Tuesday | December 12, 2017
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Let’s Talk Food: Happenings around the Big Island

Mohala Simpson opened Mo’s Fish &Chips at 50 Waianuenue Ave. in Hilo in early September and has gotten great comments from her patrons.

The fish is well-coated and crispy with some homemade sauces. The restaurant also has shrimp and chips, scallops and chips, calamari and chips, fish salad, a fish sandwich and calamari appetizers, as well as fresh-squeezed lemonade and mango black tea.

Mo’s Fish &Chips is open from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week.

Genki Sushi, in the new building at Prince Kuhio Plaza where the former Hilo Hatties was located, is its 16th store in the state. Target date to open was Oct. 13.

Genki Ramen at the Puainako Town Center closed and re-opened as Asian House, featuring Asian cuisine such as ramen, udon, gyoza, fried noodles and BBQ.

Hawaii.com’s Hawaii Island’s Hottest New Restaurants

According to Karen Rose with Hawaii.com, the Big Island is a food lovers dream — thanks to the abundance of locally sourced produce, fish and meats.

Gertrudes’ Jazz Bar on Alii Drive in Kailua-Kona has great food and music, along with a “well-rounded art scene.” Chef Leif James features a “New York, New York Steak,” a Kona Butcher Shop dry-aged beef served with sweet frites. There also is “A’more Meatballs,” with tomato butter and fettuccini, or “Lovely Hula Hen,” a Cornish game hen served with sweet potato mash. The “Alfredo Astair” is fettuccini with garlic shrimp and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

To add to the dinner, live jazz and a beautiful view of the ocean are thrown in.

Al Vicolo, located at Kawaihae Harbor, has authentic Italian cuisine directly from Nonna’s kitchen, cheeses from Italy and a nice wine list with a large assortment of Italian wines.

Foster’s Kitchen in Kailua-Kona “offers seasonal menus and utilizes in-season produce in their specialty dishes.” Menu choices include shrimp and grits, fresh poke made with in-season dragonfruit and an extensive dessert menu. We had a delightful dinner there. The restaurant is located across the street and within walking distance from the Royal Kona Resort. Foster’s Kitchen is open for lunch and dinner.

The Tap Room is located just left of the main lobby of the Hilton Waikoloa Village, and according to Rose, it is “the Big Island’s premier gastropub, incorporating good food into a traditional drinking establishment. When most people think of traditional pub food, high-quality dishes don’t generally come to mind. Chef James Niesen has changed the rules of the game and brought tasty, unique creations to Hawaii Island’s latest brewhouse.”

On the menu are items such as poke nachos and lobster tater tots.

There is a separate area for a couple of pool tables, with a dining area next to it. We have enjoyed Kona beer and dinner there.

Foodie bites

• 2017 Hawaiian Honey Challenge: On Thursday (Oct. 19), the Big Island Beekeepers Association hosts this event that asks beekeepers from throughout the state to send their best honey to be judged with hopes of being the best in their category. It is always such an interesting event to be a judge for as my palate has become so educated after tasting hundreds of different honeys in various categories.

• 2017 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival activities: The KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest is slated for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, at The Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa Kaleiopapa Convention Center. Entries to the contest submitted by Oct. 30 will receive a free 2017 festival button and a $25 KTA grocery certificate. Entry categories include amateur, culinary student and professional, with recipes using 100 percent Kona coffee. Entry forms are available at konacoffeefest.com by clicking on “2017 Festival Event Forms” on the top of the page.

The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is a 10-day event, starting Nov. 3, with the Kona Coffee Cultural Art Exhibit at the Donkey Mill Art Center, and ending Nov. 12, with the Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Fundraising Bowling Party from 5-8 p.m. at KB Xtreme in Kailua-Kona.

• Waiakea High School “real world” student business proposal: My son, Dean, and I were fortunate to be asked to be part of a panel for this event.

Students had to build a business plan to pursue “investors,” like on the TV show “Shark Tank,” and convince us their food truck proposal was worthy to invest in.

We needed to assess whether the student understood what it takes to start a business, what the financial concerns were, how they planned to market their business, how much profit they estimated they would make and how long they would take to pay back the loan they took out to buy the food truck.

It was a great exercise in real-life issues that come up when starting a business.

The students did a great job.

Thank you for giving the students the opportunity, Eric Hagiwara and Sally Wilburn.

• Hawaii Food and Wine Festival: Scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort &Spa. VIP cocktail reception starts at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m. VIP reserved seating for 10 is $5,000, general admission seating for 10 is $2,500 and individual VIP is $500. General admission is $250. Participating chefs include Robert Del Grande, Dean Fearing, Francois Payard, Mark Peel, Alan Wong and our own Jayson Kanekoa. Contact Aya at aya@hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com for more information.

• Hawaii Community College: The Cafeteria is open for business today until Friday. Call 934-2559 for specials and takeout orders.

Email Audrey Wilson at audreywilson808@gmail.com.


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