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Oahu trip report with school-age kids

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Hi all,

Mahalo for your wonderful recommendations -- this board was such a great resource for our 10 day trip to Oahu with our 6 & 8 year-old. We spent one night at Turtle Bay Resort and 10 nights in Waikiki. We had a rental car so we were able to get around a bit.

Kaneohe
• stopped for lunch on the way to TBR at the He'ia pier and general store and had a delicious lunch! The guava chicken, misoyaki beef and ahi katsu were really delicious and so reasonable. I also liked the mac salad that came with it as well as a green salad.
• on the way back to Waikiki we stopped at the Snow Factory to try this kind of treat - kind of a mix between shave ice, ice cream and cotton candy. The kids really liked it! It might be a bit of an acquired taste as the texture is a little strange.

North Shore
• lunch at Romy's shrimp truck -- we had been to Giovanni's in the past and I thought G's was better. We ordered the prawns in garlic sauce, corn on the cob, and fried shrimp (in wonton wrappers). The fried shrimp were the best part! We also tried the fresh pineapple with li hing mui powder. I liked it but the kids not so much. :)
• Stopped at Aoki's for shave ice - we thought it just as good as Matsumoto's and there was no line-up!
• had brekkie at the TBR Resort (Palm terrace) as we needed to check in for a kayak tour at 745 a.m. It was pretty good for a hotel breakfast buffet -- they even had chocolate dipped strawberries for breakfast!
• My kids eat early and we wanted to catch the fire dancer show at 6 pm at the Hang Ten Bar so we just ate there. Food was average - hubby and I shared a HUGE salad. My drink was above average! (something with the name orchid in the title). Best part was the smores kit dessert (mind you it was $10 a pop). But, it was so cool to take our smores kit over to the fire pit and make smores while we watched the Samoan fire dancers!!

Waikiki/Honolulu
• Leonard's for malasadas (banana was my favourite flavour)
• good dim sum at Mei Sum dim sum in Chinatown (order the soft shell crab dish)
• enjoyed lunch at Roy's - shared a bunch of appetizers (miso-glazed butterfish, salad and potstickers) and a mango-tini. Had been to Roy's on a previous trip to the BI for dinner and was underwhelmed but lunch was nice.
• liked both Foodland (with more of a local emphasis) and Whole Foods for take-out foods for the condo (especially liked the poke from Foodland).
• had a good dinner at the Shirokiya food court (wanted the kids to get a taste of Japan). girls really enjoyed the sushi and the udon with tempura. I had some Japanese curry dish that was pretty good. They have a "beer garden" starting at 5:30 where beer is only $3.
• went for the kiawe BBQ at House without a Key for Thursday night to catch the entertainment. The ribs, chicken and fish were all quite good. I know most people on the board say just to go for drinks at sunset but my kids like to eat early so we ended up eating dinner there. I was pleasantly surprised -- food was pretty tasty (we shared 3 entrees but it was our splurge)
• My favourite dinner was probably at Ichiriki nabe for Japanese hot pot - we got the signature nabe with shoyu broth, kobe beef shabu shabu, mushroom appetizer and chicken kaarage appetizer as well as garlic edamamame. For dessert we all shared 1 strawberry shave ice with mochi and condensed milk (it was huge - 4 of us could not finish!). The food was delicious and I love how they bring out the noodles at the end to mix in with the flavourful broth to make a soup. Note if you go early (before 6 pm) there is a discount.
- my favourite lunch was at Diamond Head Market & Grill. The "surf and turf" was delicious (grilled ahi, kalbi, bulgogi, rice and salad). My daughter enjoyed the teri burger and we all shared a Diamond head cheesecake (chocolate/peanut butter/fudge concoction) for dessert. I wish I could have come back for breakfast to try the mac nut pancakes! definitely a place to stop at after a hike to Diamond Head (blueberry scones also a winner).
• Walked over to the International Marketplace for lunch a few times as it was convenient to our hotel. I enjoyed the pink snapper dish from the Blue Water grill (the garlic shrimp also looked really delicious). Kids enjoyed a “Hawaiian hot dog” from Hank’s haute dogs (no lobster dogs at that location anymore). Kids also liked the kimchee fried rice from one of the Korean stalls and the ahi and shrimp tempura hand rolls from the sushi place.
• BEST shave ice we had was at Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha in Hawaii kai. All of the syrups are homemade. I had the green tea and liliikoi flavours and it was superb. The kids had chocolate and mango and they also pronounced it the best shave ice we had in Hawaii.
• Had a decent breakfast at Fat boy’s local drive-in after doing some watersports at Koko Marina – I enjoyed the loco moco and the kids liked the keiki bento box. We then walked over to Bubbie’s for ice cream. It was very tasty and I liked the fact that you can get a very small cone (2 oz called a fetal dip)
• Had an okay lunch at Duke’s. I had the fish tacos and they were fine. My husband enjoyed his pork sandwich on a taro bun. Kids liked the keiki buffet (and only about $5 each which was a good deal considering the all you can eat salad bar . the girls also enjoyed the teriyaki chicken and fish on the buffet). We were too full to try the hula pie.

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  1. hi all,

    forgot to mention that we also hit up the KCC Farmer's market on a Tuesday night and it was FABULOUS. Enjoyed the pao de quiejo (Brazilian cheese buns) and all of our food from Pig & the Lady. My daughters loved the Saigon pho, fresh summer rolls and spicy meatball bahn mi. we also had fresh calamansi juice, and local ice cream and locally made chocolate. Really worth it!! we got there early (515) and it was already quite hopping.

    1. thanks for such a great report Jacolls. I've got to get over to Diamond Head Grill, its been a while.

      1 Reply
      1. re: KaimukiMan

        +1.

      2. what is the pricing/value of hanks? i have been wanting to try them for years.

        2 Replies
        1. re: indelibledotink

          Hi,

          I don't recall the exact price but I think it was more than a "usual" hot dog (i.e., $5 or $6). That being said, it was quite filling and came with lots of yummy toppings. We had the Hawaiian that came with lillikoi mustard and pineapple relish with a portugese sausage. My tip would be to bring your own water to drink. They did sell some kind of frozen lemonade but that cost as much if not more than the hot dog!

          1. re: jacolis

            thank you.

            a favorite of locals is costco for hotdogs. right outside the store are some windows where you can get a sandwich, wrap, pizza, or hotdog. i have had the turkey wrap and it was just eh for four bucks. however the hot dog is only a buck fifty with refillable soda.