Continued from my last post on our Hawaii vacation, more swimming, hiking, and eating!
Few years ago, James and his dad went hiking on the Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse Trail and they talked about an off-the-beaten-track path they took to get to the tide pools all the way down. I was up for the adventure, but not before a big, filling breakfast at a local drive-in spot.
Have you tried loco moco? It’s a local favorite, and it’s basically hamburger patty and egg with brown gravy over rice. James was skeptical about my dish and went for the spam and egg over fried rice instead. I agreed that the gravy was a little bit too much.
Well, I guess we really needed all those carbs. The marked hiking trail is not too strenuous at all, since the path is completely paved. But if you want to head down the side of the cliff to the tide pools at the bottom, make sure you have the right shoes! It was a steep decline and the rocky path (loose rocks) was pretty treacherous.
Looking down was one thing…actually going down was something else!
Regardless, we made it to the bottom to swim in the crystal clear water, enjoying the awesome ocean view and the roars of the spouting blow hole. It was a great experience!
On the way up, it was all leg muscles so it was quite a work out!
After our hike, we were ready for food. Marukame Udon was the place we wanted to try, and despite the long line at the Waikiki location, it was well worth the wait (don’t worry, the line moves fast). The restaurant has an open kitchen, so you can see the udon noodles being cut and cooked right in front of you. And if you’re there, don’t just order the noodles. I had a plain kake udon while James had the niku udon, and then we ordered a few tempura to share, which included Japanese yam, rice stuffed bean curd, fried chicken, and vegetable fritter.
We also tried a local favorite called spam musubi, a sushi rice roll topped with a piece of spam. Expect to see the recipe emerge somewhere here soon!
Look at how moist the fried chicken is!
Having explored different parts of the island, the only place left was the North Shore. On the day we decided to venture up to Haleiwa, it was during the annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing so we definitely made it a priority to see the professional surfing competition.
Since we were up in the North Shore, I wanted to check out the shrimp trucks. I wanted to try Giovanni and James wanted to try Macky’s, so we decided that we’d try both, one after the other!
We tried Giovanni’s shrimp scampi first, which came with a scoop of rice on the side to sop up the garlic, butter, and lemon sauce. It was so tasty! Next, we tried the garlic butter shrimp from Macky’s, which also came with rice in addition to the slice of pineapple and salad. Honestly, it’s a toss-up which one is better. I may have preferred Giovanni’s a bit more because I loved the fried garlic topping.
Also up in the North Shore is the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Whether or not you’re going on the Pineapple Express, getting a pineapple soft serve from their snack bar should be high on your agenda!
So is Uncle Woody’s corn on the cob. They have a stand inside the Dole Plantation, and you’d not want to miss it. We got the Island Style corn, which was seasoned with sea salt, garlic, butter, and black pepper. Sweet, crunchy, slightly charred…it was the perfect snack!
For the rest of our vacation, we worked off those calories with lots of water activities, which included snorkeling at the Hanauma Bay, one of Oahu’s most popular snorkeling destination. The water was clear, shallow, and we had a fun time exploring the reefs with a variety of beautiful and colorful sea life. I overheard someone saying that they saw sea turtles (my biggest fear) and I was glad that I didn’t encounter any!
James and Brad did some standup paddleboarding.
We used a Go-Pro camera to capture our under-the-sea adventures.
Which caught James chasing after us with a sea slug. Ewww!
By the way, I have some one more restaurant recommendation for you. We had breakfast at Cinnamon’s in Kailua one day, and between the two of us, we ordered the mahi mahi eggs benedict, the kalua pork eggs benedict, and guava chiffon pancake. The pancakes were served with a coconut syrup, which was so good that I bought one to bring back home, except that it was placed in my carry-on bag and then taken away accordingly at the airport. If you’re in Oahu, do stock up on some coconut syrup, check in your bags, and perhaps, share one with me ;)
On our last day, we wanted to take advantage of the grill we had at the cabin and Brad suggested we try making teriyaki chicken. We used this Aloha Barbecue Sauce, which is soy sauce that has been pre-seasoned with ginger, garlic, and sugar. Other than mixing in few cloves of garlic, there was hardly any work involved!
In the meantime, we tried some of the poke we picked up at the market. The tuna poke, which had been marinated with a touch of soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili pepper, was so delicious. I was sad that I waited until the last day to give it a try.
I made a coconut rum drink to enjoy while waiting for the sunset. Isn’t it beautiful!?
We got the grill all fired up with pineapple and zucchini slices.
Finally, the dish we all had been waiting for: tender, moist, perfectly grilled chicken teriyaki. The perfect meal for our last evening together in Oahu.
Our vacation in Hawaii has been nothing short of amazing, and I had fun sharing it with you. If you have any questions about the places we went to or the restaurants we tried, please feel free to leave a comment below. Until next time, happy eating (and travelling)!