When you think about Hawaiian food what comes to mind? Pancakes topped off with mounds of whipped cream and fruits? Eggs Benedict? Loco moco with two eggs sunny side up smothered in brown gravy? Garlic shrimp? Acai bowl? WRONG!!! Don't get me wrong, we do eat those dishes in Hawaii but it's only a little of what Hawaii has to offer. As a matter of fact, this is what a typical work week's lunch menu looked like. First day Vietnamese beef pho noodles, next day Mexican burrito, then Hawaiian plate lunch, next day loco moco plate lunch with two scoops of macaroni salad, next Japanese sushi... Today I'm going to share with you some of the most closely guarded secret restaurants in Honolulu! (joke! but most tourist don't know about them)
Fist off I want to tell you about a website called Yelp.com. For those of you that don't know about this site it's like the Tabelog of America. It's in other countries too but it's presence isn't very strong outside of the U.S. You can use it to search for not only restaurants but services and other things too.
Let's look at my first favorite restaurant. First up, Ono Seafood. A long time ago I used to live very close to this restaurant. At that time the aunty (obachan) used to sell poke out of a small renovated shipping container. When I first found the place I was a little hesitant because of that fact but I am so so so glad that I gave it a shot because their poke is to die for! She has since expanded, in the same building, and has a proper storefront.
Let me tell you what poke is. Some people pronounce it po-ki and some pronounce it po-ke. (side note: Hawaiian pronunciation is the same as Japanese! Yay!) The correct pronunciation is ポーケ but I pronounce it ポーキ. It's basically cubed tuna mixed with seaweed, soy sauce, sesame oil and green onions. That is the basic recipe and there are various different types that are created. My favorite is the spicy tuna. It has a kick to it! The best thing about poke is that we can make it at home in Japan! Ask me if you want my recipe. I invite you to give it a try!
(to be continued)