Warm weather is approaching, and even though it is having it’s off days, I really look forward to wearing dresses and skirts, but not before I get a full body scrub to get rid of all this winter skin. Yuck.
That reminds me of the great service I had at the Black Rock Spa in Maui. Part of my birthday festivities was a day at the spa. I got the Maui Mikana Body Treatment which was amazing. Smelled so good and tropical and my skin felt so smooth and nourished afterwards.
But then we came back to the mainland…and my skin got EVEN drier. Gross.
I miss Hawaii.
Are you tired of my Hawaii posts yet? I’ve decided to just sprinkle them in, in between usual posts. We stayed at the Royal Lahaina, in one of the rooms in their “huts”. We had a view of the golf course and a back door to walk out of and sunbathe. The resort itself had a couple of shops, a pool and one of the better beaches that we had gone to that week.
The service was amazing, and like everyone in Hawaii everyone is super nice, laid back and polite. Our first night there, we were so jetlagged and worn out we just ordered room service and passed out. One of my favorite things about this place is every time we drove back to the resort, they would say “Welcome home”. I love it there. If we go back I would probably want to stay there again, if we don’t choose another one on that strip.
I miss the weather so much. It was perfect all day, with breezy evenings. All the fresh fruit, and of course the shaved ice! And who doesn’t love laying around at the beach?!
This glorious bowl is the Dungeness Crab Ramen with Asian Truffle Broth, served with cilantro, Thai basil and mild jalapenos, from Sansei Seafood. It was a Tuesday night and this place was PACKED and popping.Had a very hip vibe to it, and it was definitely the place to be. Did I mention they have karaoke and half off sushi on Thursdays?
We took a seat at the sushi bar, where we were helped by Frank, our super friendly sushi chef for the night. He recommended this award winning bowl and it was …amazing. I don’t even know how to describe it, and I am sorry, you will just have to figure out a way to get your hands on some crab, truffle broth ramen. I’m sad that we only had one bowl.
The sushi was good, they had a lot of island specials, but as you probably already know, food is a lot more expensive in Hawaii, and I wasn’t willing to gorge on my usual amount of sushi for 4x more money! Plus there were other unique to the island things I wanted to taste!
I don’t know why, but I always want ramen. I think if you’ve read my blog long enough you know that. So while we were in Hawaii, I had to have at least two bowls of ramen. Not knowing anything or anyone familiar with food in Maui, I used the trusty Yelp app, and checked out places with good ratings.
One of the places that got great reviews and had a line out the door was Star Noodle. This got me excited. I was really looking forward to a great bowl of ramen.
Fail. It was aight. And we were HUNGRY and I still didn’t think it was awesome. I got the Hapa Ramen, which is Pork Broth, Roast Pork, Poached Egg, Bamboo Shoots, Kamaboko, Baby Bok Choy, Mayu, Spicy Aka Miso. In theory it sounds all good right? But the broth lacked flavor and depth.
All is not lost. Their pork bun was good, and I think their selection of small plates are worth trying. Boo still thinks my pork belly sliders are way better.
I think my favorite meal of the day in Hawaii is ALWAYS breakfast. Hawaiians know how to start the day. I love this place. Aloha Mixed Plate is right next to The Old Royal Lahaina Luau, and its outdoor seating, good service, good food. We went there twice that week. I would have all my breakfasts there if I could! The view of the ocean and a nice cold glass of POG juice and I’m a happy camper for the rest of the day.
No eating adventure is complete without finding a mom and pop, hole in the wall place. We opted for a Korean place in Wailuku, on our way to Iao Valley. Set in a bustling city area (compared to the outer circle of the island) theres a tiny parking lot in an iffy looking area. We go into a sticky restaurant/lounge…and saw it in the daylight. Not pretty.
Aesthetics aside, the server was super friendly and playful. Never expect quick and speedy service like in the mainland. No one is in a hurry in Hawaii…no one. Aside from that, they got creative with it, and made a kalbi burger. The idea was good, and in general it was a good burger…but definitely didn’t taste like kalbi. However, this is something I will attempt on my own one day.
I had the chicken tonkatsu. Nom Nom. It was pretty good, cheap and a good portion. And cheap is a big factor because food out there is definitely about 4 times as much as it is at home!
This place had all good reviews, but we weren’t hungry enough to get the full korean bbq experience!
One of the last things we did before we left Maui was a sunset dinner cruise, complete with whale watching. The boo chose to take the trip with the Pacific Whale Foundation. Not only is the crew on the ship providing great service with your meals, but they are also whale advocates for the foundation and are VERY knowledgeable about the humpback whale behavior. So they were able to explain what and why the whales were doing what they were doing.
We boarded the ship at 515, and there was live entertainment on deck until we reached an area where the pods of whales were swimming. We were there on a good night because there were over 7 whales swimming and flipping about. So what happens is, there is one female whale, and all the male whales start doing tricks and blowing bubbles to show off and get her attention, so that she will chose HIM to escort her on their journey.
But you know what? No matter how much someone stands out among the others, she gets to pick, and she might be I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T and not have an escort at all. Ahh, the games of the heart.
It was a beautiful sunset, 4 course, steak or chicken dinner, drinks included, and plenty of remedies on deck for those of you that get sea sick. PLUS its a non profit organization, so the money goes to protecting the whales! WIN WIN WIN!
You know what I am going to miss about Hawaiian dining? Sriracha and Soy sauce on the table at every restaurant. One of the recommended places you can only eat at in Hawaii was Da Kitchen. It is a Hawaiian fast casual dining.
A popular hawaiian breakfast meal is the Loco Moco. It is a grilled burger patty, with onions, eggs and gravy, and a scoop of macaroni salad. Sounds super hearty for breakfast right? It was delicious. Being of Asian descent, I love eggs, rice and soy sauce for breakfast so this was normal for me!
It might be a good idea to share one if this is the first time you’ve had something this hearty for breakfast, but definitely a MUST try in Hawaii.
I miss it already.
For my birthday last week, we went to Hawaii. On my actual birthday, we went to a luau. My first luau ever. It was an amazing, beautiful, delicious experience. As soon as you walk through the door, you get a flower for your hair, a fresh orchid lei, and they hand you a mai tai.
Mine was a non alcoholic drink. Still pretty! We were shown our traditional seats, and then we were free to roam the site. The stage was centered with a “moat” around it. Scattered around the moat were little stations of tiki carvings, jewelry, a place to take a sunset photo, learn how to hula, and play Hawaiian games. There was also a pit that had a pig buried underneath. Before the show starts, they tell you the history of burying a pig in the sand, why they do it, how they do it and who gets to have some.
It is open bar and a buffet so great for everyone! Then the show starts and they tell Hawaiian folklore through music and dance. In the middle of it, they asked what we were celebrating, and ask us to stand, and she personally says happy birthday to all the people standing, and then invites the couples celebrating for a special dance.
We talked to other tourists, about other luaus, and it just seemed like this was the best pick. If we go back, which we probably will, I would want to go here again. It was a beautiful experience. Makes me wanna learn how to hula!!