Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

You may pay later for holiday treats today

November 18th, 2011

File photo
If you can’t stop at one, it makes good diet sense to stay away from the holiday snack table.

You may think that one or two holiday cookies daily are harmless, but they do add up between Thanksgiving and the new year, such that holiday snackers tend to put on three to five hard-to-lose pounds during this period. Which seems tolerable until you look back over 10 years.

According to The Daily Meal website, the average Thanksgiving meal contains more than 3,000 calories and 100 grams of fat, and don’t discount the calories contained in commercial holiday beverages. Here are some examples compiled by the site, with more on view at

Jack in the Box Eggnog Ice Cream Shake: The large, 24-ounce size of this vanilla ice cream and eggnog syrup shake packs 1,135 calories (487 from fat) and 37 grams of saturated fat. To compare, three cheesecakes off the menu adds up to 200 calories less than one of these shakes.

Jamba Juice Pumpkin Smash Smoothie: There are 550 calories in the 24-ounce original size. That’s more than McDonald’s 520-calorie Quarter Pounder with cheese.

Starbucks Eggnog Latte: A venti size made with whole milk has 620 calories and 29 grams of fat (without whipped cream), equal to a Jumbo Jack with cheese.

If you’re curious about other things you ingest, as part of the health-care initiatives signed into law last year, restaurants with multiple outlets (numbers vary by states) must make nutritional information available, and many of the biggest chains are making the information available online as well as in-store.

Does it make a difference in how people order? It doesn’t to me because I generally know how “bad” a dish can be, but others in the industry have told me that most diners are shocked when they see how much calories and fat are in commercially prepared food and change their orders accordingly.

Also, calorie-counting apps like “Lose It!” offer an ingredient-by-ingredient count so that you can learn to become a better dish reader. Just an extra two teaspoon of oil on your salad, for instance, can be enough to push your calorie count over its limit. As an antidote, the app also shows the amount of exercise you need to do to erase those calories.

Eating local at Sushi ii

September 21st, 2011

Nadine Kam photos

Coconut-crusted mahimahi was beautifully crispy on the outside, flaky and tender on the inside, drizzled with mango sauce and served with kalua pork on fried paiai, a thick, near waterless pounded taro, with barbecue sauce. You can see I was so anxious to bite into the pork and paiai that I ruined it before snapping this photo.

Kanu Hawai’i’s third annual Eat Local Challenge is underway, asking island residents to join together in helping to build a more sustainable, secure and healthy local food system. Part of their mission is to raise awareness of eating local every September. It’s definitely something easier said than done for those of us who have trouble simply planning what to eat from day to day, much less contemplating how to keep it all local.

Restaurateurs on four islands are helping to make it easier by offering Eat Local specials through the end of the month. You can find the complete list of restaurants and meal offers at

In addition, during Yelp Eats Local week through Sept. 25, 11 restaurants will donate a portion of the proceeds from their special, locally sourced menu items to Kanu Hawaii. The participating restaurants are: Brasserie Du Vin, Chai’s Island Bistro, He‘eia Kea Pier, Hula Grill Waikiki, J.J. Dolan’s, Pah Ke’s Chinese Restaurant, SOUL, Stage Restaurant, Sushi ii, Thirtyninehotel, and Tiki’s Grill & Bar.

A $10 donation is made to Kanu Hawaii for every Yelper that spends at least $30 when they visit during the week. (Let servers know you are participating and drop your receipts in a ballot box provided.)

To get a taste of what eating local can be, about a dozen Yelp Elites and media descended on Sushi ii Sept. 19 for a remarkable and memorable meal. The tiny gem of a restaurant is deep within Samsung Plaza on Ke’eaumoku Street, and was chosen for what Yelp community manager describes as its
“Yelp-y qualities.”

That is, she said is something “so amazing and unexpected, off the beaten track” and of course, that possesses necessary “wow factor.”I went in expecting sushi, but what the Sushi ii is offering for the challenge is a prix fixe menu for about $45, featuring a 100 percent locally grown entree, salad, appetizer and/or dessert.

Sushi chef/owner Garrett Wong and Sabrina Saiki-Mita did a great job with a three-course menu that surprised and delighted with every course, something all the restaurants must do to help Kanu Hawai’i succeed.

Founded in 2007, the nonprofit’s mission is to encourage and support environmental and social change. Its 14,000 members make individual commitments as simple as I will take shorter showers or I will buy local. To make a commitment, go to

From left, Kasha Ho, Kanu community organizer, with Sushi Ii’s Sabrina Saiki-Mita and Emi Hart.

Amber-Lynn Hyden snaps a photo of lemon balm intermezzo.

A petite burger char-grilled to a perfect medium rare, with a surprise center of Naked Cow Dairy goat cheese, and accompanied by crave-worthy sour cherry and caramelized onion ketchup. They need to bottle this so we can take it home.

Sushi Ii owner Garrett Wong doubled as a server for the evening, delivering a second refreshing non-alcohol watermelon and kaffir lime cocktail. (more…)