The Food Nomad – Falls in Love with Oahu
After putting our feet up and swaying in a hammock to the gentle cadence of island life, we headed to Oahu for a taste of the big city. In comparison to Maui, Oahu feels like tropical island paradise, on steroids. The blazing, glitzy shopping strip of Waikiki is a mecca for fashionistas and foodies, as it’s filled with amazing shops and even more amazing restaurants. And just a stone throw away is the famous Waikiki beach, where visitors can take surf lessons and live out their surf god fantasies.
We stayed at the iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel, also known as the “pink lady” of Hawaii because of its signature pink walls (and basically everything else in between). We were greeted by pink mai tai in the tastefully decorated lobby (sometimes pink can be a bit overboard, but the Royal Hawaiian is luxury collection all the way).
One side of the hotel opened into the bustling shopping strip, and the other linked directly to Waikiki beach. I loved the iconic pink beach umbrellas lining the beach property.
A day of sunbathing on Waikiki Beach.
A somber experience visiting the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbour.
A very “zen” moment at Byodo-In Temple.
Breakfast of champions – my turkey sausage, egg, tomato sandwich on a purple taro bagel. Taro has been the chief source of carbohydrate for native Hawaiians for centuries.
I love these sharp, green ridge mountains. Everytime I look at these it reminds me of an episode of Lost.
On the North Shore and scoping out the famous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck for their legendary garlic shrimp scampi. Yes, the shrimp truck is covered in doodles and, if you are so inclined, can ask for a pen and add your own message.
Best garlicky shrimp!!!!!!!! The buttery garlic sauce melts into the rice, SO GOOD! There is a massive line but patience will get you rewarded!
There is a corn stand beside Giovanni’s called Uncle Woody’s, and it serves the best grilled corn. Ask for the Island Style with Hawaiian sea salt, lime and spices.
When on the North Shore, be sure to try one of their iconic shaved ice shops. This humble, yet sinfully delicious treat is a favourite amongst visitors and locals alike. Our favourite shop is Aoki’s, and when you’re there, ask for the option with vanilla ice cream and azuki beans at the bottom, and a mountain of shaved ice piled on top.
My flavour toppings were butterscotch, coconut and lychee, and the Mister’s were coconut, lychee and green tea.
Happily holding my shaved ice outside Aoki’s.
Having a mai tai on the beach – my very festive glass at Duke’s Waikiki.
At the Honolulu Farmer’s Market, held each Saturday at Kapiolani College. I love this little bumble bee character wearing a little hula skirt at a honey stand.
Yes, I’m a very “corny” girl hehehe
Tempting dessert bars – Americans and their wonderful gluttony.
My first try of green fried tomatoes with wasabi mayo (I personally preferred the fried courgettes more).
Dinosaur kale spotted! These big leaves look almost archaic! I can almost image a stegosaur munching on these!
Big tomato pizza pies at the Farmers’ Market.
Kimchee-stuffed sausages at the famous Kukui Sausage Co. – “da ono ono one”!
Dancin’ the hula.
Luau feast at the Polynesian Cultural Centre and the kalua pig, buried and cooked underground. Succulent, finger-lickin’ good!
Fish tacos at Duke’s by the beach.
Mighty ribs at Hula Grill, Waikiki.
Hawaii, rainbow state
The famous Red Velvet pancake at Cinnamon’s. We waited around 30 minutes in line for these babies! The syrup topping is made with cream cheese. Cinnamon’s is only open for breakfast and lunch, and they also do a famous guava chiffon pancake.
“Hawaiian” egg benedicts at Cinnamon’s – the special ingredient here is mahi mahi fillets under the eggs! Unusual yet delicious!
Mr. (or Mrs.) Turtle spotted in Paradise Cove.
For detailed blogs on a few of the stand-out restaurants we’ve visited this trip to Oahu, click at the below highlighted names: Arancino, Marukame Udon, Roy’s, Suntory Teppanyaki