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Feeling Like A Kid Again

Ono, You Know

October 28, 2018

Story By: Ellise Kakazu | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

The Surfing Pig’s Chocolate Bread Pudding ($9) brings the child out of editor Ellise Kakazu.

Pumpkins are being decorated, costumes are flying off the racks and children seem extra giddy. This can only mean one thing — Halloween is fast approaching.

This time of year may not be as exciting for adults, but I believe it can be. While we can’t go door to door exclaiming “Trick or treat!” in hopes of getting some free candy, we can knock on friendly neighborhood restaurants’ doors to get a hold of spooktacular plates of dessert.

There are many sugary creations out there to explore, but let’s start with a dessert everyone enjoys, bread pudding. Moist, sweet and delicious, bread pudding is the perfect dish to help us get into the spirit of things and embrace our inner child.

WICKED GOOD FOOD

You will feel like a kid in a candy store when visiting The Surfing Pig in Kaimuki, as the restaurant offers many intriguing, eye-popping options on its playful menu.

A closer look at The Surfing Pig’s Chocolate Bread Pudding LAWRENCE TABUDLO PHOTOS

With items like Smokey Cheesy Mac With Porchetta, Back Ribs and Smoking Pig, you’ll want to have one of everything.

According to owner Stan Glander, The Surfing Pig provides diners with contemporary local cuisine with a twist and hopes to “help Kaimuki regain the title of dining mecca of Honolulu.”

Helping The Surfing Pig do so is executive chef Shayla Kaai, who has about a decade’s worth of cooking experience under her belt. Kaai notes all of the dishes rolling out of the kitchen are made with care and patience.

“Love is the secret ingredient,” she says. “I never know who I am serving, but I always pretend it’s like my grandma waiting out there for her food. And that’s where that love, that time, that passion comes in.”

A sweet dish that Kaai takes her time preparing is Chocolate Bread Pudding ($9), a kicked up take on a classic dessert. “(There’s) flavor in every bite,” notes Kaai.

Ensuring the pudding packs a tasty punch, Kaai soaks locally sourced bread in a mixture of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, egg yolks, sugar, whole milk and cream for about 10 minutes before placing it in the oven.

Once it is fully cooked and dressed with a drizzle of bourbon caramel, a heaping dollop of house-made creme anglaise and a sprinkle of candied mac nuts, the Chocolate Bread Pudding is ready to be devoured.

It’s safe to say there are no tricks at The Surfing Pig, just treats.

HALLOWED DINING GROUNDS

Any expert trick-or-treater knows the nicer the house, the better the candy (in most cases). So, when you are looking to fill your stomach with the best desserts on island this Halloween, a visit to one of the swankiest places around — Morton’s The Steakhouse at Ala Moana — is a must.

Morton’s The Steakhouse’s White Chocolate-Pecan Bread Pudding ($13) PHOTO COURTESY LANDRY’S INC.

“Morton’s commitment to excellence is unwavering and is showcased in each menu item through the careful preparation and quality ingredients,” states chef Wade Wiestling, vice president of culinary development.

Known for “the best steak … anywhere,” Morton’s only uses USDA prime-aged beef and top-notch ingredients to create its outstanding dishes, such as braised beef short rib, Prime bone-in ribeye and misoyaki sea bass.

Even the restaurant’s dessert selections are out of this world. Take White Chocolate-Pecan Bread Pudding ($13) for example. This bread pudding is created by taking fresh, hand-torn bread, soaking it in a luxurious egg-based custard mixed with white chocolate, pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon, and cooking it to perfection in the oven.

And that’s not all. Before being presented to one’s table, the bread pudding is plated with bourbon caramel sauce, white chocolate confetti and a scoop of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream.

“We serve it piping hot and it’s one of the most decadent bread puddings anywhere,” states Wiestling. “It’s almost like eating a combination cinnamon roll/caramel roll right out of the oven, so buttery and rich.”

I hope this sugar-filled excursion reminds you that no matter how old you are, you still can be a kid at heart.

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