Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Egging on amateur cooks

August 9th, 2010

August is Egg Month at  Alan Wong’s Restaurants, where the search is on for cooks to enter an “Eggscellent Recipe Contest”!

Recipes will be accepted in three dinner menu categories: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Recipes should be original and must use fresh island eggs as a main component. Entries will be judged on their taste, presentation, use of eggs and originality. The key word is “creative,” rather than typical breakfast or brunch items. I’ll have a post up later, from judging Saturday’s Mangoes at the Moana event, which might be instructive for entering any contest.

Six semi-finalist Recipes selected to be reproduced by Alan Wong’s chefs and judged on Sept. 21, 2010, at “A Dinner with Alan Wong at The Pineapple Room.”  Three grand prize-winning recipes will be reinterpreted in the style of Alan Wong’s Restaurants, and will be recognized on the dinner menu and served at The Pineapple Room for a month. Grand prize winners will also receive a Pineapple Room “Dinner for Four” dining certificate, and fresh island eggs from Petersons’ Upland Farm.

For rules and a downloadable entry form, visit Or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to “Alan Wong’s Eggscellent Recipe Contest,” 1857 S. King St, Suite 208, Honolulu, HI  96826.

The deadline to enter is Aug. 24, 2010.

For inspiration, visit either restaurant for sampling dishes incorporating the versatile egg.

Sample dishes at The Pineapple Room, in Macy’s Ala Moana, include a breakfast tuna moco with Petersons’ Upland Farm Sunny Side Up Eggs, lunch of crab fried rice egg rolls and dinner of shrimp flan with soy truffle oil. Call 945-6573.

At Alan Wong’s restaurant, try a specialty libation of Okolehao “Pisco Sour,” opakapaka with dried scallop risotto chawan mushi, or a classic creme brulee with Menehune Gardens vanilla. Call 949-2526. The restaurant is at 1857 S. King St., third floor.

Vote for your fave gourmet loco moco

June 24th, 2010

Nadine Kam photos

Cheeseburger Restaurant-Waikiki Beach Walk’s gourmet loco moco featuring a half-pound of Kobe beef, for $20.99 at this location. It’s $2 less at the Kalakaua restaurant, but I’m not sure it’s made the same way.

The search for the best gourmet loco moco in Waikiki is on, and it started with a “Loco Moco Smackdown” June 19 at Cheeseburger Restaurant.

Enlisted for the task were Steve Uyehara of Hawaii News Now, Star-Advertiser blogger Catherine Toth, Billy V of Hawaiian 105 KINE, Miss Hawaii 2009 Raeceen Woolford, and photographer/DJ Charles Criscola.

You can read all about it and watch the contest on video at TGIF Online:

Catherine Toth, left, and Raeceen Woolford, before ingesting a pound of food that included dessert after the official loco moco smackdown.

Of course the event made me hungry for loco moco, and in spite of having grown up here with the island classic of layers of white rice, hamburger patty, fried egg and brown gravy, NEVER actually ate the thing.

Is that typical?

I figure, it’s more of a dish people order out than make at home because of its assembly nature. You have to make the burger. You have to cook the egg. You need to make brown gravy. In my mom’s house, one-skillet dishes were the norm.

Then, when I went out, there always seemed to be things on the menu more tempting than basics of ground beef and egg. In college, while other students found sustenance outside dorm fare with loco mocos, I was either at Pizza Hut or Chuck’s Steak House.

Before putting on their blindfolds, contestants could add their choice of condiments. Raeceen, sitting next to Billy V., showed her brandished her weapons of choice. Steve doused his loco moco with Tabasco.

But after trying one of several mini versions being passed around to spectators, I had to wonder why I resisted the loco moco’s allure for so long! Definitely yummy, and as Raeceen said after the competition, it’s too bad she had to eat it so fast. A gourmet loco moco should be eaten slowly and savored.

I kept hearing raves about Ocean House’s version, made with filet mignon, so that’s another I’ll have to try.

In addition to Cheeseburger and Ocean House, four other restaurants are in the running in the greater Loco Moco Smackdown: Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber, Giovanni Pastrami, Keoni’s by Keo and Hula Grill Waikiki.

This is where you come in. Through July 20, people can try the loco mocos from the participating restaurants — at your own expense I’m afraid — then vote on your favorite via Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #WBWloco and naming your favorite for a chance to win gift certificates from the participating resstaurants.

Cat, sitting next to Steve, warms up before the competition. It turned out, she didn’t need to warm up.

Winner Charles Criscola had a little bit left on his plate at the 2-minute finish, but by the time he received his award, he’d polished it all off.