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Pupu Picks
Pupu Picks

Go Appetizer Crazy

By Steve Murray Photos By Nathalie Walker
October 28, 2012

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Any day is a good day for pupus at Anytime Cafe. OK, I admit that’s a rather cliche opening, but the fact remains that the diverse menu at the Market City Shopping Center restaurant makes it a great place for just about anything your taste buds desire.

On the appetizer side, it’s hard to beat Thai Style Pork Cheek ($6.95). Tender pieces of pork cheek are marinated, fried till crispy and finished in the oven, and served with a spicy dipping sauce made with fresh garlic, lemongrass and chili sauce. The pork is sweet, juicy and a bit smoky, and the dipping sauce gives the tender pieces of pork an extra bit of kick that you’ll enjoy.

Somewhat new to the menu is Eggplant Parmesan ($6.95). Large slices of eggplant are fried and topped with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. The combo is outstanding. The tomato sauce is fresh and light without overpowering the subtle eggplant and the cheeses have a bit of sharpness that help to complete the flavor profile.

Manilla clams are a restaurant favorite due to their availability and natural sweetness. Anytime Cafe uses the tasty sea critters in its Steamed Clams ($7.95), which, with its white wine sauce, is easy to recommend. However, clams do get lonely and the ample amount of wine sauce just screams for the fresh garlic bread.

What’s great about appetizers is that you can experience a wide range of flavors without limits. Sweet, fruity, smoky, whatever you hunger for — it’s just a few bucks away. And if you crave heat, and I mean HEAT, try Baked Garlic Chili Wings ($5.50) and make sure to ask for extra slices of chilies on top. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll sweat like the creature who provided his jowls for the above mentioned Thai dish. You’ll also love the deep, moist flavor of the wings that are always crispy and never oily.

Anytime Cafe

Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd.
735.3888
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-midnight
Saturdays 8 a.m.-midnight
Sundays 8 a.m.-10 p.m.