Our Babymoon and Favorite Hawaiian Food Recap
Aloha! Whenever I (Samantha) have the opportunity to savor great food while traveling, I like to share it with all of you – my fellow foodies!
I am due with our first baby in early November (a girl!), so to celebrate our final days together as a couple, my husband and I took a babymoon to O’ahu, Hawaii. Our gracious friends hosted us while we gallivanted around the island in search of yummy and sometimes even famous foods.
Hawaii is a breathtaking island with a rich history, culture, and culinary scene. Our days were filled with sunbathing, boat cruises, scenic walks, and of course…lots and lots of Hawaiian food!!
Whether you’re planning a Hawaiian getaway or just want to daydream, enjoy these highlights of some of my favorite tastes on O’ahu!
We knew our day to the North Shore wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the famous Ted’s Bakery. Hailed for their decadent cream pies, large assortment of pastries, and large lunch portions, we knew to come hungry.
According to their website, Ted’s Bakery opened in 1987, but the story of how it came to be started much earlier. Ted’s grandfather migrated to Hawaii from Japan in 1906 to work on a sugar plantation. After his contract expired, he purchased three acres of land that had been deemed unusable by the plantation, and against all odds, he cultivated it and started making a meager profit.
By 1950, he saved enough money to purchase land on the North Shore, which became Sunset Beach. A small grocery store eventually became Ted’s bakery where he specialized in doughnuts, cornbread, and pastries.
We got there be 11:15am, and it was already JAM PACKED. We hurriedly ordered from a ceiling-hung menu board in a small lobby while people began to pour in behind us. Picnic tables for dining were located outside.
We ordered the premium entrée with mahi mahi, BBQ chicken, and garlic shrimp (which was the best part!!). It came with hearty sides of white rice and macaroni salad. Thank goodness we only ordered one plate – more than enough!
With many cream pies to choose from, we opted for blueberry made with a vanilla custard cream and topped with whipped cream. Still dreaming about that flaky crust!
Several years ago while I was still in college, I had the opportunity to meet chef Roy Yamaguchi here in Colorado Springs. He did a charity dinner for the UCCS Chancellor’s Leadership Class, which I had been a part of. I remember being in awe of his food and made sure to go home with a signed copy of his latest cookbook. Going to one of his restaurants after so many years was such a treat!
Eating at Roy’s Waikiki was our date night, and it was a bit of a splurge. We made reservations, which is highly recommended given the bustling streets of Honolulu.
We each ordered “Roy’s Classics Tasting Menu” – why not try it all when you can’t decide?! This included:
- Starter of seasoned spicy edamame,
- Appetizer sampler including shrimp on a stick, Szechuan baby back rib, and a beef and pork spring roll,
- Entrée of macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi with a lobster sauce (for me) and slow braised honey mustard grilled beef short ribs (for my husband), and
- Dessert of melting hot chocolate soufflé with raspberry coulis (for me) and macadamia nut tart with raspberry and mango (for my husband).
Everything was decadent and delicious, and we enjoyed our bistro table outside where we could graze and chat as the sun set.
My husband and I are suckers for a great breakfast! Over Easy, located in Kailua, came recommended by our local friends. The dining room was clean and bright with a view into the open kitchen.
Their menu offered so many tantalizing (and healthy!) things to choose from. I ended up ordering the Brunch Bowl. It was SO GOOD. It was a compilation of avocado, soft eggs, house-made yogurt, spinach tomato jam, candied bacon, and micro greens.
My husband ordered the fried egg sandwich made with two farm eggs, cheddar, caramelized onion, spicy aioli, and crispy potatoes. He was pleased!
If you have a car, this place is a quaint and relaxed respite for a morning breakfast.
Matsumoto Shave Ice
Also a veteran of the North Shore, Matusmoto Shave Ice has been serving up rainbow colored shave ice in Haleiwa since 1951. Upon arrival, we found ourselves waiting in a line out the door.
Shave ice is a Hawaiian dessert traditionally made from a block of ice, but the snow cones are often made with crushed ice. The ice is then drenched in your favorite flavored syrup – and Matusmoto has 39 flavors!
My husband and I both opted to pay Hawaii tribute with our flavor selection – me with the Matusmoto (lemon, pineapple, and coconut) and he with lychee, mango, and guava.
A fun experience…though don’t let it melt or else you’ll just be drinking sugar water!
This little gem was kind of hidden, but again, thanks to our dear local friends, we didn’t miss it. Manoa Chocolate was founded in Kailua in 2010 and prides itself on “bean to bar,” single origin, Hawaiian style chocolate.
Manao is a Hawaiian word meaning “thick,” and they use it to refer to the “depth of flavor and complexity found in dark chocolate.”
Those who know me know that I CANNOT resist good chocolate! We toured their facility and did a full chocolate tasting (including a chocolate tea!) before making our take-home selections.
My favorites were the Breakfast Bar, made from cacao beans harvested on the North Shore and sprinkled with roasted cacao nibs; the Hawaiian Sea Salt Bar, made with Molokai sea salt; and the Hawaiian Honey Bar, made with 75% cacao and honey from a local apiary.
I still have one bar left…and though I would love to crack it open, it would mean the last of my Manao chocolate! I guess I could order online…or better yet go back to Hawaii?!
Did you know that it takes 20 months for a pineapple plant to produce its first fruit and? Or that the best soil for growth is colored red due to decomposing volcanic ash? We learned all kinds of things about this tropical fruit, but the most important thing was that it came as a creamy soft serve ice cream!
We made a pit stop at the very popular Dole Plantation where there are a lot of fun things to do with the family including a garden and maze. Making our way through the large souvenir shop, we found the Plantation Grille where we ordered the famous Dole Whip.
Creamy, smooth, and light in flavor, this sweet treat was perfect for an afternoon in the Hawaiian sun!
No Hawaiian vacation is complete without a luau!! There are a lot to choose from, and we ended up buying tickets for the Chief’s Luau at Sea Life Park, which came highly rated and was located in a picturesque location between the ocean and a ragged rock cliff.
After being greeted with leis, we were ushered onto the grounds where men were teaching people how to make palm leaf headdresses and how to throw a spear.
As a traditional appetizer, we were offered poi and lomi lomi salmon. Poi is a Polynesian staple, and for me, definitely an acquired taste. It is made from taro root and has soupy-like texture and a purple color.
The buffet was filled with all kinds of delicious Hawaiian foods including Kalua pork, sweet potatoes, roasted guava BBQ chicken, taro dinner roles, and pineapple cake. I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach!
After the feast, we were entertained as the stars and moon came out. Dancing, singing, fire, and cultural costumes paraded on the stage for an unforgettable evening.
We had such a great time in Hawaii spending time with our friends, enjoying the scenery, eating delicious food, and of course preparing for our little baby’s arrival!
From one foodie to another – happy traveling! And when you’re in Colorado Springs, don’t forget to hop on board one of our food tours. We sure do love local food!