Posts Tagged ‘Mari Taketa’

Ramen Burger Fever Hits Honolulu

February 1, 2014

It all started with a tweet my friend Mari Taketa sent out on Wednesday, January 8th:

@NonStopMari “RAMEN BURGER. coming to hnl @TasteTable next wed 1/15 from 11a til sellout. http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/eating/attention-honolulu-ramen-burger-is-coming/

@NonStopMari's #RamenBurger Tweet
@NonStopMari’s #RamenBurger Tweet

Wait WAAAAT!? *THE* Ramen Burger? You mean the original mashup from ramen prodigy Keizo Shimamoto that started it all? This I gotsta have! So I immediately check the ol’ calendar…

D’oh!

Of alllll days! 1/15 was the day I booked two back to back site surveys with our wireless vendors for #TWCWiFi! Gaaaaah! I’m booked the entire day! Oh well, I guess the Ramen Burger is gonna have to wait ’til the next time I visit New York. And so I never gave it a thought again. Just basically gave up on the idea.

Then, a few days later, as the news started hitting the mainstream folks, the wife asked me, “Did you hear about the Ramen Burger coming to town?”

“#$%^ don’t remind me.”… is what I thought in my mind, but “Yes dear, but I unfortunately can’t make it out that day due to prior work commitments.” is (kinda) what came out of my mouth. šŸ˜›

Then, I really started thinking. Hmm… Maybe I should give this thing a little more thought. The first site survey was at Pearlridge at 7am (Yep, Pearlridge will be getting TWCWiFi soon!). So if the survey ended early, there would be a slim chance that I could jet down to (the former) Taste Table, stand in line, get my burger and scarf it down before my next site survey scheduled for 2pm. But as feared, the site survey ran a bit long. There was however, still a small window to try and squeeze the ramen dream in.

I started calling/texting/tweeting anyone and everyone I could who may possibly be standing in line. Mari, who originally said she could get one for me (there was a 3 burger limit per person), now had 3 spoken for. As did my friends Shane and Toby. My texts to Shinogu and Alvin went unanswered. Maaaan. This is not looking good. To top things off, while driving down, Mari and Shane tell me that the line is already all the way to Ala Moana Blvd! Aw c’mon!

At this point, I had lost all hope. I started planning where my non Ramen Burger meal would be coming from before my next site survey. Ah, but let’s try to drive by and see what it looks like. Ack, as feared, it was pure insanity, so I went to my favorite “lunch in town” spot: Yajima-Ya.

As I sat there eating my Samurai don, I got a text back from Alvin. He was asking me where I was and if I was coming down. I told him I gave up cause there would be no way I could get it before my next appt. In so many words, he offered to use one of his 3 Ramen Burger spots on me if I came down to meet him. I couldn’t leave there fast enough!

I got to Taste a little after 12. After waiting for more than an hour, Alvin was now rounding the corner of Keawe and Auahi, heading towards the entrance of Taste. Although I didn’t earn it, I could practically taste the ramen bun on my tongue.

Crazy line for the Ramen Burger pop-up at the former Taste Table
Crazy line for the Ramen Burger pop-up at the former Taste Table

So as not to cause suspicion with the people behind Alvin, I acted as if I wasn’t there for the Ramen Burger, walking around, talking to other people in line. I even went to the back of Taste where they had it on display, likely there for people like me who wanted to get a picture of the famous burger.

The money shot - The Original Ramen Burger by Keizo Shimamoto
The money shot – The Original Ramen Burger by Keizo Shimamoto

Eventually, I slyly made my way back to Alvin and started small talk until I blended in. LOL! The people behind could probably sniff me (the cutter) out a mile away, but oh well.

As we stood in line, an employee kept coming out and getting a headcount of those waiting. They wanted to see how far the 700 burgers they were making that day would go. The situation for the folks in the back, especially for those behind the “cut off point” starting to look dire. One enterprising guy from the back proposed an offer to our friend Ritsuko who stood right in front of us in line. Since she was only getting one for herself, he offered to buy her burger (not cheap at $10) if he could buy the other two for himself. Win-Win. With the approval of those behind us, the guy got his wish. Smart.

As we slowly inched along, we overheard someone say that each burger, due to the small size of the grill in the back, was taking a minimum of 1 minute to make. With just 40 or so people ahead of us, it was no wonder it took us almost 2 hours to get from Keawe Street to the doorstep of Taste (40 people x 3 burgers = 120 minutes). I even had to reload my parking meter. When we got to about 10 feet from the door, my chariot was starting to turn into a pumpkin. My 2pm appointment was t-minus 10 minutes away. I waited as long as I could, but alas, could not stay any longer and had to leave. Alvin generously offered to deliver my burger to my site survey location, which he did (What a guy!) so I bought his burger as well. My wait was nothing compared to his after all!

Finally!
Finally!

It was worth the wait. Although I had hoped that the “bun” would be grilled a little longer, the overall texture and flavor were on point. The noodles were, after all, provided by the one and only Hidehito Uki from Sun Noodle. And although slightly distracted, I was still able to notice that the grass fed local beef patty, with the green onions, baby arugula, and shoyu glaze did magic to my mouth as I ate and site surveyed. The shoyu glaze was a little reminiscent of the plum sauce that comes with the steamed bun and crispy duck skin at Chinese restaurants. Good call Keizo!

And so my brief love affair with the Ramen Burger ended. Or so I thought…

A few weeks later, I caught wind of some interesting news. It was announced that Eat the Street would play host to another round of Ramen Burger mania at the end of the month (though they did do another pop-up event at Taste on the 29th that not many knew about). After making the wife jealous (and frankly a bit displeased) with my Instagram photos from the first time, I felt it was my obligation, you know, as the greatest husband who ever lived, to brave those lines yet again, and pick one up for her.

Knowing how ridiculous the line was going to be, I headed to 555 South Street immediately following my last meeting of the day. One second there was no line, and before I could blink an eye, there were 8 people ahead of me. I rushed to hold my spot, and then started to document things.

The start of the Ramen Burger line at Eat the Street
The start of the Ramen Burger line at Eat the Street


Unwrapping the ramen “buns”

Grass fed local beef patty
Grass fed local beef patty

Woah, where'd that line come from!?
Woah, where’d that line come from!?

Annnnd the first two burgers and first 4 buns are on the grill!
Annnnd the first two burgers and first 4 buns are on the grill!

Jason Kim and the other helpers and customers have fun despite the torrential rains
Jason Kim and the other helpers and customers have fun despite the torrential rains

We're grillllin' in the rainnn...
We’re grillllin’ in the rainnn…

Almost at the front of the line! [Photo Credit: Rey Rubianes]
Almost at the front of the line! [Photo Credit: Rey Rubianes]


The helpers preparing my Ramen Burgers

Bonus! I was able to use my Hawaii Perks card to get a discount on my Ramen Burgers!
Bonus! I was able to use my Hawaii Perks card to get a discount on my Ramen Burgers!

Despite the rain, I was able to get in and out of there with my two burgers (there was a two burger limit this time) fairly quickly. Those two burgers were immediately taken to the in-laws’ house and shared with them and the wife. #Boom #InstantHero! šŸ˜‰

And so as quickly as it came, it went. The prospects of having another taste of Shimamoto’s famous burger (recently named by Time as the 12th most Influential Burger of all time) would have to wait.

But not for long…

After huge debuts and followings for their pop-ups in New York, L.A., and more, Shimamoto and his Ramen Burgers will finally have a permanent home at BERG’N: Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg, the beer hall/food court set to open in Brooklyn New York in March.

Shimamoto, who famously quit his job to move to Tokyo in order to learn everything there is to know about ramen, will finally get the chance to fulfill his lifelong dream, one Ramen Burger at a time…


Ramen Dreams documentary – A film by Michael McAteer

Ramen Burger
https://www.facebook.com/RamenBurger
http://www.goramen.com/


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

Today’s 2012 Rice Fest Schedule of Events (from 11am-7pm)

September 29, 2012

Rice Fest countdown =
0 days
!
8)

I posted something similar yesterday, but in case you missed it, here are all the details for the Common Grains 3rd Annual Rice Fest, taking place TODAY from 11am-7pm at Ward Warehouse. Hope to see y’all there!


Common Grains & JRE 3rd Annual Hawaii Rice Festival
Ward Warehouse
TODAY from @ 11am-7pm

11am – Rice Fest (at Ward Warehouse) starts, hosted by 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan

Bruddah Bryan
Our Emcee: 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan

12:15pm-12:35pm – 1st Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum & Shawn Ching)

Chef MavroStephanie LumShawn Ching
Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum & Shawn Ching

12:45pm-1:15pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Contest with returning champ Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi from Tokkuri Tei, Chef Eric Goodhew from Kincaid’s Restaurant, Chef Jonathan Mack from Caribbean Spice, and Chef Andy Dalan from YogurStory).

Hideaki 'Santa' MiyoshiEric Goodhew
Jonathan MackAndy Dalan
“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Competitors: Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri Tei), Chef Eric Goodhew (Kincaid’s Restaurant), Chef Jonathan Mack (Caribbean Spice), and Chef Andy Dalan (YogurStory)

1:15pm-1:45pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Contest Judging – Food experts Nadine Kam from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Melissa Chang & Mari Taketa from Nonstop Honolulu, and Katie Ka’anapu from Ward Centers

Nadine KamMelissa Chang
Mari TaketaKatie Kaanapu
“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Judges: Nadine Kam (Honolulu Star-Advertiser), Melissa Chang (Nonstop Honolulu), Mari Taketa (Nonstop Honolulu), and Katie Ka’anapu (Ward Centers)

2pm-2:50pm – Ukulele performances by Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

Jody Kamisato & Uke's Rising Stars
Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

3pm-3:20pm – 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Hawaiian Grown Kitchen’s Chef Grant Kawasaki and KHON2’s Justin Cruz)

Chef Grant KawasakiJustin Cruz
Chef Grant Kawasaki (Hawaiian Grown Kitchen) & Justin Cruz (KHON2)

3:30pm-4pm – Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii
Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

4pm-4:30pm – Basketball Freestyle demo by former America’s Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad

Basketball Freestyle demo by former America's Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad
Basketball Freestyle demo by former America’s Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad

4:30pm-5pm – Musical performance by Jon Yamasato

Jon Yamasato
Jon Yamasato

6pm-6:10pm – 3rd Annual SPAMĀ® Musubi Eating Contest – with two-time defending champ “Uncle Rodney”

Uncle Rodney
SPAMĀ® Musubi Eating Contest two-time defending champ “Uncle Rodney”

6:15pm-6:30pm – Guinness World Recordā„¢ for Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi – Official Weigh-In

Guinness World Recordā„¢ for Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi
Guinness World Recordā„¢ for Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi

6:30pm-7pm – Contest Winner Announcements and closing remarks

7pm – 2012 Rice Fest concludes

All Day (11am-7pm)
* Brown Rice Donation Center – Brown Rice and monetary donations accepted for Lanakila Meals on Wheels at the Lanakila Pacific / Info booth, Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth, Channel808 booth, and VH07V booth
* Guinness World Recordā„¢ attempt – Construction of the world’s Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi in an attempt to break the Guinness World Recordā„¢ of 286 lbs!
* Live Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt – Compete in this Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win great prizes!
* Rice Education Booth – Learn all about Rice from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Professor of Nutrition Dr. Maria Stewart

And let’s not forget about all of the participating vendors & food trucks:

  • Camille’s On Wheels
    • Menu: Latin Fare w/ Cilantro Rice, Quinoa-Rice-Black Beans Salad
  • Channel808
    • *** Brown Rice donations accepted here
  • Common Grains
    • Menu: Hot Omusubi: Made to order with new crop rice from Japan; Any one vegetable filling ume or takuan, Meat filling; Japanese Curry Rice
  • Curry King
    • Menu: Curry & Rice; Mochi Fried Rice; Katsu Musubi
  • Dr. Maria Stewart, Professor of Nutrition
  • Ev’ryting Taste Betta Wit, LLC
  • Genki Sushi Ward Centers
    • Menu: Inari (2pcs), California Roll (2pcs), Spicy Tuna Handroll, California Handroll, Spicy Tuna Bowl
  • The Girls Who Bake Next Door
    • Menu: Mochi: bod-bod butter mochi (butter mochi on top, mochi rice on the bottom), butter mochi, and poi mochi; Cupcakes: chocolate toffee peanut butter, red velvet, and pumpkin; Cookies: chocolate chip with macadamia nuts, oatmeal raisin, and oatmeal coconut chocolate chip
  • Hawaii Panel
  • Hawaii’s Fried Musubi
    • Menu: Fried Spam Musubis, Mama’s Fried Chicken Combo, Fried Hawaiian Style Ahi, Fried desserts (oreos, red velvet cupcakes, twinkies), Specialty drinks (home-made plantation iced-tea, and pineapple infused iced tea)
  • Kakaako Kitchen
    • Menu: Famous Kaka’ako Kitchen Fried Rice w/ Korean Style Beef, Coconut Scented Black Rice with Lemongrass Chicken
  • Kinkaid’s Ward
    • Menu: Salmon Risotto: Hearts of palm, crimini mushrooms, parmesan cheese, parsley, red wine gastrique; Pinapple Fried Rice with Pork Belly: Peas carrots, celery, sambal, green onion
  • Lanakila Pacific
    • * Brown Rice and monetary donations accepted here
  • Lundberg Family Farms / Aloha Natural Brokers
    • Menu: Single-serve Rice Chips
  • Ninja Sushi
    • Menu: Shoyu Ahi Poke w/ Rice, Spicy Ahi Poke w/ Rice
  • Oceanic Time Warner Cable
    • *** Brown Rice donations accepted here
  • Ono Pops
    • Menu: Fresh local handmade Hawaiian popsicles
  • Shigalicious
    • Menu: Spam Musubi, Shave Ice, Gotterbi, Gotter Balls
  • Shogunai Tacos
    • Menu: Osaka Jo, Japanese Pork Taco; Zeus’ Glory, Greek Lamb Taco; Salad de Casbah, Rice, with Tuna, Corn, Cumin, and Spicy Bacon; Damascus, Vegetarian Hummus Tacos; South of the Border, Mexican Ground Beef Taco; Ceylon, Spicy Sri Lankan, beef taco; Curry spiced beef with jalapeno, kimchee, and grilled onion; Moroccan Pomme Frites
  • SolarCity
  • Summer’s LavaDogs
  • Tango Market
    • Menu: Fried Rice w/ Braised Beef; Risotto w/ Garlic Shrimp; Danish Rice Pudding w/ Berry Compote; Hawaii Book of Rice
  • VH07V Apparel
    • Menu: Official 2012 Rice Fest Shirt. *** Brown Rice donations accepted here.

Rice Fest 2012 T-Shirts
For sale at the VH07V booth: The official 2012 Rice Fest T-Shirts

Hope you can make it down to experience another long year of my blood, sweat and tears for this event… See y’all there! šŸ™‚

Today’s 2012 Rice Fest Schedule of Events (from 11am-7pm)

September 29, 2012

Rice Fest countdown =
0 days
!
8)

I posted something similar yesterday, but in case you missed it, here are all the details for the Common Grains 3rd Annual Rice Fest, taking place TODAY from 11am-7pm at Ward Warehouse. Hope to see y’all there!


Common Grains & JRE 3rd Annual Hawaii Rice Festival
Ward Warehouse
TODAY from @ 11am-7pm

11am – Rice Fest (at Ward Warehouse) starts, hosted by 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan

Bruddah Bryan
Our Emcee: 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan

12:15pm-12:35pm – 1st Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum & Shawn Ching)

Chef MavroStephanie LumShawn Ching
Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum & Shawn Ching

12:45pm-1:15pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Contest with returning champ Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi from Tokkuri Tei, Chef Eric Goodhew from Kincaid’s Restaurant, Chef Jonathan Mack from Caribbean Spice, and Chef Andy Dalan from YogurStory).

Hideaki 'Santa' MiyoshiEric Goodhew
Jonathan MackAndy Dalan
“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Competitors: Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri Tei), Chef Eric Goodhew (Kincaid’s Restaurant), Chef Jonathan Mack (Caribbean Spice), and Chef Andy Dalan (YogurStory)

1:15pm-1:45pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Contest Judging – Food experts Nadine Kam from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Melissa Chang & Mari Taketa from Nonstop Honolulu, and Katie Ka’anapu from Ward Centers

Nadine KamMelissa Chang
Mari TaketaKatie Kaanapu
“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Judges: Nadine Kam (Honolulu Star-Advertiser), Melissa Chang (Nonstop Honolulu), Mari Taketa (Nonstop Honolulu), and Katie Ka’anapu (Ward Centers)

2pm-2:50pm – Ukulele performances by Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

Jody Kamisato & Uke's Rising Stars
Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

3pm-3:20pm – 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Hawaiian Grown Kitchen’s Chef Grant Kawasaki and KHON2’s Justin Cruz)

Chef Grant KawasakiJustin Cruz
Chef Grant Kawasaki (Hawaiian Grown Kitchen) & Justin Cruz (KHON2)

3:30pm-4pm – Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii
Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

4pm-4:30pm – Basketball Freestyle demo by former America’s Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad

Basketball Freestyle demo by former America's Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad
Basketball Freestyle demo by former America’s Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad

4:30pm-5pm – Musical performance by Jon Yamasato

Jon Yamasato
Jon Yamasato

6pm-6:10pm – 3rd Annual SPAMĀ® Musubi Eating Contest – with two-time defending champ “Uncle Rodney”

Uncle Rodney
SPAMĀ® Musubi Eating Contest two-time defending champ “Uncle Rodney”

6:15pm-6:30pm – Guinness World Recordā„¢ for Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi – Official Weigh-In

Guinness World Recordā„¢ for Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi
Guinness World Recordā„¢ for Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi

6:30pm-7pm – Contest Winner Announcements and closing remarks

7pm – 2012 Rice Fest concludes

All Day (11am-7pm)
* Brown Rice Donation Center – Brown Rice and monetary donations accepted for Lanakila Meals on Wheels at the Lanakila Pacific / Info booth, Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth, Channel808 booth, and VH07V booth
* Guinness World Recordā„¢ attempt – Construction of the world’s Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi in an attempt to break the Guinness World Recordā„¢ of 286 lbs!
* Live Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt – Compete in this Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win great prizes!
* Rice Education Booth – Learn all about Rice from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Professor of Nutrition Dr. Maria Stewart

And let’s not forget about all of the participating vendors & food trucks:

  • Camille’s On Wheels
    • Menu: Latin Fare w/ Cilantro Rice, Quinoa-Rice-Black Beans Salad
  • Channel808
    • *** Brown Rice donations accepted here
  • Common Grains
    • Menu: Hot Omusubi: Made to order with new crop rice from Japan; Any one vegetable filling ume or takuan, Meat filling; Japanese Curry Rice
  • Curry King
    • Menu: Curry & Rice; Mochi Fried Rice; Katsu Musubi
  • Dr. Maria Stewart, Professor of Nutrition
  • Ev’ryting Taste Betta Wit, LLC
  • Genki Sushi Ward Centers
    • Menu: Inari (2pcs), California Roll (2pcs), Spicy Tuna Handroll, California Handroll, Spicy Tuna Bowl
  • The Girls Who Bake Next Door
    • Menu: Mochi: bod-bod butter mochi (butter mochi on top, mochi rice on the bottom), butter mochi, and poi mochi; Cupcakes: chocolate toffee peanut butter, red velvet, and pumpkin; Cookies: chocolate chip with macadamia nuts, oatmeal raisin, and oatmeal coconut chocolate chip
  • Hawaii Panel
  • Hawaii’s Fried Musubi
    • Menu: Fried Spam Musubis, Mama’s Fried Chicken Combo, Fried Hawaiian Style Ahi, Fried desserts (oreos, red velvet cupcakes, twinkies), Specialty drinks (home-made plantation iced-tea, and pineapple infused iced tea)
  • Kakaako Kitchen
    • Menu: Famous Kaka’ako Kitchen Fried Rice w/ Korean Style Beef, Coconut Scented Black Rice with Lemongrass Chicken
  • Kinkaid’s Ward
    • Menu: Salmon Risotto: Hearts of palm, crimini mushrooms, parmesan cheese, parsley, red wine gastrique; Pinapple Fried Rice with Pork Belly: Peas carrots, celery, sambal, green onion
  • Lanakila Pacific
    • * Brown Rice and monetary donations accepted here
  • Lundberg Family Farms / Aloha Natural Brokers
    • Menu: Single-serve Rice Chips
  • Ninja Sushi
    • Menu: Shoyu Ahi Poke w/ Rice, Spicy Ahi Poke w/ Rice
  • Oceanic Time Warner Cable
    • *** Brown Rice donations accepted here
  • Ono Pops
    • Menu: Fresh local handmade Hawaiian popsicles
  • Shigalicious
    • Menu: Spam Musubi, Shave Ice, Gotterbi, Gotter Balls
  • Shogunai Tacos
    • Menu: Osaka Jo, Japanese Pork Taco; Zeus’ Glory, Greek Lamb Taco; Salad de Casbah, Rice, with Tuna, Corn, Cumin, and Spicy Bacon; Damascus, Vegetarian Hummus Tacos; South of the Border, Mexican Ground Beef Taco; Ceylon, Spicy Sri Lankan, beef taco; Curry spiced beef with jalapeno, kimchee, and grilled onion; Moroccan Pomme Frites
  • SolarCity
  • Summer’s LavaDogs
  • Tango Market
    • Menu: Fried Rice w/ Braised Beef; Risotto w/ Garlic Shrimp; Danish Rice Pudding w/ Berry Compote; Hawaii Book of Rice
  • VH07V Apparel
    • Menu: Official 2012 Rice Fest Shirt. *** Brown Rice donations accepted here.

Rice Fest 2012 T-Shirts
For sale at the VH07V booth: The official 2012 Rice Fest T-Shirts

Hope you can make it down to experience another long year of my blood, sweat and tears for this event… See y’all there! šŸ™‚

2012 Rice Fest is TOMORROW!

September 28, 2012

Rice Fest countdown =
1 day
!
8)

Wow, I can’t believe Rice Fest 2012 is finally here! Tomorrow, from 11am-7pm, Hawaii’s only rice inspired food festival takes place at Ward Centers in Honolulu. Amongst the day’s food and festivities, there will be celebrity & chef cooking demonstrations, a “Riceipe” cooking competition, live entertainment by Jody Kamisato, and Jon Yamasato and a Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii, a SPAMĀ® Musubi Eating Contest, and a Guinness World Recordā„¢ attempt to create the Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi in the world!

Below is the commercial and an an hour by hour breakdown of the day’s events. Hope you can join us!


Common Grains & JRE 3rd Annual Hawaii Rice Festival
Ward Warehouse
TOMORROW from @ 11am-7pm

11am – Rice Fest (at Ward Warehouse) starts, hosted by 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan

Bruddah Bryan
Our Emcee: 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan

12:15pm-12:35pm – 1st Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum & Shawn Ching)

Chef MavroStephanie LumShawn Ching
Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum & Shawn Ching

12:45pm-1:15pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Contest with returning champ Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi from Tokkuri Tei, Chef Eric Goodhew from Kincaid’s Restaurant, Chef Jonathan Mack from Caribbean Spice, and Chef Andy Dalan from YogurStory).

Hideaki 'Santa' MiyoshiEric Goodhew
Jonathan MackAndy Dalan
“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Competitors: Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri Tei), Chef Eric Goodhew (Kincaid’s Restaurant), Chef Jonathan Mack (Caribbean Spice), and Chef Andy Dalan (YogurStory)

1:15pm-1:45pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Contest Judging – Food experts Nadine Kam from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Melissa Chang & Mari Taketa from Nonstop Honolulu, and Katie Ka’anapu from Ward Centers

Nadine KamMelissa Chang
Mari TaketaKatie Kaanapu
“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Judges: Nadine Kam (Honolulu Star-Advertiser), Melissa Chang (Nonstop Honolulu), Mari Taketa (Nonstop Honolulu), and Katie Ka’anapu (Ward Centers)

2pm-2:50pm – Ukulele performances by Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

Jody Kamisato & Uke's Rising Stars
Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

3pm-3:20pm – 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Hawaiian Grown Kitchen’s Chef Grant Kawasaki and KHON2’s Justin Cruz)

Chef Grant KawasakiJustin Cruz
Chef Grant Kawasaki (Hawaiian Grown Kitchen) & Justin Cruz (KHON2)

3:30pm-4pm – Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii
Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

4pm-4:30pm – Basketball Freestyle demo by former America’s Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad

Basketball Freestyle demo by former America's Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad
Basketball Freestyle demo by former America’s Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad

4:30pm-5pm – Musical performance by Jon Yamasato

Jon Yamasato
Jon Yamasato

6pm-6:10pm – 3rd Annual SPAMĀ® Musubi Eating Contest – with two-time defending champ “Uncle Rodney”

Uncle Rodney
SPAMĀ® Musubi Eating Contest two-time defending champ “Uncle Rodney”

6:15pm-6:30pm – Guinness World Recordā„¢ for Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi – Official Weigh-In

Guinness World Recordā„¢ for Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi
Guinness World Recordā„¢ for Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi

6:30pm-7pm – Contest Winner Announcements and closing remarks

7pm – 2012 Rice Fest concludes

All Day (11am-7pm)
* Brown Rice Donation Center – Brown Rice and monetary donations accepted for Lanakila Meals on Wheels at the Lanakila Pacific / Info booth, Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth, Channel808 booth, and VH07V booth
* Guinness World Recordā„¢ attempt – Construction of the world’s Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi in an attempt to break the Guinness World Recordā„¢ of 286 lbs!
* Live Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt – Compete in this Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win great prizes!
* Rice Education Booth – Learn all about Rice from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Professor of Nutrition Dr. Maria Stewart

And let’s not forget about all of the participating vendors & food trucks:

  • Camille’s On Wheels
    • Menu: Latin Fare w/ Cilantro Rice, Quinoa-Rice-Black Beans Salad
  • Channel808
    • *** Brown Rice donations accepted here
  • Common Grains
    • Menu: Hot Omusubi: Made to order with new crop rice from Japan; Any one vegetable filling ume or takuan, Meat filling; Japanese Curry Rice
  • Curry King
    • Menu: Curry & Rice; Mochi Fried Rice; Katsu Musubi
  • Dr. Maria Stewart, Professor of Nutrition
  • Ev’ryting Taste Betta Wit, LLC
  • Genki Sushi Ward Centers
    • Menu: Inari (2pcs), California Roll (2pcs), Spicy Tuna Handroll, California Handroll, Spicy Tuna Bowl
  • The Girls Who Bake Next Door
    • Menu: Mochi: bod-bod butter mochi (butter mochi on top, mochi rice on the bottom), butter mochi, and poi mochi; Cupcakes: chocolate toffee peanut butter, red velvet, and pumpkin; Cookies: chocolate chip with macadamia nuts, oatmeal raisin, and oatmeal coconut chocolate chip
  • Hawaii Panel
  • Hawaii’s Fried Musubi
    • Menu: Fried Spam Musubis, Mama’s Fried Chicken Combo, Fried Hawaiian Style Ahi, Fried desserts (oreos, red velvet cupcakes, twinkies), Specialty drinks (home-made plantation iced-tea, and pineapple infused iced tea)
  • Kakaako Kitchen
    • Menu: Famous Kaka’ako Kitchen Fried Rice w/ Korean Style Beef, Coconut Scented Black Rice with Lemongrass Chicken
  • Kinkaid’s Ward
    • Menu: Salmon Risotto: Hearts of palm, crimini mushrooms, parmesan cheese, parsley, red wine gastrique; Pinapple Fried Rice with Pork Belly: Peas carrots, celery, sambal, green onion
  • Lanakila Pacific
    • * Brown Rice and monetary donations accepted here
  • Lundberg Family Farms / Aloha Natural Brokers
    • Menu: Single-serve Rice Chips
  • Ninja Sushi
    • Menu: Shoyu Ahi Poke w/ Rice, Spicy Ahi Poke w/ Rice
  • Oceanic Time Warner Cable
    • *** Brown Rice donations accepted here
  • Ono Pops
    • Menu: Fresh local handmade Hawaiian popsicles
  • Shigalicious
    • Menu: Spam Musubi, Shave Ice, Gotterbi, Gotter Balls
  • Shogunai Tacos
    • Menu: Osaka Jo, Japanese Pork Taco; Zeus’ Glory, Greek Lamb Taco; Salad de Casbah, Rice, with Tuna, Corn, Cumin, and Spicy Bacon; Damascus, Vegetarian Hummus Tacos; South of the Border, Mexican Ground Beef Taco; Ceylon, Spicy Sri Lankan, beef taco; Curry spiced beef with jalapeno, kimchee, and grilled onion; Moroccan Pomme Frites
  • SolarCity
  • Summer’s LavaDogs
  • Tango Market
    • Menu: Fried Rice w/ Braised Beef; Risotto w/ Garlic Shrimp; Danish Rice Pudding w/ Berry Compote; Hawaii Book of Rice
  • VH07V Apparel
    • Menu: Official 2012 Rice Fest Shirt (See below). *** Brown Rice donations accepted here.

Rice Fest 2012 T-Shirts
For sale at the VH07V booth: The official 2012 Rice Fest T-Shirts

Hope you can make it down to experience another long year of my blood, sweat and tears for this event… See y’all there! šŸ™‚

2011 Rice Fest is TODAY (Schedule of Events from 10am-6pm)

September 11, 2011

Well, my baby has finally arrived. It took 1 whole year (again), but I pushed and I pushed and am ready to deliver it to you today. Hope you can make it down to Rice Fest at Ala Moana’s Magic Island today between 10am-6pm.

Check out the below for an hour by hour breakdown of the day’s festivities including celebrity & chef cooking demonstrations, “Riceipe” cooking competitions, live entertainment by Jody Kamisato, Bruce Shimabukuro and a Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii, a SPAMĀ® Musubi Eating Contest, and a Guinness World Recordā„¢ attempt to create the Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi in the world!

2nd Annual Hawaii Rice Fest
2nd Annual Hawaii Rice Festival

Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park
TODAY from @ 10am-6pm

10am – Rice Fest (at Ala Moana’s Magic Island) starts, hosted by 102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan

Bruddah Bryan
102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan

10:15am-10:45am – Ukulele performances by Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

Bruddah Bryan
Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

11am-11:20am – 1st Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Chef Kent Thompson and Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto)

Kent ThompsonMinna Sugimoto
Chef Kent Thompson and Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto

11:30am-12:30pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Competition – Amateur Division (including Leticia Buhr, Cathy Nobriga Kim, Loreen Matsushima, Mao Moeng, and Joan Murata).

Leticia BuhrCathy Nobriga Kim
Loreen MatsushimaMao MoengJoan Murata
“Riceipe” Competition Amateurs: Leticia Buhr, Cathy Nobriga Kim, Loreen Matsushima, Mao Moeng, and Joan Murata

12:30pm-1:30pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Competition – Professional Division (including returning champ Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi from Tokkuri Tei, Executive Chef Wayne Hirabayashi from the Kahala Hotel & Resort, Executive Chef Hector Morales from the Turtle Bay Resort, and retired chef Kent Thompson).

Hideaki 'Santa' MiyoshiWayne Hirabayashi
Hector MoralesKent Thompson
“Riceipe” Competition Professionals: Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri Tei), Executive Chef Wayne Hirabayashi (Kahala Hotel & Resort), Executive Chef Hector Morales (Turtle Bay Resort), Chef Kent Thompson (retired)

“Riceipe” Cooking Competition – Judges (11:30pm-1:30pm) – Food experts John Heckathorn from Honolulu Magazine, Nadine Kam from the Honolulu Star Advertiser and Melissa Chang and Mari Taketa from Nonstop Honolulu.

John HeckathornNadine Kam
Melissa ChangMari Taketa
Judges John Heckathorn, Nadine Kam, Melissa Chang Mari Taketa

2pm-2:20pm – 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and The Cat Dish’s Catherine Toth)

Chef George MavrothalassitisCatherine Toth
Chef/Proprietor George Mavrothalassitis (Chef Mavro) & Catherine Toth (Cat Dish)

2:30pm-3pm – Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii
Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

3pm-3:30pm – Ukulele performance by Bruce Shimabukuro

Bruce Shimabukuro
Bruce Shimabukuro

4pm-4:20pm – 3rd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Maui’s Sea House Restaurant’s Executive Chef Craig Erickson and KHON2’s Justin Cruz)

Executive Chef Craig EricksonJustin Cruz
Executive Chef Craig Erickson (Maui’s Sea House Restaurant) & Justin Cruz (KHON2)

4:30pm-5pm – Guinness World Recordā„¢ for Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi – Official Weigh-In

5pm-5:30pm – 2nd Annual SPAMĀ® Musubi Eating Contest

5:30pm-6pm – Contest winner announcements

6pm – Rice Fest concludes

All Day (10am-6pm)
* Rice Donation Center – Donate your brown rice to Lanakila Meals on Wheels and white rice to Hawaii Foodbank
* Guinness World Recordā„¢ attempt to create the Largest SPAMĀ® Musubi
* Live Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt – Compete in this Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win great prizes!
* Rice Education Booth – Learn all about Rice from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Professor of Nutrition Dr. Maria Stewart, and
* The Keiki Zone – coloring contest hosted by members of the 2011 Narcissus Festival Court from 10am-2pm, bouncies, balloons and fun from Douglas Odani, Crystal Face Painting & Tattoos by Lei Crystal Tattoos, and games from JMJ Gaming.

2011 Narcissus Festival Court
2011 Narcissus Festival Court

And let’s not forget about all of the participating vendors & booths:

  • Bruce Shimabukuro / The Ukebox
  • Douglas Odani – Balloon Twister
  • Dr. Maria Stewart – University of Hawaii at Manoa Professor of Nutrition
  • Grandma G’s Kitchen
  • Hawaii Book of Rice / Watermark Publishing
  • Hawaii Foodbank
  • Hawaiian Style Chili Co.
  • Island Fruits
  • JMJ Gaming
  • Kat’s Sushi
  • The Keiki Zone
  • Lanakila Meals on Wheels
  • Lei Crystal Tattoos
  • Oceanic Time Warner Cable
  • Ono Local Foods
  • Ono Pops
  • Project Grad
  • Raised on Rice
  • Sam’s Kitchen
  • Shiga’licious
  • SNOW |F|A|C|T|O|R|Y|
  • Taste & See Delights

Hope you can make it down to experience another long year of my blood, sweat and tears for this event… See y’all there! šŸ™‚

Tokkuri Tei – Revisited

January 1, 2011
Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For | Tokkuri Tei – Revisited

Whenever anybody asks me where my favorite restaurant is, I always say “Tokkuri Tei” without any hesitation. Some will nod in approval because they’ve been, while others are curious because they haven’t. For the latter, I usually like to send them a link to an article I wrote about them several years ago: Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For because it contains the food “pr0n” that everybody gets excited over.

Recently, I was re-skimming the article and noticed that there were only 8 photos in it and I asked myself “Is that it!? Just 8 photos!?”

I’ve been to both of Tokkuri Tei’s locations dozens of times. Heck a single search for “Tokkuri Tei” on my computer box thing yields 296 items! Almost three hunny, and all I could muster up for that article was 8 measly photos? Must’ve been my rookie food blogging days. LOL!

Tokkuri Tei - The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For
Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For

Needless to say, an update was long overdue… So when co-owner Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi informed me that they would be moving to a new location (their 3rd in almost 22 years), I thought it would be the perfect time to update their story (and my photo count).

On Tuesday, December 21st, I answered Santa san’s call. They needed help moving the “heavy stuff” after spending the entire previous day moving the “small stuff” over (guess he knew about the “gun” show *grin*). The plan was to move the entire Tokkuri Tei operation from their 611 Kapahulu location to their new 449 Kapahulu location and be ready to launch in one week! Whaaaat? One week!? Fo real? No can! Can! Although just 0.2 miles away, moving an entire restaurant, enormous refrigerators and all, is not an easy task as I was about to find out.

I arrived that morning to this:

Dining area inside the old Tokkuri Tei
Dining area inside the old Tokkuri Tei

Kitchen and sushi bar at the old Tokkuri Tei
Kitchen and sushi bar at the old Tokkuri Tei

I gotta admit, I got a little misty. OK, not really, but there were so many memories made there!

Then, it was time to move one of the HUMONGOID refrigerators. Lucky thing this one had wheels!

Moving the refrigerator. Why am I not helping? :P
Moving the refrigerator. Why am I not helping? šŸ˜›

With the “heavy stuff” loaded up, we headed over to the new spot (the old Sam Choy’s/Sergio’s/Ranch House above Hee Hing). I’ve honestly never been here since it was Sam Choy’s Restaurant, so I was particularly interested to see what kind of space we were working with.

Partially furnished dining area inside the new Tokkuri Tei
Partially furnished dining area inside the new Tokkuri Tei

Tokkuri Tei's other owner Kazu "Kaz" Mitake checks out his kitchen with Santa
Tokkuri Tei’s other owner Kazu “Kaz” Mitake checks out his kitchen with Santa

As you can see, it’s a fairly large blank canvas for which to paint. Thankfully, some familiar izakaya trimmings were brought in to spruce up the joint.

Japanese lanterns (chochin) waiting to be put up
Japanese lanterns (chochin) waiting to be put up

Santa went right to work putting them up.

Santa putting up the lanterns
Santa putting up the lanterns

Less than a week later (Sunday, the 26th), Santa invited me to their soft-launch party. The guest list was only around 20, but we had a very important role. We were there so that the staff could get their bearings and do a dry run before going live to the public the very next day. Here are some shots from that night.

The sign is up!
The sign is up!

Tokkuri-Tei's new interior
Tokkuri-Tei’s new interior

Hilarious display. Great photo opp location!
Hilarious display. Great photo opp location!

Most of the shikishi (signed cards) are back up!
Most of the shikishi (signed cards) are back up!

The new sushi bar. So colorful!
The new sushi bar. So colorful!

And then came the food. There was no ordering involved. It was a set menu as decided upon by the kitchen.

Enoki Bata (Enoki mushrooms sautƩed in butter)
Enoki Bata (Enoki mushrooms sautƩed in butter)

Yaki Tori Kushi Yaki (chicken skewers), Geso Kara Age (deep fried squid legs), and the Enoki Bata
Yaki Tori Kushi Yaki (chicken skewers), Geso Kara Age (deep fried squid legs), and the Enoki Bata

Samples of the California Roll, Unagi Cali Roll, and Baked Alaska Roll
Samples of the California Roll, Unagi Cali Roll, and Baked Alaska Roll

Asupara Bata (Butter asparagus)
Asupara Bata (Butter asparagus)

Shake (salmon) sushi
Shake (salmon) sushi

Chicken Kara Age (fried chicken)
Chicken Kara Age (fried chicken)

Bintoro Tataki (flash seared albacore tuna)
Bintoro Tataki (flash seared albacore tuna)

Ebi (shrimp) sushi
Ebi (shrimp) sushi

Yaki Nasu (Eggplant)
Yaki Nasu (Eggplant)

I gotta be honest. At first, I was a little worried. With a space that much bigger, I wasn’t sure if they would be able to keep the “hole-in-the-wall” izakaya vibe/feel. I also thought that the taste might change. Well, I’m happy to report that neither has occurred. You still feel at home in their new digs and the YUM factor was still alive and well. The true test was when I went home and shmall kine kanak attacked! All pau!

The next day (Monday, the 27th), the Official Grand Re-Opening was set to happen, but it didn’t come without some drama. Santa and crew had to wait for the health inspector to come and deliver their health permit and that didn’t happen until around 2pm, just a few hours before opening! Yikes!

But with that outta the way, Tokkuri Tei was ready for lift off! I invited a bunch of (new and old) friends to join me. Here are some sights from that night.

Well hello again Enoki Bata! :P
Well hello again Enoki Bata! šŸ˜›

There's a Spider in Da Poke
There’s a Spider in Da Poke

(Off the menu) Sugimoto Risotto, er, Seafood Risotto 8)
(Off the menu) Sugimoto Risotto, er, Seafood Risotto 8)

Note: This is my all-time favorite dish from Tokkuri Tei, hands down (it even took First Place in the “Rice-ipe” Contest – Professional Division, at the Rice Fest this past year). Problem is, it’s not on the regular menu to order. In fact, Santa is the only one who knows how to make it! With that said, I have been petitioning (ok, begging) Santa to rename it from the mundane “Seafood Risotto” to the more catchy, and, dare I say, exciting “Sugimoto Risotto“! Ahahaha! While we’re at it, maybe we can convince him to make it a regular item on the menu. Muhahahaha! A fella can dream right? But fo’ real, I think this one would seriously sell like hotcakes! Or should I say Sugimoto Hotcakes? šŸ˜› Guess that doesn’t have the same ring to it…

Stuffed Portobello
Stuffed Portobello

Packed house
Packed house


Here’s an artsy panoramic video Clayton Wakida shot from his iPhone

Group shot: Jason Kim (@turkeyboy808), Lee Kojima, Leanne Nakamura, Matt Duffy (@Shogunai_Tacos), Mai Sugimoto, me, Santa Miyoshi, Kelli Nakama, Rick Nakama (@RickNakama), Clayton Wakida (@jarofclay73) and Mari Taketa (@NonStopMari)
Group shot: Jason Kim (@turkeyboy808), Lee Kojima, Leanne Nakamura, Matt Duffy (@Shogunai_Tacos), Mai Sugimoto, me, Santa Miyoshi, Kelli Nakama, Rick Nakama (@RickNakama), Clayton Wakida (@jarofclay73) and Mari Taketa (@NonStopMari)

What an awesome night with great friends and ono eats…

But wait! *screeeeech* You think it’s ova don’tcha? No way Jose! I still get choke photos fo’ share! šŸ™‚

Teriyaki Cream Tofu
Teriyaki Cream Tofu

Ama Ebi (raw shrimp) with deep fried head
Ama Ebi (raw shrimp) with deep fried head

Cajun Ahi Salad
Cajun Ahi Salad

Salmon Skin Salad
Salmon Skin Salad

Sunagimo Kara Age (Deep Fried Chicken Gizzards)
Sunagimo Kara Age (Deep Fried Chicken Gizzards)

(Off the menu) Lilipuna Poke
(Off the menu) Lilipuna Poke

Ika Yaki (Squid Pancake)
Ika Yaki (Squid Pancake)

Ahi Tempura Poke
Ahi Tempura Poke

Nori-chos (Nori Nachos)
Nori-chos (Nori Nachos)

Soft Shell Crab Kara Age
Soft Shell Crab Kara Age

Salmon Dynamite
Salmon Dynamite

Hideaki Santa Miyoshi invites you to visit their new location
Hideaki Santa Miyoshi invites you to visit their new location

Wow! 40 photos this time around… Take that 8 photos! šŸ™‚

Tokkuri-Tei Restaurant
449 Kapahulu (the old Sam Choy’s/Sergio’s/Ranch House, above Hee Hing)
Honolulu, HI. 96815 (Street View)
(808) 732-6480 <— NEW Telephone Number!

P.S. Happy New Year Everyone!
P.P.S. Omedetou Santa san!

Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For | Tokkuri Tei – Revisited