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Archive for November, 2010

As the weather is getting a little cooler, it’s time to start making soups again. Last week, I made simple stock with chicken feet. Since I posted about chicken feet soup before, I won’t bore you with the details. Chicken feet, water, Chinese red dates and a splash of Shao Xing wine. Simmer for hours, until everything is soft. Salt to taste. Slurp until contented.

Chicken Feet Soup

By the time this is posted, we will be on our way to San Francisco for a short business trip. The Cat has to deal with some lawyers (ick). The Mouse is tagging along. Posting about Panjin rice will have to wait until we return. See you in about a week.

Until then … Enjoy.

The Mouse

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Turkey Jook

My aunt M invited us to lunch on Sunday to eat Thanksgiving leftovers. We ate leftover turkey, chestnut stuffing, sweet potato and pumpkin pie. From the turkey carcass, she made turkey jook (one of my favorite dishes that comes from the turkey).

Turkey Jook

Besides the turkey and rice, she added dried mushrooms and peanuts. Yum.

Thanks Aunty M! Call anytime you make jook, we’ll be there.

Aunty M is the aunt that turned me on to grilled cheese sandwiches, that started me on the food journey. One of my heroines.

Deep respectful bow.

The Mouse.

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This past Tuesday, I was planning on picking up a couple of corn dogs from our neighborhood mall. For the longest time, every Tuesday, the corn dog shop offered corn dogs for one dollar each. Last week, a sign was posted saying that this past Tuesday would be the last time the discount was offered. I’ve never tried the corn dogs before so it would be my first and only chance.

On Tuesday afternoon, The Cat calls and says that one of our friends from Shanghai is in town on their way to Las Vegas and we’re meeting them in the evening. Sigh, there goes the corn dogs.

The Cat wanted a quiet place we could meet with ambiance, atmosphere, and scenery. The Cat doesn’t ask for much.

We ended up at Wai’olu at the Trump Waikiki Hotel for “drinks.”

Entrance

Interior View

I decided on here because it’s supposed to be quiet enough to have a conversation, there was a view (not necessarily an ocean view), and there were private “nooks.”

Private "Nook"

While the friends already had dinner, The Cat and I didn’t.

We ordered some appetizers for the friends and two light meals for The Cat and myself. The friends started out with Longboard Lager from the Kona Brewing Company, which they liked.

For appetizers, I ordered

Edamame "Hummus"

Chicken Liver Pate

Grilled Polenta with Forest Mushrooms

Out of the three, I liked the grilled polenta the best with the pate coming in a close second.

For our dinners, The Cat had tencha, steamed rice and tempura with green tea broth.

Tencha

I had the black truffle risotto.

Black Truffle Risotto

The Cat liked her tencha, I liked my risotto, although I wish the restaurant made the plate of risotto a bit more aesthetically pleasing.

For their second glass, I ordered the Kona Brewing Company’s Fire Rock Pale Ale. The friend’s liked both beers, but if they had to choose one, the Fire Rock Pale Ale took the prize.

For something sweet, we ordered hazelnut gelato and tiramisu.

Hazelnut Gelato

Tiramisu

Both were good, but again, if only one could be chosen, the gelato took the prize.

We’re supposed to meet up with them again tomorrow for dinner at the Ocean House (I should post about that event soon). 🙂

An update. We did take these people to Ocean House for dinner. Did not take pictures. I posted about this restaurant before and did not want to bore with a similar post. I’ll just say our guest enjoyed themselves (we arrived just before sunset).

So, I didn’t get my corn dogs, but met an old friend and got introduced to new friends, and got to try a new place instead. A good trade, I think.

Enjoy.

The Mouse

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This year, Thanksgiving dinner was here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Cat didn’t grow up with the Thanksgiving tradition. I’m pretty flexible when it comes to turkey. Eat or don’t, it doesn’t really matter. I seem to be more excited about the stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie than the turkey. I think it’s because most of the time, the turkey is on the dry side. In fact, I get really excited about the zhou or jook made from the turkey carcass than the actual turkey.

Anyway, here’s a sample of the offerings from Hakone for Thanksgiving.

Roasted Crab Legs

Prime Rib of Beef

Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura

Roast Lamb and Pork Kakuni

The pork kakuni is similar to hong shao rou (shoyu pork). Here’s how The Cat ate the pork kakuni. A little rice, a slice of pork, and a little vegetables.

Pork Kakuni Bowl, A Slice of Heaven

When The Cat was a kitten, this was their treat only on special occasions. The Cat still prefers her shoyu pork, but she said this was a very good substitute.

For Thanksgiving, the Hakone chef also prepared on of The Cat’s favorite foods.

Oysters!

The ones on the left were baked with some kind of topping (sorry, didn’t take notes). The oysters on the right were with ponzu sauce. The Cat thoroughly enjoyed the ones with the ponzu sauce.

The Cat Says Yum!

Okay, the two main reasons that this place is one of our favorite eating places in Honolulu.

Sashimi!

The above picture was my first plate (just kidding, I wish). My plates were a little more humble.

One of The Mouse's Plates of Sashimi

I won’t tell you how many plate I had, but The Cat has said that when it comes to sashimi, I can be a camel (I’ll let you figure that one out).

The other reason why this place rocks.

Hakone Sushi Bar

The sushi bar is in the back. The sushi bar at Hakone offers several items not normally seen on buffets.

Sample of Sushi Bar Selection

Do you see it? It’s at the top right of the plate, uni! Uni is a regular selection at Hakone’s sushi bar. On this night, they also had chutoro (on the bottom left of the plate). Chutoro is the fatty, marbled, underbelly portion of the tuna, yum again.

For me, if Hakone only offered sushi and sashimi, I would be a happy camper.

Because it was Thanksgiving, I did have a bit of the obligatory turkey (along with pork kakuni, oysters, and deep fried shrimp heads).

A Bit of Turkey

One of the things that the chef carving the prime rib of beef did which I thought was a nice touch was, because the utensils were chopsticks, the chef would cut the beef into bite sized pieces after carving the prime rib to order.

Prime Rib of Beef

The round discs on the bottom right of the plate are turnip slices from the oden dish with hot mustard. The turnips complemented the beef nicely.

I ended the dinner portion of the meal with one ikura (salmon roe) sushi, one tobiko (flying fish roe), and one tamago (egg omelet) sushi. I just realized the sushi were all different kinds of eggs.

Ikura, Tobiko, and Tamago Sushi

For some reason, my last sushi, if possible, is always tamago sushi. I guess because it’s on the sweet side.

And we always have a little bit of room for Hakone’s bread pudding,

Bread Pudding

and their other desserts.

Assorted Desserts

I couldn’t take pictures of all the foods that were offered (I wouldn’t have any time to eat), but there were much more to eat.

We were invited to two dinners after we made our reservations, but we had our hearts set on the sashimi and uni (thank you Aunt M, M & J).

M & J also gave us a home-made pumpkin pie.

Home-Made Pumpkin Pie

I had some pie today. It was good! To me, the crust has the texture of a shortbread cookie. Yum.

So, instead of turkey day, we had sashimi/sushi/oyster day! Hopefully we started our own tradition.

Hope you had a good turkey (or whatever) day.

BTW, we hope to be eating more oysters in the near future. Tell you about it later.

Enjoy.

The Mouse

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Today, we are going back home. It’s was a very busy trip, not really a vacation, but enjoyable anyway.

Breakfast was at the hotel again (not complaining, just stating). You’ve seen it before, so no pictures.

We had leftover pastries from the previous night.

Chocolate Coffee Cake

Ichido Package

Chocolate Walnut Roll

85 Degree Cafe Package

We were planning to eat these while watching the closing ceremonies but we got sidetracked (in a very good way, see previous post).

I also bought another bottle of custard from Ichido (see previous trip). This is what the bottle looks like with the custard.

Custard from Ichido

Except for the custard (which I ate that night), we packed the pastries up (we might get hungry on our stop-over in Seoul).

Going off on a tangent (sort off). A few last pictures before leaving for the airport.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Corn Vendor

Park Near the Hotel

Okay, getting back to eating. We ate lunch at the airport after checking-in.

The Cat had pork rib noodles.

Pork Rib Noodles

The Cat’s brother had a beef set menu.

Set Menu

I had a shrimp and vegetable stir-fry.

Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-Fry

The food was good for airport food. The problem was it was kind of pricey. The cost of traveling I guess.

The meal on the flight from Shanghai to Seoul was less than two hours. Only one meal choice.

In-Flight Meal

Beef or pork with fried rice. This was pretty good. Especially the fried rice with gravy. Yum.

One of the distractions during the layover in Seoul was the procession of a royal court (enacted) through the terminal.

Make Way for the Royal Court

The Monarch Approaches

The Monarch and His Women

The Monarch's Posse

Ladies in Waiting

Eating pastries, watching a parade, window shopping, a pretty good layover.

For dinner, our choice was Bi Bim Bap (same as from Honolulu to Seoul). Yum.

Bi Bim Bap

If the caterers can only find a way to add a fried egg, then it would be perfect (that’s ok, still good).

For breakfast, we had a choice of zhou (aka jook) or croissant. You probably can guess The Cat’s Choice.

Zhou

Just to be different, I chose the croissant.

Croissant Breakfast

This is the end of this journey. I think this is one of the few that we moved so often. Not my favorite way to travel but at least we got to travel, and I got real Beijing duck (worth it). Met old friends and new connections, ate great food, and got surprised more than once (in a good way). Plus I got to know my brother-in-law better (I think vice-versa too).

More journeys await. Bring it on!

I have one more post about this trip coming soon. Panjin rice and the effort it took to get it.

If I don’t get another post up by tomorrow, happy turkey day, or football day, or whatever.

Enjoy.

The Mouse 🙂

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