Archive for July, 2011

Satisfy craving for sweets at Meika Plaza

July 27th, 2011

Nadine Kam photos
Guests take in a tea ceremony at opening day of Shirokiya’s Meika Plaza.

On the heels of Shirokiya’s Yataimura opening last month comes Meika Plaza, another of its innovations anticipating the store’s 350th anniversary next year.

Festivities began at 9:30 a.m. July 24, when shoppers poured in to check out the plaza’s 30 confectionary booths, with a trellised seating area to accommodate those enjoying mochi, sweets and beverages from the vendors, including Yoku Moku, Saint Germain, Ginza Kikunoya, Tokyo Fugetsudo, and more.

Appealing to Hawaii’s sweet tooth will likely make it an instant hit.

There were samplings, demonstrations in the making of Tokyo Marunouchi rolls and Ginza Petit Custa mini filled doughnuts, and highlighting the day were tea ceremonies presented by the Urasenke Foundation, slated throughout the day.

Tea ceremonies will continue to be featured at least one Sunday a month.

Meika Plaza is in Shirokiya, on the mall level.

A tea ceremony was presented by the Urasenke Foundation, which coincidentally is marking its own anniversary with an exhibition at the Honolulu Academy of Arts through Oct. 2. Implements from the Urasenke Museum in Kyoto and from the Honolulu Academy of Arts collection are on view in “The Way of Tea: An Exhibition Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Urasenke Tankokai Hawaii Association.”

Whisking the matcha green tea.

Hostess and guest demonstrate respect and hospitality with a bow.

Guests also examine the tea bowl to show their appreciation of craftsmanship and a host’s good taste.

At the Ginza Petit Custa station, a worker fills molds for the mini doughnuts, below.

Customers ponder mochi options at Meika Plaza.

A koto player provided music for the grand opening festivities.

SHOR’s grand opening

July 27th, 2011

Nadine Kam photos
The lobster and crab legs had already disappeared from the Seafood Tower by the time I arrived at the grand opening party for SHOR American Seafood Grill restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Hotel & Resort.

The Hyatt Regency Beach Resort and Spa celebrated the grand opening of its newest restaurant, SHOR American Seafood Grill on June 9, but it’s taken me this long to review it because I’ve been away for a month.

Love the outdoor setting at sunset and for those in need of a staycation, it’s a nice place for a getaway, at the quieter, beachy end of Waikiki. The evening began with a beautiful array of shellfish presented on a Seafood Tower, along with sample portions of poke, crab cocktail and seafood salad. From there, guests had a choice of steak, chicken or monchong entrees, and in spite of the seafood theme, many opted for steak!

Certain dishes I came back for later, like the Mussel Pot and lobster roll, which both put me back into vacation mindset because they’re not typically available on local menus, and both are so popular on the East Coast.

After dinner, we headed to the Hyatt’s new Regency Club, nearby, for dessert. Continental breakfasts, midday snacks, evening cocktails, refreshments, and hors d’oeuvres are offered daily in the indoor/outdoor lounge to Diamond tier members of the Hyatt’s Gold Passport rewards program and guests staying in Regency Club rooms. In the evening, there’s seating around two fire pits for enjoying cocktails to 8:30 p.m.

Anyone can join the Gold Passport program by visiting, but you only reach the Diamond tier after 25 eligible stays or 50 eligible nights. If you travel that much, with all its attendant hassles, you deserve a treat!

Dining in the open air on the third-floor patio.

Keith and Julia Aragaki with sous chef Jeff Szombaty.

Olena Rubin Heu gamely turned cards and turned over some jewelry to magician Santos Kidd, who had all of us amazed. Obviously he had nothing up his sleeves, and we don’t know how he was able to pick out our cards, as relayed onto an iPhone!

Things that make you go huh? Santos somehow “moved’ the “B” seal on the lower bill from its usual position toward the left of George, as seen on another (top) intact bill, to the haphazard spot on the right of the bill! Does that mean it’s now considered counterfeit?

A chocolate sculpture loomed over a dessert bar.

Lollipops in a variety of flavors also awaited those with a sweet tooth. I picked one that looked like a chocolate truffle, which was full of caramel.

The view of The Regency Club, with its two glowing fire pits on the left, from the Hyatt Garage across the street.