Michelle Karr-Ueoka is up for a 2014 James Beard award as Outstanding Pastry Chef. Here's what to eat at her new spot, MW Restaurant, to experience her excellent take on Hawaiian cuisine.
'Honolulu' on Serious Eats
The claim to fame at Orchids is their Coconut Cake. It's legendary, and easily the best on the island of Oahu. But that's not all they do well—here are our 5 favorite sweets.
Light years from malasadas, shave ice, and all the sweets that are often associated with Hawaii, is Fendu Boulangerie. Tucked away in the residential neighborhood of Manoa Valley, it's one of the few places on the island that specializes in European-style breads, pastries, and sweets.
In Honolulu, if you're looking for sweets, you'll probably hear mention of La Palme D'Or. It's hidden on the back side of Ala Moana Shopping Center and is one of the best patisseries in town. Here's what you should eat there this summer.
It's not just for tourists—Ala Moana is a main meeting point and shopping spot for many locals, myself included. To sweeten the deal, the food options at this shopping center will put any others to shame.
If the beautiful but bustling beaches of Waikiki leave you yearning for a little more local flavor, hop on the bus for a short ride out to Kapi'olani Community College. The Saturday Farmers' Market there is filled with local farmers hawking everything from live abalone to papayas to containers of taro hummus.
Hawaiian food has developed from a wonderful mix of native and foreign cuisines. And that doesn't just apply to savory foods, but sweets as well. One must-stop spot to experience this sweet mix is Diamond Head Market & Bakery in Honolulu.
There are so many more than "just" ten sweets one must try when in Honolulu, my hometown. I think this list could easily be thirty or even forty long. But we'll start with ten—you must begin somewhere!
Unassuming, humble farmers' market pizzas in Honolulu are topped with homegrown tomatoes, fresh pesto, and homemade mozzarella. But these simple ingredients add up to one the most expensive pies I've ever sunk my teeth into.
Freshly shredded turkey breast in the Hot Turkey Mushroom sandwich is treated with respect, but it's not the star of the show. Instead, that honor is reserved for Andy's squishy homemade whole wheat bread, which is baked daily, as well as the fresh vegetables that are piled high—warmed mushrooms, crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and a tangle of sprouts.
You know, if you go to an island paradise like Hawaii and turn it into some sort of quest to find THE BEST PIZZA, I think you might need to relax a bit and enjoy life. But still, if you're there and have a hankerin' for pizza, why not reach for something good? So here, the Slice gets its mainlander butt out to Hawaii (virtually, of course) for the latest installment of the United States of Pizza.
During my week-long trip to Honolulu from May 9 to 16, I made it a point to try as many different Hawaiian foods as I could without exploding. In the "burger" category that meant getting a teriyaki burger, or teri burger, made with a patty soaked in sweet soy sauce-based teriyaki sauce. I stopped by drive-up burger joint W & M Bar-B-Q Burger to squeeze in a teriyaki burger and fries.
"You've never heard of crack seed?" asked Kathy. "That's what we call Hawaiian snacks." The first time I ever heard of the words "crack" and "seed" together was when Kathy brought me to Waiola last Monday for shave ice and pointed out that they had a crack seed store. A what-what store? The name first brought to mind something illicit, until Kathy explained that the snacks are based on Chinese dried fruits and nuts.
In addition to shave ice, one of my "must eat" desserts in Honolulu were malasadas, Portuguese yeast doughnuts. Kathy said the best ones are served during the annual Punahou Carnival in February, but since I couldn't try those, she brought me to the over 50-year-old Leonard's Bakery for malasada-devirginization.
The Tasty Island Pomai of Hawaii-based blog The Tasty Island reviews the recently opened outpost of Californian "build your own burger" chain The Counter in Honolulu's Kahala Mall. The Counter is known for its extensive list of toppings resulting...