
Samurai Donburi ($7.50)

… the Bukkake Sanuki Udon…

Bukkake Sanuki Udon ($8)
Bukkake Sanuki Udon ($8)

… and their Sansai (Vegetable Tempura) Soba.

Sansai Soba ($6.50)
Sansai Soba ($6.50)

Other interesting menu items include the Kara Soba (Spicy Cold Soba) for $8.25, the $4 Breakfast Special (Rice with 1 scrambled egg, 2 slices of bacon & 3 slices of Portuguese Sausage), and a couple of Salad options (with a choice of Udon or Soba) for $8 each. A far cry from the humble beginnings when their main clientele was employees from the neighboring Yajima-Ya (Cosmo) service station.

A few things to note since my last article… Although they’ve expanded their menu options to include the local style favorites mentioned above, they’ve also streamlined operations, choosing to shorten their hours of operation, and do away with extraneous things that take time to prepare like their Belgian Waffles, specialty drinks, and their Daily Specials menu altogether.

Yajima-Ya Hours of operation
Yajima-Ya Hours of operation

Kudos to chef Ito-san and the rest of the Yajima-Ya family for constantly evolving and finding ways to please our palate. I just hope my food p0rn/eye candy did the food justice.

Check them out the next time you’re in the area (or even if you’re not!). Trust… You won’t be disappointed.

Yajima-Ya
@yajimayahawaii
Sheridan Street (Behind Hinone Mizunone, between South King & Liona)
Honolulu, HI. 96814 (Street View)
808-497-7991
Mon-Fri: 7am-5pm
Sat: 7:30am-4:30pm

Yatai in Hawaii (Part I) |  Yajima-Ya Revisited (Part II) 

 

VH07V
VH07V Gear
The latest in Hawaii lifestyle apparel. Check it out!

Resolutions

January 3, 2011

You’ve probably heard this more than enough times already, but really… is there a limit!?…

Happy New Year!
(or, for you nihonjins… 明けましておめでとう!)

Just wanted to send some love to y’all this 2011 and see how everyone’s year is going so far… Yeah, I know, it’s only 3 days old, but still. You’re bound to check the Star Advertiser site at least once during your lunch break today right? 8)

Today’s task, to make a REALISTIC resolution that we can each accomplish within the first month of the new year. We’ll check back in a month to see if we’ve done what we said we would. No pressha! 😛

So wot? What say you?

Ed’s Realistic 1 Month Resolution:
* Clean out my DVR! The storage on my DVR is about to explode. I record (and watch) all kine nonsense. I guess I gonna carve out some time so I can finally have my Sing-Off marathon. Hehe! Yeah, still haven’t watched back past the second episode! Ack!

Oceanic Going Green:
For those of you who’ve been around our Mililani offices recently, you may’ve noticed that we’ve been having some mayjah construction action going on… In order to continue to decrease its carbon footprint and increase its commitment to going green, Oceanic Time Warner Cable is currently installing a PV (photovoltaic) system in its entire parking lot.

Oceanic Time Warner Cable's Green Project
Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s Green Project

My January AroundHawaii article:
Don’t forget to check out my AroundHawaii article for January: Tokkuri Tei – Revisited. Get planny food “pr0n”!

Tokkuri Tei - Revisited
Tokkuri Tei – Revisited

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