Tag Archives: honolulu

HGC’s First See-Food Scavenger Hunt Recap

As many of you know I had the honor of executing something I have been planning for a little under a year, the Honolulu Grub Club’s See-Food Scavenger Hunt.  It was a blast and I thank the participants as well as those who volunteered to help me set this up.  Please read the following recap to see what it looked like from an organizer’s point of view 

The Start

It was a bright and early Saturday morning for me as I prepared the food, prizes, and clues/answers sheets for what would be the HGC’s first (and hopefully not last) See-Food Scavenger Hunt.  It was going to be a hot day as it was already 78 degrees in the morning, but I did not realize how hot and fierce the competition would be.

Team Ninjas the only team assembled on time and ready to go with all the zeal expected of deadly assassins.

The contestants slowly rolled in, taking advantage of the 15-minute grace period I had given.  10:30AM?   Not on Hawaiian time, we would begin closer to 11:00AM with fully assembled teams, but the competitive talking had already begun among those who had arrived early.   Only one team would win, but everyone would enjoy an awesome barbeque from the hosting party at the Moana Pacific.

Team Don't Come For Me scoring some points.

There were four teams of eighteen individuals.  First to sign up, and punctual among all the teams were The Ninjas.  Populated with people seasoned in home cooking and wise beyond their years they had good spirits and were ready to have fun early in the morning to the afternoon.  After them was Team Rocket, a team put together of varying interests, but all brought together by charm, a competitive edge, and the enthusiasm of their namesake anime characters.  Team Don’t Come For Me followed,  late enough that their driver drove up to the parking lot while I prepared the instructions, but spirited enough and all of them know their way around a restaurant to be a deadly threat.  Last, and most certainly least was Team Mochi’s Minions (aka Team Civil Beat, as I really am not sure they settled on a name).  This team had come together literally within hours of me planning the last parts of the Hunt, but they were confident and just as a smart and savvy as their online news service.  Four teams, but only one would win.  Who would it be?  Well, here were the clues before them:

Clues (Can you Answer Them All?)

  1. Combine “A” to the left for this answer.
  2. Gurrabi’s favorite food.
  3. A piss load of this stuff will sweeten anything.
  4. The outline is Camelus bactrianus-like.
  5. Majestic Crustacean.
  6. Complete Sustenance.
  7. If I am steamed, I’m white, but if baked, I’m brown.  However, I’m always red on the inside.
  8. Go here to grab an Italian pie from the Golden Coast.
  9. I am the Bird of La Mancha
  10. When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go here with Petula Clark.
  11. The seed from this palm will drive you crazy.
  12. If being Chin Ho Kelly doesn’t work out he can always be a burger chef here.
  13. I’m always a staple in a salad, sold fresh, unlike other vegetables that can be sold frozen, canned or cooked.
  14. This Eurasian country is for the birds.
  15. A twin-tailed siren that will keep you up.
  16. Fast bamboo eater.
  17. I am the only room without walls.
  18. A room above sea that Spongebob Squarepants would be at home in.
  19. A cake that is not baked.
  20. Everybody have fun tonight, here.
  21. Female deer likes specks of sunshine, talking about herself, running distances, and sewing, but seeks something missing.
  22. This thai rooster is found on almost every Vietnamense restaurant’s table.
  23. Pick me up all the herbs at Scarbourgh Fair.
  24. The home of Napoleon’s baked goods and chili that benefits all.
  25. My offspring are always showing on my skin.
  26. He beat an iron chef and opened this restaurant.
  27. To “slice or cut” a fish Hawaiian-style.
  28. This drink’s old formula could make an addict out of you.
  29. A place of potent potables.
  30. The only Queen that has met Julius on the island.
  31. Made Newton move in the right direction.
  32. {[7(10(5(5(2×2))))] + [((765-77)/2)-24]}/2 = ?
  33. Leonard’s Champions.
  34. I slice and cut, but I also can play music.
  35. I can usually be found in the same places as green tea ice cream, but you wouldn’t want to eat a scoopful of me.
  36. I am the fish that can win marathons.
  37. I sum u b
  38. Uncooked possesors of XY chromosomes.
  39. Breaking the fourth wall here is fine, just don’t break the plates, glasses, or furniture.
  40. M Cable
  41. Measuring a girl’s best friend.

Here are some of the answers.

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All of the answers will appear in a following post.  

The Waiting

After fast thinking, driving, and coordinating all the teams headed back toward the Moana Pacific within the three and half hours given to them.  Coming in close to twenty minutes before the time limit was Team Rocket.  Confident and filled with braggadocio, the team thought they had it in the bag.  With a quick glimpse and a slight shock to my face, they might just have.  They had answered all the clues and gotten pictures for them, and were almost right for every single answer.  It was a masterful stroke.

Team Rocket enjoying themselves at one of the best karaoke bars in Waikiki, Wang Chung's Karaoke Bar.

(Check out Wang Chung’s Karaoke Bar website here.)

Right on there heels, but still early, came in Mochi’s Minions.  Clearly, being hastily put together the night before did not stop their accuracy or zeal in giving it their best.  They too surprised me with how efficiently they answered the clues and got pictures.  When the two teams met the war of words had begun, and planting the seeds of doubt of whose answers were correct.

Salmon?  Awww, man that can’t be right!  What did you get for the Cable M clue?  And on it went.

Calling it as close as possible Team Don’t Come For Me and Team Ninjas arrived, both highly confident, but looking relaxed despite their timing.  Team Don’t Come For Me looked like they had taken a break at a Starbucks or something.   And actually, come to think of it Team Rocket looked like they not only figured out their clues they stopped for a drink to celebrate that fact . . .

The Winners

Well, the barbeque went forward with all teams assembled and they enjoyed their hard earned food and relaxation.   The work for me came as I totaled and tallied their answers.  In the end, the race was close, and the teams were all separated by three points each . . . yes three points out of a total of 140 points . . . how is that possible?  I panicked and thought I had miscalculated, so I checked over the answers and used my phone’s calculator and laptop’s one.   The reality was that Team Don’t Come For Me emerged triumphant defeating Team Rocket by three points, three points that a shiso leaf could have prevented.

What's that Gurabbi is eating? A shiso leaf!

Remember Grub Clubbers and readers Gurrabi the Grubworm’s favorite food and used by reviewers is the shiso leaf.   Hopefully, the Cake Competition this year is equally fierce and highly attended.  Look forward to all you bakers and what you can put forth!

After a long day of fun time to enjoy food!

Hopefully next year we can do a Scavenger Hunt, an Amazing Race, or an Iron Chef competition or even better yet, what if we fused all those together?

 For a participant’s point of view please check out Kyle H.’s write-up here.

One of the prizes for the winning team were t-shirts of this design. Designed for the Club by Mx Media.

If you are interested in getting in on the scavenger hunting game it appears that Nonstop with Eat the Street and Foodspotting.com will be doing a similar thing later today (5/27/2011) at Eat the Street.  For more information check out this link.

Eat at the Punahou Carnival!

Well, no trip to Honolulu this weekend would be complete without the Punahou Carnival. If you like to eat, love the tradition of a family-style carnival, and then like to eat again look no further.

I would just like to state for the purpose of disclosure, that I am an alumni and am addicted to Punahou’s malasadas. So if you are curious about going, check out all the infomartion you need here.

So go and check it out this weekend. Your stomach will be glad you did. If you want to know more about the experience read this post from the Tasty Island blog.

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

As I extend my self pretty thin with all the projects I am working on let’s add back a task to my full plate. Let’s talk about food news and events again (albeit with less regularity than less year).

Anyway, as I mentioned in the prior post La Tour Cafe is up and running. If you are more curious about the Bakehouse read about it here at the Honolulu Weekly. I highly recommend the cafe’s macaroons (Yuzu especially), mint water, and their French dip.

Jade Dynasty is now open at Ala Moana Shopping Center. This Hong Kong-style eatery replaces the Kyoto Ohsho location with a $3.5 million dollar renovation price tag. Read more about it at Honolulu Magazine here.

Love food? Love trucks? Love food trucks? Well, Honolulu is having its 1st Food Truck Rally. Sounds fun, delicious, and cheap (well, not with the way I order plate lunches) . . . check out the flyer here for more info.

Roberto Viernes, over at Midweek, writes about how snobbery can ruin the wine experience. I think he has much truth for someone who is an expert in wines. He would rather learn to improve himself and his experience. I enjoy how he ends his piece:

So let everyone enjoy it [wine], and if you have something that will add to the experience, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise, please fill your glass and mouth with wine.

I think some food writers are like the critic in Disney’s Ratatouille and may need a swig of wine or stew to remind them that snobbery can ruin anything.

Personally, I love Izakaya food and I recently noticed two that I have been hearing about. Izakaya Naru, near TCBY and Sushi King and Izakaya Shinn. Both sound pretty tasty and if anyone has suggestions what to order drop a line.

Anyway, last thing, Art After Dark is coming up and the food at this always fun event is being down once again by Town and Downtown. For more information click on this link.

Until next time have some good eating!

Hawaii Food News Round-Up, Sept. 5-11

Save things for secret eating! Sorry, inside dorky joke.

Oahu

  • Have an extra hour or two for lunch in downtown? Tired of seeing all the same people for those power lunches? Well, Honolulu Weekly dishes up some of the hidden downtown eats. Not so hidden after everyone reads about it here.
  • Curious about more secret eating? Check out Honolulu Magazine’s quick write-up on Secret Menus. Moreover, check back here as we talk about Off-Menu’s first exclusive dining event in the forthcoming weeks.
  • The Star-Advertiser catches up with a Hawaii restaurateur George “Cass” Castagnola and reviews his latest establishment, Castagnola’s Pizzeria.  
  • How does your emotions play on your wine? Find out with this MidWeek article and some recommendations for certain pairings.

Neighbor Islands

  • Honolulu Weekly talks tea in this article about natural farming done by Mauna Kea Tea on the Big Island. Incidentally, I (Refridgeraider) picked up “For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History” – I’ll let you know more about that on my site when I get to it.
  • If you find yourself not on the golden coast with Katy Perry and California gurls, but the Kohala Coast with local gurls and want some place nice eat, you might want to check out the following article from Honolulu Magazine.
  • Over at the Maui News:
    • On Maui and want to make a quick getaway? Head over to Four Seasons Resort Lana’i where they are now offering “Lana’i on your lanai” promotion, and it’s like room service, but done with a “private server, a fun musical playlist as well as extensive gourmet menu,” says the public relations manager. Find out more about it here.
    • Seems like Italian is the name of the game this week with the pizzeria and now this article on how the Hulopo’e Court at Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay has changed its menu; the Court now serves up fine Italian fare. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the gorgeous view.

Off-Menu is Off the Hook!

I’d like to introduce a new, cool, and fun catering start-up here in Hawaii. Off-Menu!

Off-Menu is a full service catering company that can help you plan your dream event. Not only do they cater, but starting this month they will be having exclusive dining events with their chefs held in fun venues. The menus will be edgy, innovative, and fun. So Off-Menu will definitely be a different change of pace from your average catering company.

As for the lucky Grub Clubbers, we have been invited to their September event held at Manifest. For mroe information check your newsletter.

For a recap on their annual managers’ dinner check out Refridgeraider’s write -up here. If you want to find out more about the company check them out here.

Let them know you want what’s off menu at your next event!

The Cheesecake Competition Recap

So hey all, I finally have time to post some info on the HGC’s First Annual Cheesecake Competition. It’s been very delayed, but better late than never.

So let’s get down to the entries for this year:

First up was this tasty entry of a White Chocolate and Raspberry.

That was followed up by this Kona Coffee Cheesecake and in the creator’s words:

This is a traditional style cheesecake with a rich, full-bodied coffee flavor, accented by a bittersweet chocolate ganache. A chocolate mac nut crust adds texture to the smoothness of the cheesecake. The bold chocolate and coffee flavors are balanced by a refreshing vanilla bean whipped cream. This dessert is the perfect finish to any meal.

 

Next up was this Ohelo Berry Cheesecake. This cheesecake was described as:

As a sinfully rich cheesecake with cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice, sugar and eggs. Topped with Ohelo Berry Preserves. A blend of continental cuisine with a touch of local flavor.

 

Following up and the winner of the competition was this Toasted Pecan and Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake. The following description was given:

Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust, Valrhona Chocolate Cheesecake, Fresh Caramel with a Hint of Lemon, Topped with Fleur de Sel & Toasted Pecans

Inspiration From Sea Salt Caramels by Fran’s Chocolates

It sounds delicious reading it, no?

The last entry of the competition, but certainly not least was this Lemon Cheesecake with Lemon Curd Topping and Animal Cracker Crust.

After much deliberation and gorging themselves on five cheesecakes the judges awarded the Toasted Pecan and Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake the most points. The creator of this cheesecake won a $30 gift certificate to Ala Moana Shopping Center, but more importantly the “crown.”

Isn’t that awesome? I designed it myself . . . well with the help of the people at the cap-making store.

So that was what happened at the HGC’s First Annual Cheesecake Competition. Look forward to it next year and hopefully more competitors and new cheesecake creations!

Oh yeah, be sure to check out more of the photos taken by our awesome photographer here.

HGC’s 1st Annual Cheesecake Competition Aftermath

Just wanted to do a quick post telling everyone that the HGC’s 1st Annual Cheesecake Competition went very well. To be sure there is room for improvement for planning and execution, but the event met the main goals of the HGC.  Food, Friends and Fun!

I’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who attended and participated. Pictures and an in-depth recap will be forthcoming to this blog sometime during this week. Most likely, Wed. or Thursday. As always suscribe to this blog, and you will receive updates to your e-mail when there are new posts.

Can’t wait to share with you all the delicious pictures of the awesome cheesecakes!