Plate Lunch to White Pineapples - A week in Kauai & Hawaii
- Anil Khullar
Recently (last week) came back after a week, actually seven nights in Hawaii -- Big Island and Kauai. What an experience !!!.
So here is just a smattering of flavor of the chow-ing
we did, some good and some no sot good spread over 21+ meals.
Number one surprise: It takes much longer than EU, and
flying to HI one always ignores the importance of meals
during long flights (atleast I did). LGA-ATL-HNL and on to Kona, HI was an 18 hours ordeal. I'd picked up
a bagel from "pick-a-bagel" @ 57th., During ATL-HNL
flight just touched the dessert.
BIG ISLAND: We stayed in Kona/Keauhou at Aston resort
and had a convertible for a car.
KAUAI: WE stayed in Lihue at Outrigger Beach and had a convertible for a car too.
A combination of good weather and a
good convertible car, we were looking to leave our hotel early have BreakFast at like say 6:30-7:00 AM. Most of our breakfasts were on-the-road at mom/pop diners/coffee stands etc.
A). Pancakes/Hot Cakes: In HI, all fresh fruits available make it into pancakes - papaya P/C,pineapple P/C,banana P/C etc.
B.) Eggs any style with rice (sticky/steamed/fried).
C.) Fresh juices are difficult to get early ;-(
Noteworthy: HWY 11, Captain Cook Township, there was a
small coffee/bake/gift shop next to a scenic view parking spot - This place had fresh kona coffee and hugh coconut+macadamia nuts cookies freshly baked.
HWY 11, KEALIA, Ben or Bills Diner: I had eggs over
fried rice: The fried rice was actually interesting.
It was really steamed jasmine rice that one is used to getting at NYC Thai places; mixed and fried in a wok
with a medeley of fresh vegetables of the day in oil and few drops of red-hot sauce. I saw folks, table next to us, mix the eggs over-easy with this fried rice
and soy sauce.
Rice St. LIHUE/KAUAI Dani's Restaurant: Spinach & Chopped prawns scrambled with eggs served with japanese
These breakfasts are listed because this is someting I do not have normally in NYC, where mostly it is pick-whatever with your coffee, next to the office . It was also a new experience to have rice in its variations instead of the typical whole wheat/rye/white toast with eggs.
I had read a lot about the plate lunches in Hawaii, and
certainly experience some of it too>
Plate lunches are typically two scoops of rice, with a meat/fish dish; macaroni/or potato salad; and a veggie. With many Thai/Korean/Japanese/Chinese/Philipino estaurants etc. the rice plate becomes a truely interesting experience.
HWY 56, WAILUA, Korean BBQ Rest:
We had arrived via a inter-island flight to KAUAI and by the time we checked into our hotel and freshened up
it was 1:30 PM, we picked up the island road map from the front desk, ignoring their suggestion of having sandwich lunch by the poolside bar&grill, drove towards
Wailua - Hoping to get some variety at Coconuts Shopping Center, we wasted precious 30-40 minutes looking at jewellry and local handicrafts - till my
hunger started to really bother me ;-(. On the highway
was this no-name Korean BBQ restuarant. Formica tables,
Cafeteria-style chairs etc. run by a family.
Kimchee Soup with BBQ-beef Plate rice: The soup was
kimchee,rice,scallops,fish cakes in fiery red broth -
served with two scoops, Bbqed slices of beef wih transparent rice noodles in stirfried vegetables, scoop of spicy potato salad and more kimchee.
This cleared up my sinuses and brought tears ;-). I should title this experience as - "Kimchee, Passion Juice and being dumped at lunch in a anonymous Korean Diner" [ The only other customers at that hour 2:45PM, were a couple, and the woman had chosen to break the news of dumping her cohort over lunch ;-)) ]
HWY 56, Hanalei, Small Roadside restaurant: Ginger Chicken in Teriyaki sauce Shiryu (sp?) style, two scoops of rice, and vegeies in oyster sauce. A little
bland, however there were smattering of hot sauces
on the side to augument if necessary.
Another hole-in-wall place with long line,three tables and four long benches. I must say that in Hanalei that day folks from Mainland (as Continental US is called) were little more than a handful. With two JAL 744, and ANA 742 and a couple of Quantas and ANZ flights per day
into LINHUE, Kauai is a very popular place with folks from Pacific region.
Downtown HILO., Honu's (sp?) Nest: Small Japanese/Hawaiian restaurant. Fish and Chips means
peices of Ahi (YTF Tuna) Katsu (sp?) style served over a bowl of rice and spicyand thick potato strips served with miso soup and small salad. I had breaded salmon, soba-noodle, sea-weed salad and steamed dumpling in
wasabi-mango-ginger flavoured sauce on the side.
The two islands that were stayed also had some good restaurants - these we left for end of the day dinner.
During the day, when we wanted to go hiking, boat trips, beaches etc. breakfast @ roadside places and
plate-lunches were a really inexpensive and great value for our money.
I intend to make a seperate posting later in the week.
Where we'll talk about some of the restaurants we had dinner and wine and chilled out after a long and tired day.
On our next trip HI, we entend to cover two more islands.
Besides the jungle greenery, Kauai is also my favorite island because of the plate lunches. Have been to Dani's - did you notice the enormous mokes who order two or three breakfasts/lunch plates? Used to go to the islands fairly frequently, but last time was more than 3 years ago. Was stuck in a luxe resort on Poipu Beach for a conference but I could hardly wait to get away for some REAL food!
re: Melanie Wong
On of the reason we love Kauai, is because of its
greenry and lush vegetation and general good feel.
I did not see people order two plates at Dani's though
at Ben's up by North side, two weight challenged
folks had ordered just that ;-)
There are many restaurants whose regular portions
are driven by a large (no pun) number of clients
who have a big appetite.