3392 Waialae Ave. and 1401 S. Beretania St. Honolulu, HI
Phone number (808) 797-9177 (Waialae)
(808) 469-1991 (Beretania)
I’m baaaack. Well, kind of.
Six weeks have now passed since I started my doctor-mandated diet of eating from a very short list of approved vegetables, fruits and proteins. It seemed impossible at the time, but I’ve adapted quite well and am being rewarded handsomely for my efforts. My stomach is so much more cooperative these days, even though my food cravings have been something fierce.
I have finally reached the point where I can begin reintroducing foods back into my diet. Feeling gung ho about this, I took the opportunity to check out Juicy Brew on Beretania Street.
It seemed like a pretty safe bet, since everything at Juicy Brew is either vegan or gluten-free — how I’ve been eating these past six weeks, basically. I was initially wary, though. Past experiences of purchasing ready-made vegan or gluten-free food usually resulted in some pretty unsatisfying experiences, and I’d grown quite comfortable cooking for myself to avoid this.
Still, I felt optimistic. So in to Hale Pawa‘a I walked, where Juicy Brew may be found in its lobby. The selection for the day, which often changes, sounded appealing, too. There were a couple of gluten-free baked goods and vegetable lasagna, the latter of which I sadly had to pass on since my body still hates dairy with a vengeance.
I did, however, settle on two very satisfying dishes. The first was a Vegan Squash Waffle Sandwich that came stuffed with almond butter, apple bananas and a cardamom caramel maple syrup. Served warm, it was the closest thing to dessert I’ve eaten recently, and a welcome barrage of subtly sweet and tart flavors.
The second item, which I purchased for lunch later that day, was vegan and gluten-free Pad Thai Noodles. It turned out much better than I had anticipated, with what I think was a miso-based sauce and hints of sesame. Tossed with the noodles were slices of carrots and radishes, along with green beans and cashews. It was simple but certainly not boring, like other vegan noodle dishes tend to be.
I already know that Juicy Brew will be a place I frequent. I’ve vowed to continue eating like this, though definitely not as extreme — I have grand plans to reintroduce gluten and soy back into my diet stat. My stomach has been so, so good and there’s no way I’m going to ruin that any time ever.
But all that means, of course, is a whole new world of food to discover.
ONE-BITE REVIEWSWITH PAIGE TAKEYA
Gourmet dim sum is a concept that seems strange to me. Dim sum is supposed to be fast and affordable. This isn’t steakhouse cuisine. No need to overcomplicate things.
But when the recently opened Yauatcha Waikiki invited me to a media lunch to sample their high-crust Cantonese cuisine, I figured I might as well see what all the fuss is about.
One massive parade of dim sum later, here are my three recommendations if you’ve the wallet power to pay a visit.
1. Prawn And Crispy Beancurd Cheung Fun
You’ll recognize this as what’s called “look fun” in Chinatown — thick rice noodles wrapped around, in this case, shrimp and crunchy deep-fried tofu. It’s light, unusual and wonderful.
2. Chinese Chive Flower Dumpling
These sticky, onion-and-mushroom-filled vegetarian dumplings look just like flowers (hence the name). #aesthetic
3. Cassis Grand Macaron
This is where Yauatcha Waikiki really shines. This oversized macaron is filled with cream and cassisflavored jam, with an accompanying scoop of vanilla gelato. It was so good. I should’ve told them to skip the dim sum and just feed me all the desserts.
In conclusion, the best part of this premium Chinese restaurant in the middle of International Market Place … is its French patisserie. You heard it here first.