Monday, June 20, 2022

OUR DINING EXPERIENCE: BHOGA, SAN FRANCISCO

 OUR DINING EXPERIENCE: BHOGA, SAN FRANCISCO

We had the pleasure of trying out different cuisines in the course of our recent vacation in the United States. This has been shared in the last few blog posts here. As our trip was coming to an end, we decided to eat at an Indian Restaurant for a change.


There are a number of Indian restaurants in San Francisco. The one we visited is called Bhoga and is described as serving modern Indian cuisine and innovative drinks. They have now opened to indoor dining service but we preferred to sit outside. 



From their impressive collection of cocktails, we chose to try out the Bhoga Mule made with vodka, elderflower, grapefruit and ginger beer. This drink was their version of the popular Moscow Mule. Interestingly, this is generally served in a copper cup or mug as this retains the cold temperature of the drink. The taste was outstanding ! 


The Podi Idli, which came strongly recommended to us, lived up to its reputation. The menu described this dish as Steamed Rice Cakes with Lentil Powder and Chutney. It wasn't as hot as the picture suggests but was very tasty nevertheless.


Another dish which we loved not just for the taste but also for the excellent plating was the Pepper Duck. This had Uthappam, Minced/Ground Duck Breast, Fennel, and Coconut Milk. 




We then opted for the Hariyali Chicken Kebab: chicken breast with ginger, garlic, spinach, mint, herbs, and greens. Although the pieces were succulent, we felt the kebabs could have been better marinated.


Lastly, we had the Mustard Prawns, with the flavours of Kashmiri chilli, garlic and cumin. This was just superb and possibly the best dish of the evening. 


The service was efficient and the dishes- without exception- were elegantly plated. 

I would highly recommend this if you are looking for interesting twists to traditional Indian cuisine in San Francisco. 





Wednesday, June 15, 2022

OUR DINING EXPERIENCE; ROCKFISH HARBOR GRILL, MONTEREY, CA.

  OUR DINING EXPERIENCE; ROCKFISH HARBOR GRILL, MONTEREY 


In some earlier blog posts I had written about our visit to Monterey, Ca and stay at the Old Monterey Inn. 

One evening we had dined at the Rockfish Harbor Grill. 


This is situated in the quaint and picturesque Old Fishmen's Wharf , where there are so many eateries and curio shops. We were attracted to this place mainly, I must confess,  by its strategic location with a grand view of the Pacific Ocean. As they say in their website, the restaurant enjoy's the Wharf's most expansive, panoramic views of the working harbor. 


We had the Italian pasta dish- Fettuccine Alfredo made with creamy white wine sauce and parmesan cheese. This was quite delicious. No wonder this dish is popular in the United States!


We also had the Shrimp Salad Sandwich, made up of tender pink bay shrimp with lettuce, tomatoes, tartar sauce, pickles and fresh fries. This was both tasty and filling!


As we ate we got a lovely view of the blue waters of the Pacific with boats anchored and at rest. 




My suggestion to you: If you happen to be in Monterey, Ca, do drop in a for a meal at the Rockfish Harbor Grill. 


Wednesday, June 8, 2022

OUR DINING EXPERIENCE: BREAKFAST AT THE ROYAL HAWAIIAN

 OUR DINING EXPERIENCE: BREAKFAST AT THE ROYAL HAWAIIAN


During our recent vacation in Hawaii, we had the pleasure of staying at the Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort in Waikiki, Oahu.  This is one of the oldest hotels there and was at one time a Royal Palace. Of course, they have modernized over time and have added new wings to the old hotel.


We got an excellent room on the 15th Floor of the new wing which afforded us beautiful views of the Waikiki beach and the Pacific Ocean. This picture was taken shortly after we were welcomed to the hotel with garlands. 


The hotel is a sprawling place with many stately corridors and an imposing facade. It has all the amenities expected of a hotel in this league. 


We had breakfast at the Surf Lanai, one of the several restaurants in the Royal Hawaiian Resort. Here we opted for the Classic Egg Benedict made with poached eggs, spinach, ham, hollandaise, paprika, and breakfast potato. As always, this was accompanied with orange juice and fresh coffee. 

We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast seated at an excellent location which we were fortunate to get. This provided us with a spectacular -almost picture postcard like- view of the beach. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Royal Hawaiian Resort. 



Saturday, June 4, 2022

"SIGHTS & BITES" CIRCLE ISLAND TOUR OF OAHU, HAWAII

 "SIGHTS & BITES" CIRCLE ISLAND TOUR OF OAHU, HAWAII

During our recent vacation in Hawaii, one of the experiences we most enjoyed was the "Sights & Bites" Circle Island tour of Oahu Island. The tour was conducted by Aloha Hawaii Tours and lasted from about 7 a.m. to about 4.00 p.m. Fortunately for us, that day happened to be bright and sunny and we could take in the wonderful scenes that Oahu, Hawaii has to offer. 


As the tour name suggests,  this tour was designed to expose us to some interesting sights and eats of Hawaii. There were about 20 of us in the coach that day. The first stop was the Amaelia Earhart/Diamond Head Lookout, which was very scenic and beautiful. It is named after the famous aviator Amaelia Earhart who was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. She flew solo from Oahu to Oakland in mainland America fin 1934 and is supposed to have flown over the Diamond Head crater so this lookout is named after her. 

If that was the first of the sights, the first of the bites was the delicious Poi Glazed Donuts from the famous Kamehameha Bakery  In her blog post, Herb & Lace, Cindy gives us more details of the poi glazed donut! I must say they were really delicious. We had never seen such purple colored donuts before.

We then visited the Halona "Blowhole" Lookout and the Nuuaana Pali Lookout- both provided breath taking views, the memories of which we shall cherish for long!


At the Tropical Farms of Hawaii, we tasted different varieties of Macadamia Nuts. We came to know that originally Macadamia nuts came into Hawaii from Australia. We loved the Onion and Garlic variant of the Macadamia Nuts, something we had never tasted before.



Lunch had been pre-arranged for us at Fumi's Hahuku Shrimp Truck. We had sent in our orders in the morning itself and they were all ready for us when we reached there. The Spicy Garlic Shrimp we had chosen was truly lip-smacking. This was served with sticky rice and a side of corn and pineapple. 


 After lunch we had some fresh fruits at the Hahuku Fruit Stand. 


Our next stop after seeing a few more sights was the old town of Haleiwa where we halted to sample the world famous Matsumoto Shave Ice which I have already written about.


The tour ended with a visit to the famous Dole Pineapple Plantation at Wahiawa which started in 1950 and has been opened to the public since 1989. There are so many varieties of pineapples on view here. Another attraction is the Pineapple Express train which takes you at a leisurely pace all over the plantation. We did not have time on this tour to go in the train, but we had enjoyed the train ride in our last visit to Hawaii in 2019.


At the end of an eventful day, we were dropped back to our respective hotels

The tour was very enjoyable and gave a good mix of Sights & Bites as promised!


Tuesday, May 31, 2022

OUR DINING EXPERIENCE: BREAKFAST AT THE MOANA SURFRIDER

 OUR DINING EXPERIENCE: BREAKFAST AT THE MOANA SURFRIDER


In a recent post, I wrote about our dinner at The Beachhouse at the Westin Moana Surfrider in Waikiki Beach, in the island of Oahu in Hawaii. 

Today, I write about our breakfast at the same place. There is something special about the Verandah Breakfast at the Moana Surfrider! 

Sitting in the covered verandah has it own charm. As we eat, we enjoy the sight of the close by beach and the waves of the Pacific Ocean a little beyond. 

My husband opted for the Acai Berry Bowl made up of banana, strawberry, blueberry, toasted coconut, granola and honey. It was wholesome and delicious. 


I decided to have the Moana "Beautiful" Mango Pancakes made with fresh mangoes, lilikoi curd, seasonal berries, Angola granola, coconut haupia syrup, mango pearls, and coconut flakes. While in the past I have different types of pancakes, this was my first time having anything like this. It was most enjoyable! 


My son ordered the Benedicts: eggs with smoked salmon, spinach, avocado and tomatoes and breakfast potatoes. 

Of course, all through the meal you have a choice of juices, mocktails and coffee or tea. The food was sumptuous and was amazing as far as the taste was concerned.

The next time you are in Hawaii, I would suggest you don't miss out on a breakfast at The Verandah at the Westin Moana Surfrider. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

OUR DINING EXPERIENCE: BREAKFAST AT THE DECK, WAIKIKI, HAWAII

 OUR DINING EXPERIENCE: BREAKFAST AT THE DECK, WAIKIKI, HAWAII


There are some charming places worth visiting towards the Diamond Head side of Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii. We went to some of them during our recent vacation there.  One such place is the old Queen Kapiolani Hotel.

 A distinctive feature of this hotel is its old world majesty with the paintings of Hawaiian royalty and noblemen long gone by on the walls.


At the same level as the rooftop pool is the restaurant called The Deck. We went there for breakfast  enjoying an unhindered view of the Diamond Head mountain range - probably Hawaii's most recognizable landmark- in the not too far distance. The weather gods were kind and we loved the clear view from where we had our leisurely breakfast. 




Accompanying the breakfast was the usual Kona Coffee that is so famous here in Hawaii. This article in  Solo Espresso gives you loads of information on Kona Coffee and what makes it so special. 


One of the dishes we had was the modified Avocado Toast: custom-made for us with sliced avocado, frisbee, watermelon radish, heirloom cherry tomato,  parmesan, sourdough, accompanied with a fruit bowl.





We also had the Eggs Florentine: poached egg, Hiarbara Farm Kale, mornay cheese sauce, parmesan gratin, English muffin, and breakfast potatoes. 

The service was excellent and over all we thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast.


I would most heartily recommend The Deck @QK for visitors to Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii. 




Monday, May 23, 2022

OUR DINING EXPERIENCE: BEACHHOUSE AT THE MOANA SURFRIDER, WAIKIKI, HAWAII

 OUR DINING EXPERIENCE: BEACHHOUSE AT THE MOANA SURFRIDER, WAIKIKI, HAWAII

The Moana Surfrider is a luxury resort of the Westin chain of hotels situated in Hawaii. This is on the ocean front at Waikiki. Established in 1901, it is called "The First Lady of Waikiki" with reverence for its age old traditions of hospitality and impeccable service. We had stayed here during our last visit to Hawaii in 2019. This time around, we didn't stay - but dined here on a few occasions.

We had an excellent dinner at The Beachhouse which has a beautiful oceanfront location.  We chose the 3 course Tasting Menu made up of 1 appetizer, 1 Entree and 1 dessert. The description for the dishes given below are courtesy of the Menu of the Moana Surfrider.


Amongst the dishes we had were Seafood Chowder, made with netsuke bacon, potatoes and corn. This was, according to my husband, quite outstanding. It compared favorably with the chowder he had in Boston, Ma. which is so famous for its chowder. 


Table Side Hapa Poke : big eye ahi tuna, hamachi, maui onion, goo, green onion, sesame oil, alae salt, house tamari sauce, puffed forbidden rice. This appetizer was quite filling and tasty. Tuna lovers , in particular, would like this as we did. 





Lobster Risotto: creamy saffron risotto, butter poached lobster, and parmesan cheese and herbs. The different flavors were subtly incorporated in this awesome dish. 



Big Island Kampachi: Hong Kong sauce, choi sum, shiitake mushrooms, and shrimp fried rice. We thought this was the star of the evening. The Kampachi is a famous luscious-filled Hawaiian fish. The accompanying shrimp fried rice was also excellent. 



 Dessert ; Blueberry Mousse, a light blueberry mousse with Ube coconut glaze, lemon sable, lavender aerated sponge, lilikoi curd, chocolate cremeux, garnished with chocolate and fresh blueberries


Molten Chocolate Cake: decadent chocolate cake with chocolate sauce, green the oat crumble, kirsch cremeux, agar cherry gel, luxardo cherries, chocolate garnish


Kona Coffee Tiramisu: traditional layered tiramisu with Kona coffee, mascarpone cream, Kona coffee tuille, caramelized macadamia nuts, coffee angles sauce. 


As always, the food at the Beachhouse at the Moana Surfrider was superb. The service was prompt and courteous and we enjoyed a wonderful meal in a beautiful ambience. 

I must say the Moana Surfrider has to be one of my top favourite hotels.