Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot

 The first thing I have to say about this place? I'm addicted! There are some pretty good AND bad reviews on Yelp about this place, but after having gone just a day ago, I've already planned my next visit. Little Sheep is new to Hawaii, but not to SF, LA, San Diego or Asia. There are a number of restaurants in Hong Kong Island and Macau, and according to our waiter, 14 different locations in Japan. I posted an Instagram picture of our hot pot, and many of my friends (living in LA) commented about how much they loved Little Sheep! It's a popular place!

They just recently opened, having their Grand Opening just last Friday in the old KA Nightclub in the Victoria Ward Centers. Ample parking, and the restaurant is huge so waiting for a table wasn't a problem at all. They also have a full bar and a menu stock full of different cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks on the menu.

Brandon and I started with Apple and Peach Green Tea with Popping Balls, which was so refreshing and tasty that I had to stop myself from drinking the whole thing before the meal came! Brandon didn't have the self control I did, and finished his before the broth came! We looked over the menu, and were tempted to order the lunch special for $12 something (get it everyday before 3pm!)- pretty good deal, and our waiter said there's a lot of food to fill you up. From what I remember, it comes with one meat of your picking, noodles and a variety of different veggies. But knowing me and how I like to try a lot of things on the menu, we skipped the lunch special.

There are only three soups to pick from- Original and Spicy are the most popular, and then there's also a Vegetarian Mushroom with the original herbal with shiitake stock. You may get one whole pot of either the Original, Spicy, or Vegetarian, OR Spicy Original which is a spiced up version of the Original OR Half and Half (a split pot of Original and Spicy). Brandon and I got the Original because we don't do well with spicy foods, but our waiter suggested we try the Half and Half next time as the Spicy broth changes the flavor or the food you put in it. Sounds delicious! And he said it may look super spicy, but the broth is mild. We'll see about that!!

Service was awesome. We were seated promptly, water brought immediately, and our waiter Kit came to take our drink order right away. All of the staff seems to have been brought straight from the motherland, and some don't speak fluent English. Kit seemed to have been the "go-to" guy for any and ALL questions!! He was pretty cool! We had a few snafus with our order and check in the end, but all was taken care of, and we walked out so full and ready for a nap!!

Must tries- Apple or Peach Green Tea with Popping Balls, Sesame Pancake, Supreme Lamb Shoulder (not game-y at all!), Supreme Beef, Homemade Mixed Meatball platter (good to try once, but it wasn't one of our favorites), and Fish ball with Roe (this was awesome!!). Bite into the center of the fish ball and there is an orange center filled with little tobiko! They were also sold out of the Pork Belly that I wanted to try and also the Yam Mochi with Red Bean for dessert. Apparently they had sold 140 orders of the dessert the night before!

As a side note, I don't care too much for Lamb in general, but the Lamb here is a must-get. It is very delicate in taste and texture.

Next time I will definitely trying the Mongolian Beef Pie which a friend highly recommended to me!

The bill came out to about $75 for two, and if we hadn't ordered the Meatball platter for $14, then that would've brought our bill down to $50. Not bad for all the food we ate, PLUS we had 3 doggy bags! Highly, highly recommend, folks!!

PS- Rice doesn't come with this, so you need to order ala carte!

It's the little things! Hook that spoon! Love that these spoons don't fall in the soup.

The good before the meat came

Such a variety of herbs and nuts makes for an amazingly-flavorful soup!

Fish Ball with Roe- must get 3 orders next time!

Supreme Lamb Shoulder- half order! Not game-y and very mild in taste. The Lamb is sliced so thin, so the meat is tender.

Supreme Beef- half order

Sesame Pancake

Moist bread on the inside and a perfectly crispy exterior that is excellent for dipping in your broth! Comes out fresh and WARM! Mmmmm!

The sauce bar. They were out of Ponzu!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Instapressed Juice

 In the past, I've never been into juicing much, but have seen the health benefits and weight loss in others. Sometimes after eating such rich foods, I feel guilty that my body is not getting the sufficient nutrients it really needs, especially for all the golf I play. I decided to go on a juice cleanse. My high school classmate, Kevin Ko, started his own juice business called Instapressed. He juices much differently than what you might expect or have seen in the past with regular juicers. He uses a special Cold Press Juicer (masticating juicer), which crushes and presses the fruit/veggies for the most juice yield. Because these machines don't produce a lot of heat, the fresh ingredient's nutrients are kept unscathed, as compared to regular centrifugal juice extractors with blades that produce a heavy amount of heat. Heat breaks down all of those healthy nutrients! With a Cold Presser, you are getting the most out of your fruits and veggies- the only way to go! Learned so much from talking with Kevin when he dropped off my juices!

I was a little scared at first, and read reviews on people getting light-headed and "crazy hungry." To me, I didn't think you'd get enough protein from just the juice itself, and chose not to replace meals with the juice. My plan went from doing a 3 day cleanse to a 2 day cleanse, and then just having the juice to drink on a regular basis. Call me a wimp! I love food.....how could I give up food for 3 days!!!?

Anyway, I started off each morning with a juice and my breakfast, and if I got thirsty later in the day, I would drink water and also a juice. I also took it to golf, which was very satisfying and rejuvenating on a hot day!

I have to be honest and say that not all of the juices were my favorite in flavor, but they were still tasty. I enjoyed the Pineapple/Mint/Ginger the most, and would drink that all the time if I had an unlimited supply! The Almond Milk was given to me, but was recalled. It will be released again at a later date! In place of it, I received Watermelon, which had chia seeds, mint, and cucumber. Very refreshing!

I highly recommend trying one (or all!) of these juices! They are a much healthier alternative for snacking!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Birthday Girl

 I celebrated my 28th birthday this week, and I've realized it only gets better and better! The old adage "it only gets better with age" is true! I had the chance to celebrate with all of the important people in my life- golfers, foodies, coaches, high school classmates and in general, people that love to laugh over food and drink. Those are the best kind! Some were not there in person, as they currently live on the mainland, but their calls and texts made my heart smile. Thank you, guys!!!

Since I'm born on Mother's Day, M&D and I bonded over some delicious food over at Morimoto's at The Modern in Waikiki. It was our first time there, so after we dined, we walked around the Sunrise/Sunset Pool Bar. It was a gorgeously-warm night. Btw, our favorite of the night was the Live Octopus Carpaccio. Highly recommend, folks!

The next big thing on the list was my birthday shindig with my closest friends at The Pig and The Lady, which was just wonderful! It was perfect- lots of warm smiles, chitter-chatter and food galore. Did I mention 5+ orders of that huge Bone Marrow?! Eat your heart out!!! Couldn't have asked for anything more.

I ended my birthday week just the way I wanted to- playing golf! A little tired and hungover, but nonetheless, it was a beautiful day. Something to be so thankful for. 

Thank you all for the Birthday love and well wishes!!!

Morimoto's Live Octopus Carpaccio

$40 Sashimi platter, $40 Sushi Platter- Morimoto's

We sipped on Tedorigawa Iki Na Onna. Birthday gift from a great friend- It was light and refreshing. So smoooooth. Thank you!!

Pig and The Lady's Stewed Beef Bone Marrow!

Pig and the Lady- Chitara Pasta- Braised Chicken, Chicken Cracklins, Ikura, Green Apple, Chicken Jus

Pig and The Lady- Kumamoto Oysters with Calamansi

MORE Oysters

The Pig's Head Feast! Cut open, find the goods in the crevices, wrap with Lettuce, Tortillas and ENJOY!

A gorgeous bouquet of flowers. Picture doesn't do it justice. Thank you!!

Thank you Schyler and Aaron...

A little slice of heaven and bday wishes from M&D. Diamond Head Torte- Peanut Butter Pudding, Peanut Butter Cheesecake, Oreo crumbs, Banana topped with Whipped Cream!