Here’s a Toast to Starting Your Day Off Right

Columns Ono, You Know

April 17, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

There’s no better way to start the day than with marvelous stacks of French toast before you. And loyal readers, this luxurious breakfast creation is yet another one of my many guilty pleasures. It’s just ridiculously good — stealing my heart with each and every bite!

Contrary to popular belief, French toast was not created in France, but rather Spain, with a recipe dating back to medieval times. Even back then, they knew French toast was worthy enough to be categorized as the “most important meal of the day.”

Gaga for this crazy carb creation, it was my mission this week to feast on some of the best “Ono, You Know” French toast around. Now that I’m stuffed and blissfully satisfied, I can tell you that the following establishments get two “yums” up in my book!

The Veranda

  • The author enjoys a lovely day in Hawaii nei with an exquisite plate of Tahitian Vanilla Hawaiian Bread French Toast ($16) from The Veranda at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa.
  • The Veranda's Tahitian Vanilla Hawaiian Bread French Toast ($16) is topped with fresh berries.
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I was treated to an elegant and refined dining experience on The Veranda at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, as nothing could be more delightful than awakening my senses while amid the elegance of classic Victorian architecture, shaded under the canopy of a historic banyan tree, while taking in the melodic sounds of live music and the crashing of the waves along the Waikiki shoreline.

Craving the deliciously rich flavors of French toast, I knew my day was off to the perfect start when executive sous chef Richard Lancaster of the Moana Surfrider presented me with the Tahitian Vanilla Hawaiian Bread French Toast ($16) with warm maple syrup and whipped honey-rum butter.

“Our rendition of the French toast is special in that when it comes to the egg mixture we also include nutmeg, cinnamon and Tahitian bean vanilla, in addition to a touch of sugar and salt which brings out the flavors,” says Lancaster, adding that this favored item is available on the a la carte breakfast menu daily from 6 to 10:30 a.m. Lancaster’s French toast is incomparable by many standards and when topped with a symphony of berries, including raspberries, blueberries and blackberries — it’s quite entrancing to say the least. Don’t forget to pair your French toast with some of The Veranda’s famous teas; after all, tea time is a time-honored tradition here at the Moana.

The Veranda
Moana Surfrider
A Westin Resort & Spa
2365 Kalakaua Avenue
(808) 921-4600
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Kenny’s Restaurant

  • Kenny's Restaurant offers a variety of French toast options, from strawberry, to coconut and original. All priced at $10.25.
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Childhood memories come back once I set foot in Kenny’s Restaurant located in Kamehameha Shopping Center on North School Street, as I recall enjoying many meals here with my grandparents some years ago. I must admit, it’s been a while since I’ve been back, but upon my recent return I was happy to know that the food was still as onolicious as ever.

Kenny’s Restaurant opened its doors 45 years ago and with a friendly staff and vast menu that is constantly improving and changing over time, it’s safe to say that Kenny’s caters to just about everyone. The menu can leave the indecisive diner stumped for days, however, being the breakfast lover that I am, I stuck to my gut — French toast, please!

“We have Strawberry French Toast ($10.25), Coconut French Toast ($10.25) and our Original French Toast ($10.25),” says chef Ernesto Yeban. “What makes our French toast unique is that we make our own dipping sauce, we choose to use sweet bread over regular bread and our portion sizes are very large,” he adds.

“Chef Ernesto’s sauces really entice the customers, especially the haupia sauce that is served with the Coconut French Toast with slivers of coconut,” says general manager Raynel Diggs.

The Strawberry French Toast is another winner in itself, topped with succu-lent strawberries, complete with a strawberry cranberry dipping sauce. For those wanting a more classic approach to the popular breakfast dish, opt for the Original French Toast served with maple syrup.

Kenny’s Restaurant
Kamehameha Shopping Center
1620 North School Street
(808) 841-0931
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Tanaka Saimin

  • Tanaka Saimin's Sweet Bread French Toast ($4) is a popular item on the menu.
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Saimin is usually the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Tanaka Saimin, however, on my recent venture to the restaurant on North Nimitz Highway, my mind was set on one thing and one thing only — it was all about the French toast!

Owners Joan and Paul Watanabe make it a priority to offer all local favorites, so of course you would expect nothing less than French toast with a local twist.

Tanaka Saimin serves up a Sweet Bread French Toast ($4) made with fluffy Japanese bread, dipped in a batter of egg, milk and cinnamon. Once cooked, its topped with a dash of powdered sugar.

“This is a highly requested item here,” says Tanaka Saimin general manager Nani Christian. “It’s served between 7 and 11 a.m. on the weekends and 9 to 11 a.m. on the weekdays.

“The taste and quality of the sweet bread really makes our French toast stand out,” says Christian.

Customers also can include a side order of bacon, ham, luncheon meat, pork links, Vienna sausage, Portuguese sausage or spam for an additional price of $1.40.

Tanaka Saimin
888 North Nimitz Highway Unit #103
(808) 524-2020
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