Oahu Adventure: Part 1
Just wanted to pop in with the first recap of our Hawaii trip. The trip was organized by the Oahu Visitors Bureau and they covered my accommodations, activities and most meals.
We arrived in Hawaii Wednesday afternoon and had a busy next day. I don’t want to overwhelm you with a massive photo dump, so I’m gonna break the trip coverage up into parts.
Here’s what our first 24 hours in Hawaii looked like…
For the first leg of the trip, we’re staying at The Modern Honolulu.
We checked into our room and I immediately loved the feel of the room…it just felt so clean, as hotel rooms usually do, but the contrast of all the white-whites and dark woods made it feel especially clean. Clearly I’m not good at describing design-y things. Not to worry, we’ll get to the food part soon.
Out our balcony we had views of the marina + pool + ocean.
And in the wee hours the view turned into this…(heart eye emoji here!)
When we arrived I was feeling hungry (traveling always makes me SO hungry), so luckily we were greeted with pineapple-shaped shortbread cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company.
My favorite was the white chocolate dipped one, followed closely by a coconut one that didn’t make the picture.
After a quick cookie snack, we threw on our bathing suits and headed out to explore the pool and beach. We found bottles of sunscreen all around the pool, which was so helpful.
There was also fruit-infused water every day that had a variety of fruits in them. My fave was the pineapple + mint combo.
After sunscreening up, we hung out by the pool for a bit.
Then headed down to the beach for a little exploring.
The Modern Honolulu is positioned right by a marina so you have a great view of all the boats and we were just a 4-minute walk to the beach.
Then it was dinner time so we headed back to The Modern Honlulu to meet the other 4 bloggers attending the trip: Eden from Sugar and Charm, Aida from Salt & Wind, Meg from Meg Biram, and Erin from To Die For.
The meal started off with frozen coconut mint mojitos and a tasting of 3 different types of ahi tuna poke.
There was a mayo based one, a wasabi one and a seared one served with taro chips. The seared ended up being my favorite and Andrew kept freaking out over the chips.
Then we moved on to dinner. I kept it simple with a beet salad that came with fried goat cheese and a champagne vinaigrette + opah fish on the side.
The next day Andrew and I walked to breakfast at a place called Goofy Cafe.
After perusing the menu we decided to split the Hawaiian french toast and a cheesy omelet that came served with a taro english muffin and a side salad.
Salad? For breakfast? Mind blown.
You couldn’t really see the taro english muffin in the above shot…so here’s a close up.
Such a pretty color!
After breakfast we had a stand-up paddle boarding tour scheduled with Waikiki Beach Activities. I’d never done stand-up paddle boarding, but had been wanting to try for forever. We spent a couple minutes learning the basics on a little lagoon that’s not connected to the ocean. Then our instructor took us to the ocean to paddle our way towards Diamond Head.
After showers, Andrew and I met the rest of our little group in the lobby to head off to our first culinary experience of the trip at MISSION Social Hall & Cafe.
The restaurant chef was Chef Gooch who a Hula dancer turned chef. He said food was the first thing he ever committed himself to and spoke to us about getting back to true Hawaiian cuisine by cooking traditional Hawaiian dishes and not wasting food. He gave one example of taro and how he used to throw away the taro leaves before realizing they could be used in a dish that was similar to creamed spinach.
First up was an ice cold glass of turmeric lemonade.
Followed soon by okinawan sweet potatoes + bread fruit. OMG bread fruit. I was SOOOO in love. It tasted like bread and was so weird but SO SO good.
Also served were swordfish sandwiches on fluffy Hawaiian sweet bread.
Up next was a poke salad (i.e. raw fish) AND a creamy taro leaf + lamb stew dish. Both were insane but my mind was still going nuts over there being a thing called bread fruit that I was having trouble concentrating on anything else.
Then bowls of marinated cucumbers and slow-roasted boar + veggies. Andrew’s favorite was the boar. My favorite was dessert…
The desserts were both foods I had never seen before. Kulolo is on the left, which is made with grated taro and coconut. It was very much like a thick pudding. I had a bit, but saved all the stomach space I had left for the Haupia, the white blocks on the right.
Haupia texture-wise is like a jello meets a marshmallow. Taste-wise it’s the most delicious coconut treat you’ve ever had. I want to do a recipe for the blog soon<3.
After that epic lunch we headed to make floral crowns at Paiko, the most gorgeous botanical boutique and coffee bar. I was full from lunch so I passed on coffee, but definitely hope to make it back to Paiko to try out the coffee.
Then we headed over to the floral crown nook to get creative.
I went with a white-purple carnation + eucalyptus focus. LOVE eucalyptus.
After floral crown making, the fun continued with a bar crawl.
First up was Livestock Tavern.
They had a creamy pumpkin pie cocktail and a beet cocktail. I tried both. The pumpkin cocktail wasn’t overwhelmingly pumpkin, which was good.
I ordered a hazelnut + bourbon drink (the one all the way to the right in the below picture).
Next stop was at Grondin.
This was my favorite drink of the day! It was called a Smoking Maguey: chile-infused tequila, mezcal, aperol, fresh lime sour. So in love with spicy tequila cocktails.
Last stop was at a bar called Pig & The Lady. They brought out a sampling cocktails, my favorite of which was a drink called All in the Reflexes. It was made with coconut, lime, chili pepper, basil and a fun foamy top. I was just having a couple sips of the drinks all day, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to walk.
Pig and The Lady also served us appetizers, my favorite of which was savory beignets with creamy parmesan cauliflower dip that tasted nothing like cauliflower but everything like wonderful.
Phew…that was our first 24 hours in Oahu. FILLED with so much! More food adventures to come soon.