A Taste of Peanut Butter PerfectionColumns Ono, You Know
December 9, 2012
Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Leah Friel
Happy Sunday, Ono readers! This week I have the best assignment ever … as in ever! Those who know me well, know my fascination with peanut butter. Put this ooey, gooey, chunky, creamy stuff on anything and I’m all over it. So now, to be able to devote myself to a plethora of peanut butter masterpieces is a dream come true from a foodie standpoint. My, oh my, am I in heaven or what?
Yet, it’s time to bypass the traditional peanut butter and jelly, and peanut butter and banana — I’ve decided to kick it up a notch and revel in peanut butter glory that is extraordinary, and will leave you wanting more.
OK, enough of the gushing, let’s get to it and dive right in to all things peanut butter at the following Ono, You Know establishments. Truly, if you adore peanut butter just as much as I do, you’re in luck. Welcome to a peanut butter paradise!
Decadence awaits at Sheraton Waikiki’s RumFire as executive chef Brett Villarmia turns the tables and puts his own spin on “social comfort food,” which the restaurant is renowned. And, in my opinion, peanut butter just screams comfort food. It’s a staple in my diet, and when a peanut butter craving comes on, it needs to be satisfied pronto!
Well, much to my delight, on my most recent visit to RumFire, chef Brett tickled my taste buds with Elvis Fudge. Priced at $8, Villarmia describes this luscious dessert as RumFire’s take on the classic Elvis combination, which usually incorporates peanut butter and bananas.
“What we do here at RumFire is we roast island bananas and pair them with chocolate ganache and roasted peanut butter. Our Elvis Fudge has a crust, which resembles a peanut butter crunch, and it’s served with homemade guava jam,” he explains.
Of course, the majority of the dessert features utterly delicious roasted peanut butter and Valrhona chocolate, thus equating to ooey, gooey goodness! I took one bite, and I seriously just died and went to heaven.
Of course, it was that good! Yet, to really understand this level of prestigious taste, you have to experience it for yourself. Trust me, you’ll see peanut butter in a whole new light.
Patrons are presented with three pieces of Elvis Fudge, and Villarmia does his best to keep up with the lunch and dinner demand as there’s no sweeter way to end your meal.
“This dessert is really popular,” he says. “When it comes to our peanut butter, we take the time to roast our own peanuts and then grind them, so you get that pop of peanut. The texture is similar to a Nestle’s Crunch Bar, being that it’s both crunchy and creamy.”
Wow, RumFire has done it again. The peanut butter gods are smiling and all is well in the world and in my stomach — all thanks to Elvis Fudge.
2255 Kalakaua Ave.
Just when you think peanut butter perfection has reached its limits … think again. Anytime Cafe, located in Market City Shopping Center, whips up an amazing peanut butter creation that is beyond compare. Enter French Toast with Peanut Butter Filling ($6.25). Can we say amazing?! There’s no better way to describe it. Prepare to be floored as this superlative dish has it all. Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Dessert? French Toast with Peanut Butter Filling is great at any time of the day or night, and Anytime Cafe owner Cindy Wong is well aware of the effect it has on customers.
“Our patrons love it,” Wong says of this Hong Kong-style inspired delight, which features fluffy white bread spread with a hefty amount of peanut butter, topped with another slice of bread, then dipped in egg batter and deep fried. “We cut it into four pieces, so it’s like you have four peanut butter sandwiches turned into French toast,” she adds.
Did Christmas come early this year, or is this really the best of both worlds? Wong also recommends adding butter and maple syrup for the ultimate onolicious experience.
“This dish in particular is a favorite in Hong Kong for tea time and dessert,” Wong says. “Customers also can request fat-free maple syrup, if you want.”
But, come on. There’s a plate of melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter French toast in front of you as is. Forget the “fat-free” and splurge. You deserve it! You have all of next year to go healthy!
Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd. #218
JJ Bistro & French Pastry
JJ Luangkhot, owner of JJ Bistro & French Pastry, always butters me up with his award-winning desserts, and this week was no exception. The peanut butter fanatic in me went absolutely crazy for Peanut Butter Opera Cake ($3.95 to go, $5.50 dine-in). Exquisite in every sense of the word, from presentation to taste, Peanut Butter Opera Cake is a true testament of love at first bite.
Each slice of this three-layered cake presents you with layer upon layer of almond cake, chocolate ganache and peanut butter cream.
“Peanut Butter Opera Cake has been on the menu for more than a decade and has been doing extremely well,” Luangkhot says. Well, that’s of no surprise really, being that the sinful peanut butter cream is made in-house.
“The peanut butter cream is as creamy as you can get,” he adds. “I roast the peanuts, grind them with peanut oil and mix everything with butter cream and add some salt for taste.”
Traditional European opera cake is known for its almond cake and chocolate ganache base, and according to Luangkhot, mocha is the common go-to ingredient.
“For our opera cake I decided to substitute peanut butter for mocha — just to be different.”
Brilliant, JJ, absolutely brilliant. Bravo!
JJ Bistro & French Pastry
3447 Waialae Ave.