Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Cheesy by the Beach – Starbucks

ImageJanuary 4, 2013
Starbucks, Lahaina HI
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Cheese Danish
Gingerbread Biscotti
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What a beautiful beach at Whalers Village! All the lovely, relaxing resorts. I can totally stay here for a couple of weeks and just sit back, relax, and enjoy life! Sip on a cup of iced coffee in the morning with some delicious pastries and voila, there is the perfect start to a vacation day.

The Cheese Danish was the best danish I have had, not just at Starbucks. The sweet and creamy cheese was so delicious even Mom liked it. The pastry dough was flaky yet chewy and not overly greasy. I loved it. That cheese made the treat special, though!Image

The Gingerbread Biscotti was a Christmas special. It was hard and crunchy with a very aromatic ginger flavour. I loved the spice with the sugar frosting. It was simple but still very good. 

You have to know what to order at Starbucks. This particular one at the Marriot’s Maui Ocean Club villa had particularly expensive sandwiches and wraps. I would have tried them if I were staying there for a couple of days, though!

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Squiggly Squid – Pearl’s BBQ


ImageJanuary 3, 2013

Pearl’s BBQ, Kahului HI
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Squid Stir Fry
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Pearl’s BBQ is a sister restaurant to Yummy Korean BBQ I think, because their menus are very similar, except for the squid, which is the reason I ordered it after quickly spotting it on their wall menu. While it was made to order, I waited an extremely long time, and by that I mean REALLY long.

The Squid Stir Fry was way too salty as there was too much sauce, drenching the pieces of tender squid and vegetables. The squid had a nice chew to it and were clearly very fresh, though. It also had an array of vegetables including carrots, onions, and zucchini to bring out the sweetness. I got my order with four sides: kimchi, cabbage, seaweed, and cucumber. The cucumber and seaweed were my favorites as they were slightly sweet. It was nowhere near amazing but not exactly disappointing either.

I just find it amazing how you can get any kind of food almost anywhere in North America. Long gone are the days where you can only find burgers and fries in every mall not in a metropolis. Welcome to multicultural cuisine experiences!

Pearl's BBQ on Urbanspoon

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A Panda Bear’s Chicken – Panda Express

January 3, 2013
Panda Express, Kahului HI
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Firecracker Chicken Breast
Mushroom Chicken
Chow Mein
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We were quite glad to have a Panda Express so close to the hotel. Sometimes, you just need that Asian flavour after a long day.

The Firecracker Chicken Breast was better. The chicken packed more flavor with a slight spicy kick. The spicy black pepper sauce also coated the vegetables – a mix of red and yellow peppers and onions – very well so that they were flavorful as well. It was nothing superb though.

The Mushroom Chicken was decent with chicken that had a generic but decent flavour. I did like the tender button mushrooms, though. The zucchini was okay but I do not like mine so greasy with the mild ginger soy sauce. This is not an entree I would have gotten but it tasted okay.

We got our two entrees to go with a side of Chow Mein. The noodles were al dente but cold from sitting outside for too long, like the two chicken entrees. That was probably because it was so late near closing time. The noodles were chewy enough and I enjoyed the cabbage. The other vegetables got lost without their prominent flavors, though.

During peak hours, I am sure the food would have been much better. Lesson learned: only get made to order items around closing time!

Panda Express on Urbanspoon

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In the Land of Taro, Coffee, Guava, Pineapple, and Coconut – Yogurtland

January 3, 2013
Yogurtland, Kahului HI
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Taro
Kona Coffee Blend
Guava Pineapple Tart
Toasted Coconut
Toppings: Mango, Pineapple, Mango Popping Boba, Strawberry Popping Boba, Passion Fruit Popping Boba, Mochi
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I so wish Yogurtland still had those Hello Kitty spoons. Well, at least they had many interesting flavours for Mom and I to indulge in. It had been a long – and winding day – going to Hana and back, and then up to the peaks and back down again. We were so ready to eat some comfort food and go back to the hotel for the night. 

The Taro frozen yogurt was sweet and creamy. I loved how earthy it tasted, not just sugary. The Kona Coffee Blend was quite bitter, full of coffee flavour and hardly any sweetness. The Guava Pineapple Tart was, well, tart, and refreshing. Finally, the Toasted Coconut was a lot better than I imagined. It was creamy and rich, not just sweet. The toppings were all lovely, especially the popping bobas! Those are always so good.

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Wrapped in Maui – Costco

ImageJanuary 2, 2013
Costco, Kahului HI
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Turkey Wrap
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Our first mission after arriving in Maui and checking in to our hotel was to pay a little visit to Costco. There, we stocked up on some food, took a look at potential food to bring back home, and enjoyed dinner. Besides the usual hot dog and pizza, there was an item that I have yet to see elsewhere.Image

The Turkey Wrap, at $2.99, was such a deal. It was stuffed with tender slices of turkey breast, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and Harvati cheese. The whole wheat tortilla was soft and generic. Actually, all the ingredients were typical but of good quality. They did not skimp on anything, which made the ratio of ingredients good. It was just so fresh and had decent flavours. I really liked the Harvati cheese, which was not too strong but not too bland either, and paired nicely with the mayonnaise.

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Hawaiian House Harvest – Mama’s Spaghetti House

ImageJanuary 2, 2013
Mama’s Spaghetti House, Honolulu HI
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Seafood Harvest
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Craving some seafood, we also went to Mama’s Spaghetti House. We discovered this establishment, located conveniently beside Naniwa-ya Ramen, during our last trip to Hawaii. I practically had pasta every single time we were there, alternating between marinara and alfredo sauces. These plates of pasta are not cheap, but so worth it. The portions are quite large but most importantly, they are made to order and come out even faster than in many restaurants.

I decided on the Seafood Harvest, which was shrimp, squid, and mussels with marinara sauce over spaghetti. There was plenty of seafood. The mussels were tender and meaty; the shrimp were so succulent and fresh; the squid chewy and plentiful. The marinara sauce was a perfect balance of sweet and sour, with nice chunks of tomatoes. The spaghetti was piping hot and perfectly al dente. They certainly know how to put together a dish of generic pasta and make it outstanding.

Mama's Spaghetti House on Urbanspoon

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Beef It Up Fast – Yummy Korean BBQ

ImageJanuary 2, 2013
Yummy Korean BBQ, Honolulu HI
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BBQ Beef
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Mom opted for more Korean food from Yummy Korean BBQ. This time, we went with BBQ Beef. The beef was tender but could have been sliced thinner. The BBQ sauce was fantastic, perfectly savoury and sweet. I love a hearty, sweet sauce and this certainly satisfied my taste buds. The sides were again, very good. The kimchi was very sweet, though. Perhaps there was a mix up of sugar and salt? Mom did not care for it but it was great for me. That BBQ sauce, though, was by far the best I have had in a food court.

Yummy Korean Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

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Never Enough Papayas – Little Cafe Siam

ImageJanuary 2, 2013
Little Cafe Siam, Honolulu HI
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Green Papaya Salad
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Having not had enough of green papayas the night before, I decided to get the Green Papaya Salad at Little Café Siam in Ala Moana Center the next day. Again, there was less papaya than I would have liked but the flavours were excellent. This one was made-to-order, with the chilies, lemongrass, peanuts, and various other ingredients being freshly beaten and ground up in a wood mortar and pestle bowl. I asked for the spiciest heat level, and believe me, it was SPICY – and I LOVED it. That burning sensation mixed with the refreshing shredded papaya and cabbage was fabulous. The flavours in this case were bold and prominent, and for a food court salad, it was right on.

Little Cafe Siam on Urbanspoon

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Noodles in the New Year – Naniwa-ya Ramen

January 1, 2013
Naniwa-ya Ramen, Honolulu HI
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Pork Yakisoba
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ImageApart from the ramen, Dad also got a Pork Yakisoba from Naniwa-ya Ramen. To be honest, it looked a lot better than it tasted, though it was not bad. The noodles were cooked to a nice texture, still slightly chewy. However, the flavour was not hearty or deep. It was all just lightly coated in soy sauce. The vegetables were good but there was not enough for my liking. It was also lacking pork. The one thing it did not lack was oil – there was just a little too much. It was a good portion for around $10 and very decent for a food court. However, I have definitely had ones way better in casual restaurants. Looks can be deceiving, so unless you are seriously craving some stir-fry noodles, stick with the ramen. 

Naniwa-Ya Ramen on Urbanspoon

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Poking Around Honolulu – Bangga Bangga

January 1, 2013
Bangga Bangga, Honolulu HI

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Poke Salad
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ImageWe returned to Ala Moana Center yet again for lunch. Mom decided on another bowl of Kim Chee Ramen. It was just spicy and too good to resist. I decided to try out one of the stands in the middle, Bangga Bangga, and sample for myself the Hawaiian special version of sashimi – poke.

The Poke Salad had poke – marinated raw tuna – on top of a bed of lettuce. The tuna was so fresh yet flavourful. Sashimi and wasabi can get a little boring sometimes so this was definitely a much-appreciated twist for me. The roe on top was also a nice textural addition. I asked for it with the most popular Dynamite Sauce, which is spicy mayo on top of the salad with soy sauce and sesame oil on the side. It was aromatic, salty, and with a little kick. However, I would have liked just the poke and lettuce by itself so the flavour can really stand out.

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