Monday, October 26, 2009

Shop, shop, shop

Get on your shopping shoes! We're going to Downtown Honolulu for some serious shopping in Chinatown and a few other places.

Naturally, I popped in to the famed "International Market Place" and picked up some earrings, purses, luau dresses for the girls, tasteful T's for the guys, and faux tropical flowers to tuck behind girlish ears . . .

BUT -- I really yearned to see the foods of Hawaii all splayed out for selection to be carried home for delection. I'm an a-typical shopper who prefers to view the food rather than the souvenirs.

So, Lily bid me grab comfy shoes and we set out.

We stopped in for a breakfast at this cafe

Wherein she had shared many a delightful breakfast with her mom and dad (obviously a family favorite eatery serving breakfast all day and within walking distance of their high-rise condo). It offered standard breakfast fare, with the exceptional jug of coconut syrup on the table (had to try it -- delicious!) and passionate fruit juices on the menu.

After paying the tab we hopped on The Bus

And made our way downtown.

We stopped off at The Palace for a tour, but I mentioned that earlier. Walking from the palace to the heart of China town brought me exactly what I sought:

Market Stalls brimming with Hawaiian Style.

Fresh Fish

Or just the parts . . .
Chicken feet
(hmmmmm . . . Dim Sum makings, I see) Pork items of various cut

Or maybe you prefer Goat?

Or Beef?

Or perhaps . . . NAH!
(This proved a bit much for even me,
quintessential hunter of unusual food.)

Stepping over to the exotic rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables
refreshed me after the meat survey,
reviving my sense of sheer wonder at the choices.

I never did manage to get the name of the pink beauty
nestled next to the Star Fruit and persimmon

The Lotus Root got me to wondering how you would prepare it . . .
Boil? Bake? Steam? All of the above?
Avocados the size of my hand?
This may be a bit closer to Heaven than I originally thought!

Fabulously dressed Lychee Nuts

And NOODLES, Noodles, noodles!

Noodles? Precisely what we craved for luncheon.
So we slipped into a side door at the entrance of another grocery store.
(I thought it was a break room for employees,
Until I realized it was far TOO SMALL for even that.)

Lily beamed at her success
in finding this "special" noodle shop from memory.

She immediately set out to order lunch for the two of us.

Tea arrived, naturally

Followed by rice porridge
(and those peculiarly delicious 1000-year-old eggs)

With Noodles and Shrimp soon thereafter.
SCRUMPTIOUS doesn't even begin to cover the velvety smooth noodles,
paired with the sublime taste of shrimp cooked just so to perfection.
(Though the heads and shells tip off those around that I am not Chinese --
I carefully peel and remove all but what I choose to ingest,
while Lily removes head and chews out all the rest from the shell
removing a stripped shell at the end.)
We left and stopped off to take a peek
into the Japanese market at Ala Moana Shopping Plaza.

These pre-packaged and minutely managed meal items
proved quite a contrast to the Chinese markets . . .

Well, not completely different.

After all the luscious and unusual foods
I had little desire to look at Prada bags and Hermes scarves,
so we left the mall and came back for one more
Pai Family tradition:

Ice cream at Lappert's
in the Hawaiian Village,
our home base.

I lapped up an exotic coconut, macadamia, fudge swirl
while Lily selected her favorite: Chocolate.

We made our way up to the room to give our feet a rest
before setting out for the Halekulani Hotel -- Hawaii's finest.

Lily served as management in the 5-star restaurant La Mer,
But I will have to save our last adventure for another post
as it is dinner time around here and I'm needed elsewhere.

So, take a rest, freshen up a bit, and get ready for more beauty
and memory-making adventure as Lily takes me down memory lane
to the "Blue Hawaii" world she came to in the 60s.


farmlady said...

It all looks and sounds wonderful with the exclusion of the goat meat and the coconut syrup. But, I'm kind of sensitive about "goats" and I'm not crazy about coconut.
What a great shopping day you had. It's very beautiful there and the weather is to die for. I'm so glad you had such a nice time.

Anonymous said...

Have to admit...we truly learned to eat while we lived in Hawaii!! Some of the best food ever in our get-togethers there!! And out to eat too, of course!! Oh the noodles!!! sigh....


Werna Gail said...

I guess I will miss some things in life, some of those "foods" were a bit more than I can imagine. Now the noodles and the ice cream I can handle....however it was fun shopping with you and can hardly wait for the next tour.

Kat said...

That makes me so hungry looking at all that yummy food! Maybe not the chicken feet. ;)

Thistledown said...

I am a foodie as well. All of that variety. Wonderfully wonderful. Sigh...Thank you for sharing.

Karen Deborah said...

It's interesting after having just read 'Clementine in the Kitchen' as well as the 'Nourishing' books; feet are important as are knuckle bones and even *gasp* heads... for health; but ice cream? Pineapple coconut is one of my favorites and definitely for the palate...

Kathy said...

LOL. The butcher section had me in stitches! Reminded me of a story; Years ago, a small daughter of mine picked up some colorful lunch meat she wanted for sandwiches. I read her the ingredients of Head Cheese, she squealed and quickly tossed that package back on the shelf!
And thank you for the Lily id, I do think you got it! They are coming up in all of the shady beds. The original owner was known as quite the 'flower lady' too bad things fell in such disrepair. I smile and say a thankyou to her when a new surprise plant appears.
Thanks to you for taking us shopping with you!

kylie said...

the pink fruit is dragon fruit. it is delicious, the fruit of a cactus. the pink skinned one has white flesh and there is a yellow variety, it is smaller and more expensive but even yummier!