The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Honolulu, Day 4: Korean, Cakeworks, Diamond Head, and Grandma's Chicken Curry

I visited Honolulu with Kathy from May 9-16. Yup, that was about a month ago. Only three more days to recap!...which will probably take another month.

Food Court at Ala Moana Yummy
It's time for YUMMY.

To follow up the previous day's plate lunch gorge-a-thon, Kathy and I took it slow. Really slow.

After an Internet session at Barnes & Noble (thank you for your non-password protected wifi, B&N) at the Ala Moana Center, we went to the crowded food court to eat lunch at Yummy Korean B-B-Q.

pick ur sides

Neither of us was hungry for anything specific, but Korean food at least didn't seem too unhealthy. Look, vegetables! Non-meat substances! Mostly not fried!

We got the huge combo plate
Hi, meat pile.

And then...we shared a huge combination platter, possible called the Yummy Special, of kalbi, barbecue chicken, and barbecue beef accompanied by two scoops of white rice and five vegetables. And by "vegetables" I mean "not meat," because jap chae and kimchi-pancake-thing aren't really vegetables, and the potato salad was about 30% mayo (delicious, thick mayo), and it looks like there's some fried zucchini in there. Oops.

We couldn't finish it. I don't remember how much was left when we decided continuing to put food in our bellies was a bad idea, but I think even we were surprised by how little appetite we had. The food was fine for a food court, certainly better than what I'd find back in New Jersey, and the dish was less than $10.

I like the HAM sticker

We stopped by Saint-Germain again (first visited on Day 2, Part 1, REMEMBER?) where I was amused by the "HAM" sticker on the half sandwich. Because it's not often I find stickers that so boldly proclaim the presence of pork.

nice wrapping long donut
That doughnut lives up to its name.

I got a long doughnut for the hell of it. I think any normal person would be drawn to a sugar-dusted log of deep fried dough featuring a line of cream down its middle. First, note the packaging for my single doughnut: neatly wrapped in parchment paper, placed in a rectangular plastic bag, then sealed with a twist tie. And put in another plastic shopping bag. Well. If I were giving it as a gift to someone, I'd be all set.

I didn't eat it right away; tummy was still full of marinated barbecued meats. But I ate it at some point, perhaps after its optimal "eat me" stage. It was just alright. I'd prefer a higher cream-to-pastry ratio.

Passion Mandarin Chiffon big slice of passion mandarin chiffon cake

Kathy brought us to Cakeworks, a bakery that specializes in elaborate customized cakes, since she had previously worked with head pastry chef, Abigail Langlas. She said hi to Abigail before we dug into a fat slice of passion mandarin chiffon cake, a pleasantly light three-layer cake bound by mandarin orange-studded whipped cream, with a layer of passion fruit cream on top. I couldn't believe this huge slice was less than $3. It's earned its spot on my "EAT AGAIN" list.

If you're wondering what else happened during this afternoon of not eating much, we spent a bit of time calling camera shops and visiting Canon's office to see if I could get my sickly camera fixed on the island. Answer: nope; it would have to be mailed to the mainland. Kathy brought me to to Lighhaus Camera when I found out they had just one body-only 7D left in stock. And $1600 later, I got a new baby. ...I mean, the camera is my baby. Not a human baby. (I wouldn't have bought a 7D if not for the dead camera situation—it was out of my price range and I don't need the video function—but I'm sort of glad I was forced to get it. It'll be worth it in the long run, and surprisingly, I'm not broke. Yet.)


AndwhatsthisRAINBOW SIGHTING! I'd probably get bored of them if I lived in Hawaii, but as I'm not from magical rainbow land (I saw more rainbows during my week in Honolulu than I do in a whole year in New York City), I got excited every time I saw one.

Trail, over thar
Follow the arrow!

While I'm only mildly less sedentary than a sloth, I'll gladly take the chance to do a simple hike when traveling somewhere with bounteous nature and beautiful views and the like. Kathy is less into the "hiking" thing, but she gets a pass because she grew up in Honolulu. "Whatever; seen it." She dropped me off at Diamond Head Park so I could walk the fairly easy trail that goes up the landmark volcanic crater's edge (in the meantime, she went to the mall with her sister).

First fail: I got there at 4:40 p.m. and it closes at 6 p.m. The guide at the park's entrance told me I may not have enough time to finish the hike and warned me that if I didn't get down in time I could get locked in. I don't know if that's actually ever happened to anyone, but it scared me anyway. (Upside: She didn't make me pay the $1 walk-in fee, thinking I wouldn't make it to the top. I SAVED A DOLLAR!) So, first step for anyone who wants to do this: If you want to be safe, get there at 4 p.m. Unless you plan on running it, in which case you don't need two hours. The suggested time for the 1.3-kilometer hike is 1.5 to 2 hours. It's not that long—if you're in good shape you could do it in less than an hour. I think it would've taken me about 1.5 hours, but since I wanted to meet Kathy at 5:45, I didn't bother rushing it.

doodeedoo, taking a stroll

I took my sweeeeeeet tiiiiiime. Doodeedoo. As you can see, the trail, which zigzags up the crater, is clearly carved out and there's a handy rail to keep you from tumbling into trees and rocks as other jagged things the human body has yet to evolve to safely collide with.

watch out for them rocks
There's also that.

Not much you can do if rocks tumble onto you, though. So, you know, avoid them. I'm pleased to report that my hike excluded lethal rock storms.

going up

It's a little bumpy. Wear appropriate shoes.


I'm down with stepping up rocks and stuff, but steep, towering staircases, less so (refer to previous wheeze-inducing stairwell-climbing adventures in Bologna and Florence). This staircase was just the first of four; I stopped after this one due to time. ...And I'm sort of lazy. But if I had more time I would've gone for the gold.

view from the bottom of the second stairwell

The view from the platform after the first stairwell ain't bad, though. I soaked in the view for a while before going back down. While I sat there, a bunch of people went past me. Oops. Well. I was content getting this view and not feeling like my leg muscles had turned to noodles, which probably would've happened if I had attempted to go to the top.


Going back down...

going back down
Trail behind me.

Looking back at what I failed to achieve....

The top.

Methinks the left-most mound is the observation station.


When I had gotten to the top of the first staircase, I thought I made it pretty far into the trail. After I saw this map, I realized...I had quite a ways to go. Ohh. Fail.

bottle collection
Bottles. Put em. In here.

I thought this recycling bin-thinger at the start of the trail was funny. Note the shave ice cups.

over there, pretty stuff


giant vat of homemade chicken curry soup
It's huge. You'll see later.

For dinner, Kathy, her sister Tiffany, and I went to their grandma's house for homemade chicken curry (accompanied by toasted baguettes), featuring big chunks of potato, carrot, and onion, lots of lemongrass, other stuff that I can't remember, and all sorts of chicken bits.

chicken curry soup
Om nom.

ALL SORTS. I'm afraid I don't like chicken feet. I've tried it a few times to make sure. But the non-feed bits were great. Because they tasted like chicken and not "generic protein mass."

Me + Kathy's grandparents

Here's me with Kathy's grandma and grandpa to give you some sense of scale. First, the pot is motherfrugginhuge, and second, Kathy's grandma is a skinny lady (but has no lack of energy).

I can haz soup

That's my crazyface, #16. I've got lots of em.

It was a nice to have a light eating day. Especially since I'd shove about three day's-worth of calories in the next day. You'll read about it soon, hopefully.


Ala Moana Center
145 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96813 (map)

2820 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96826 (map)

Diamond Head Park
Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816 (map)


tk / June 18, 2010 6:30 AM

I love that your "long donut" looks like a sugared and fried top split hot dog bun. Sub cream for tuna salad and I would have signed up!

santos. / June 18, 2010 6:58 AM

i've eaten chicken feet for fun. the fried zucchini thing is called hobak jun, juns are pretty much anything in an egg batter. that is the least crowded i've ever seen the ala moana food court. that photo makes the long donut look as long as kathy's arm. okay, i'm done stringing random thoughts together.

kim / June 18, 2010 7:54 AM

Awww man. I would TOTALLY hike with you! I love being with nature. Tired of living in the city at times, you know? Need some non-polluted air for my lungs.

Nicholas / June 18, 2010 9:07 AM

1080P video at 30 FPS! YOU WILL GROW TO LOVE IT!!!! (Related side note, I wish you did HDR :( your photos would be mind-trippy)

Also... how can you not like chicken feet?! That's the favorite part of the chicken for Asian people. Well, maybe the butt.

Yuzuman83 / June 18, 2010 9:24 AM

I think the view from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) has a better, or at least different, view of Honolulu than Diamond Head. Good for panoramic shots. No hiking required and no fee! Although back in the day there wasn't an entrance fee for Diamond Head either...

Eileen / June 18, 2010 10:09 AM

Omg, that chiffon cake looks amazing!!! *drool*

And congrats on the new camera! I can't wait to see more mouthwatering shoots ;]

Missy / June 18, 2010 2:38 PM

Good job on getting that far up Diamond Head!!! My hubby tried to get me to do it and i was like NOPE snorkeling was enough excersise. period :p

Cleone / June 19, 2010 12:35 AM

I don't think you can get tired of rainbows, especially with Hawaii scenery in the background. Too bad you didn't make it up to the top of Diamond Head. The view is pretty spectacular. You'll just have to make another trip back here! Especially when there is so much more to eat!

roboppy / June 19, 2010 1:16 AM

Jesi: Thanks! T-shirt hails from Threadless,, most of my shirts. :D

Mikey: It's definitely not fun for me. Just makes me go "wuuh nooo noOOO wah."

tk: Tuna salad bun. I would eat that.

santos: Man, I thought the food court was sort of crowded! But it wasn't unbearably crowded, just...quite full.

Su-Lin: Times like these, you need a grandma who likes cooking tons of stuff.

Kim: I like nature in small doses. I too need that FRESH AIR.

Nicholas: Me not liking chicken feet = I'm not fully Asian! Mebbe. :( I'm really bad at eating meat off bones. Unless it's a rib where the meat is like...falling off the bone. That's cheating though.

Yuzuman83: A good view wasn't really my goal, but it was a nice result of the hike. :) I just wanted to walk on a trail somewhere. I think Kathy's sister suggested Diamond Head. I also got a nice view over the city from Tantalus.

Eileen: New camera is being well used right now! Not sure my photos are getting any better though. ;_;

Missy: Snorkeling is SO MUCH FUUUN OH CRAP I wish I had done that.

Cleone: I have a lot more to eat. Also, Kathy's home was still being constructed; I wanna go back when it's done!

royalbuff / June 19, 2010 3:23 AM

I Love Chicken feet!!! I always get them at dim the disgust of my fellow I have my fong chau all to myself! Yay!!

Aliiiiiiice / June 21, 2010 7:59 PM



After aLL those times you were so "meh" about waLking for more than 10 minutes!

roboppy / June 21, 2010 10:43 PM

royalbuff: A lot of my friends like chicken feet! I'm the odd one out. :(

Alice: Noooo not true! [pouts] I only mind when it's unexpected, or someone tells me "This will only take ten minutes" and it ends up taking half an hour. I'm okay with most...expected walks...preferably if they're picturesque. :) I walked around for half an hour last night on the UWS cos the weather was nice. Also, I felt fat and needed to jostle the food in my belly a bit.


mausi / June 22, 2010 10:48 AM

Hello! I love Hawaii and I enjoy reading your Hawaii trip. It makes me want to go back to Hawaii :-) Chicken curry looks delicious (Though I am not too keen on chicken feet). It is interesting that they eat it with bread!

Marvo / June 23, 2010 6:46 AM

Despite having eaten there more times than I'd like to admit, I usually stick with the usual stuff at the Ala Moana Food Court (Panda Express, Paradise Bakery, the pasta place and the Japanese restaurant in the corner). I think my goal shall be to eat at every place in the food court. Huzzah!

roboppy / June 24, 2010 2:36 AM

mausi: I aim to make EVERYONE IN THE WORLD WANT TO GO TO HAWAII if they didn't already...okay, I want everyone to want to go to Hawaii and eat PLATE LUNCH. :)

Marvo: If I lived in Honolulu, I'd totally have the same goal. HIGH FIVE!!

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