Knowing where my priorities lie, my lovely friend Lorraine (who’s Hawaiian-born-and-bred), said to me “You know you’re not going to Hawaii for the food, right?”
Despite Lorraine’s words of caution, our food experiences in Hawaii were very good*. Some of our food experiences were also particularly memorable (I’m looking at you poi).
1. Town Restaurant – easily the best meal we had. The salads… still thinking about them (especially the arugula, beets, orange, mint, cucumber, chickpeas and mascarpone salad).
2. Mai Tais. What’s not to love? My favourite Mai-Thai-moment (that’s a thing when you sampled as many as I did) was at a luau (I know, tacky but fun if you just go with it) when the guy at the next table said “Last time I was here I had 16 Mai Tais. And that’s not counting the Maui Sunsets.” Love your work, mate.
3. I ordered a spinach omlette at Ken’s House of Pancakes in Hilo. The omlette was made with eleventy hundred eggs and came with a side of hash browns (or pancakes) and toast (or biscuits). The serving sizes were a tad bigger than we’re used to. Here’s my son in a post-waffle-food-coma (yes, he’s done, even though his plate appears virtually untouched.
4. Hot, sugary squares of delicious – malasadas (Hawaiian doughnuts with fillings more exotic than ordinary jam – the red filling above is guava). There’s even a drive-thru malasada service.
5. I’m not ordinarily into cake but this carrot cake with pecan and coconut icing spoke to me in a language I never knew existed.
6. L&L Hawaiian Barbecue – it’s the Hawaiian equivalent of fast-food and it looks fairly ordinary (grilled chicken, rice and mac’n’cheese above) but boy was it was tasty.
7. On our first day on the Big Island and in search of food, we happened across a farmer’s market near Ocean View – bean burritos, grilled corn, grilled avacado with salsa and crab meat, and wood-fired pizza. Rounded out with freshly-squeezed POG juice (passionfruit, orange and guava). All delicious.
* I’m ignoring US bread which, in Australia, we would call cake. And the fact that breakfast cereals are all bowls of sugar with low-fat milk – why can’t you get a decent muesli and full-cream milk? And these things pictured below. For the love of God, why? Are these things even food?