Archive for October, 2011

Kahala introduces curry winner

October 28th, 2011

Nadine Kam photosA beautiful array of crab claws and mussels topped the Thai green seafood curry. part of the Kahala Hotel & Resort’s weekly lunchtime International Curry Bazaar.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort augmented its popular Wednesday International Curry Bazaar all-you-can-eat buffet with the Oct. 26 unveiling of its “All in the Family Curry Contest” winner, whose dish will be among the curries featured from noon to 3 p.m. every Wednesday in November at the Plumeria Beach House.

Contestants entered a favorite curry recipe via Facebook or Twitter, and Noella Monteiro won with her grandmother’s recipe for yellow shrimp curry. The Pakistani recipe is saturated with turmeric and spices that was toned down for mass appeal. Those who like their curries hot were welcome to add more chili to the dishes, as well as condiments specific to the various styles of curry. To accompany Monteiro’s curry, there was toasted, shredded coconut, cranberries, peanuts and raisins.

An Punjab-style chicken-spinach curry came with options of mint and mango chutney and cucumber-mint raita.

Lanterns graced the Indian curry table at The Plumeria Beach House at the Kahala Hotel & Resort, home to a popular lunchtime curry buffet.

The contests celebrates family tradition, which is also true to the Kahala’s philosophy of sharing the flavors of the kama’aina table. A Thai seafood curry was based on an intern’s family recipe, and the recipe for Japanese beef curry is that of executive chef Wayne Hirabayashi’s mother … or at least the basic recipe came from his mom. He admits to having played with it over the years, for example, adding more vegetables as he grew to appreciate vegetables more.

In talking with the chef, he realized that the curry played a big part in his early culinary forays. He said he would often think of ways to improve on recipes for curries and hamburgers, giving his mom suggestions of “adding a little salt here, a little pepper there.”

He said he didn’t realize at the time, but he was learning how to blend flavors and adapt recipes to his taste, learning that he could add sweetness to a dish not by simply adding straight sugar, but maybe a little bit of apple for subtlety.

The buffet, with curries that change every few weeks, includes soup du jour, and a selection of salads and desserts, and is priced at $30 per person (tax and gratuity additional). For reservations, call  739-8760, or e-mail Reservations are also taken at

The Kahala’s executive chef Wayne Hirabayashi shared his mother’s recipe for Japanese beef curry with kabocha, carrots and shiitake. He enjoys this curry with condiments of takuan, pickled ginger and tsukemono.

Noella Monteiro was the winner of the hotel’s curry reccipe contest, sharing her grandmother’s recipe for yellow shrimp curry. Her prize is two nights in an ocean view room at The Kahala, dinner for two at Hoku’s and breakfast in the Plumeria Beach House.

I arranged a small sampling of the four curries offered on my plate. Each had its own condiments. Monteiro’s, at front right, could be dressed with peanuts, cranberries and toasted coconut.

Diamond Bakery celebrates 90th with diamond giveaway

October 14th, 2011

Diamond Bakery photos
The sight of Diamond Bakery Saloon Pilots and soda crackers fuels many a local childhood memory. The company is celebrating its 90th anniversary.

Diamond Bakery marked its 90th anniversary on Oct. 12, by announcing a 90-diamond giveaway that will run from Nov. 1 to July 31, 2012.

There is no limit to the number of times anyone may enter to win one of the 90 natural, full-cut round diamonds, and there are three ways to enter:

Option 1.  Enter to win online at beginning Oct. 20 by registering the “90 Diamond Giveaway” codes inserted in the following Diamond Bakery cracker packages:

>> 13-ounce soda crackers: Original, Low Sodium/No Cholesterol, and 0 Trans
>> 9.5-ounce Saloon Pilot crackers: Original and Low Sodium/No Cholesterol
>> 8-ounce Royal Creem crackers: Original, coconut, and ginger
>> 9.5-ounce Graham crackers: Original, Maui sugar, and cinnamon
>> 5 to 5.5-ounce All Natural Hawaiian crackers: Hawaiian Sodas, Maui Grahams, Hula Creems, and Waimea Wheats.

Option 2: Complete the information inserted in the special cracker packages and mail to Diamond Bakery, 756 Moowaa St., Honolulu, HI 96817.

Option 3: Join the Diamond Club at, a free rewards program.

Winning codes will be posted online at and on Diamond Bakery’s Facebook Page on the first week of every month. Winners will be able to redeem their winning codes for the diamonds at Kamaaina Metals and Jewelry. A photo ID will be required.

For more information, visit the Diamond Bakery website or call 847-3551.

Diamond Bakery’s factory staff, circa 1920s, when the store and factory was at 1753 S. King St., now the site of Zippy’s McCully and its parking lot.

Diamond Bakery was founded in 1921 as a dream of three friends—Japanese immigrants Hidegoro Murai, Kikutaro Hiruya and Natsu Muramoto—to create the perfect Hawaiian-made cracker.  Who in Hawaii didn’t grow up eating soda crackers and Saloon Pilots out of the familiar red boxes with the golden diamond-shaped logo?

In 2009, Diamond Bakery expanded distribution of its niche-selling sea biscuits, or Saloon Pilot crackers, along the continental East Coast. Diamond Bakery products have also spread to Japan and the South Pacific.

In keeping with the trend toward healthy eating, the company launched its newest product line of Hawaiian all-natural crackers last year, available at local and West Coast health food stores, including Whole Food Markets.