MW Restaurant, Hawaii

It just so happened that my last visit to Hawaii coincided with UK mother’s day. It’s been a long since we’ve been in the same country together for it, and I wanted to treat her to a special meal while I was out there.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

We are both big fans of a good tasting menu, and so I decided to try the 5-course menu at MW Restaurant, near Ala Moana. The venue is conveniently located – light and spacious, but nothing to write home about. The food is what we are all here for, after all.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

We kicked off the meal with a chef’s selection of appetisers.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, HawaiiMW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

A crab cake with garlic and black pepper sauce, unagi and butterfish arancini, kushi oyster with shiso yukari mignonette, jizori fried chicken with a kimchi garlic soy sauce and a mushroom gelee with truffle coulis.

My favourite was the arancini, closely followed by the crispy chicken and kimchi. My mom loved the umami flavours from the mushroom gelee, and raved about it for ages afterwards.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

Our second course was a mochi crusted kona kampachi, and one of my favourites. I loved the combination of flavours and textures, and it was all presented beautifully.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

Upon checking out the menu ahead of time, I had been most excited about the Hokkaido scallop with kona abalaone fried rice, but found the yuzu flavours slightly too overpowering for my liking.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

The red wine braised short rib with Eryngi mushroom was delicious – meltingly tender. One of the things MW Restaurant does so well is to include Japanese ingredients and elements so beautifully throughout, and this course was a perfect example.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, HawaiiMW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

Neither my mom or I are big dessert fans, but we were both blown away by the lilikoi creme brulee. The warm custard, combined with tropical fruits and tapioca pearls really pleasantly surprised us, and we both ended up polishing them all off (despite having convinced ourselves we were full up until that point).

My only regret was not getting the wine pairing with our meal, which was only $35 extra. We had convinced ourselves we would only have a glass or two each, and it would’ve enhanced our experience had we gone with that option.

The service was impeccable. The staff, who asked if we were celebrating anything in particular, gifted us a delicious banana bread to take away with us at the end of the meal. It was a classy, thoughtful touch, and the perfect end to a memorable meal. I would definitely recommend MW for a special occasion if you’re in the area!

Have you been to MW Restaurant?  Let me know your thoughts on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

MW Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Japonisme Supperclub – How the Japanese Lifestyle Can Help You Live Healthier for Longer

I am so excited to be hosting a supperclub with the amazing Toral from The Urban Kitchen on April 25th at Benk + Bo! Tickets are available now on The Urban Kitchen website – we hope you can join us for a fun, inspiring and delicious evening!

Benk + Bo: Japonisme Supperclub

What can you learn from the Japanese approach to food and lifestyle for a healthy, happy life? Join Erin Niimi Longhurst, blogger and author of Japonisme, and Toral Shah, nutritional scientist, chef, and founder of The Urban Kitchen for an evening of delicious food and talks about Ikebana (flower arranging), Aikido (martial arts), health and lifestyle.

Benk + Bo: Japonisme Supperclub

Image courtesy of http://www.benkandbo.com/

The Japanese-inspired menu has been developed collaboratively between Erin and Toral, and features some dishes from the book. The evening will include talks from Toral about the benefits of the Japanese diet and lifestyle, from Erin around Japanese philosophies like Ikigai, and special guests around the benefits of Aikido and Ikebana.

Ticket price of £45 includes full meal, a welcome cocktail and a goody bag.

Date: April 25th 2018, 7pm start, 7.30pm seated for dinner. Tickets available here.

Benk + Bo: Japonisme Supperclub

Image courtesy of http://www.benkandbo.com/

Let me know if you can make it on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Temakinho

I’m a big fan of cuisines that have been influenced by Japan – Peruvian food, for one, but Brazilian food too.

Temakinho SohoTemakinho Soho

I was excited to sample what Temakinho in Soho had to offer – and even more so once I found out that they source their seafood sustainably. I’m also a big fan of caipirinhas, and really enjoyed starting the meal out with a passionfruit caipifruta.

Temakinho Soho

Their plates are definitely made for sharing, and while I really enjoyed the espetinho Brasiliero (prawn and pineapple skewers), they paled in comparison to my favourite dish of the evening – the tacos de floripa. I kind of wish I hadn’t had to share these – they were excellent. Cassava tacos with guacamole, jalapenos, onion and lime, topped with different types of seafood – buttered salmon, tuna, lobster, scallops, and octopus. I loved the combination of flavours and textures – creamy and crisp, yet soft and tart at the same time. Seriously delicious!

Temakinho SohoTemakinho SohoTemakinho Soho

I went completely overboard with my main order, and ended up taking most of it home with me. My favourite rolls included the salmao completo ou picante (salmon tartar, chives, sesame seeds, flying fish roe), olho de boi completo ou picante (yellowtail, chives, avocado, creamy sesame sauce) and siri completo (breaded soft shell crab, flying fish roe, avocado, spicy mayonnaise, sweet and sour sauce).

I’m not a big dessert person, but ended up ordering the guava cheesecake and bolo de prestigio (chocolate and coconut cake). I can’t really do them justice, as I was so stuffed at this point, but the guava cheesecake really stood out.

Temakinho Soho

The service was excellent, and the restaurant was buzzing on the Saturday night – it’s a great addition to Soho, as its so convenient located.

I really enjoyed my evening at Temakinho, and will definitely be back for those tacos de floripas!

Temakinho Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Batch Cooking Tips with John Lewis

With everything that I’ve been working on recently, like my book – which you can find out more about here – I’ve been focusing less on restaurant reviews, and more on honing the skills I learned at Leiths.

With all the travelling I’ve been doing, I’m also working hard to make sure I’m saving where I can – and that means eating in, having friends over for dinner instead of going out, and meal planning.

Batch Cooking - John Lewis

A couple of weeks ago, the team from John Lewis invited me down to the Waitrose Cookery School for a batch cookery masterclass. The evening covered the fundamentals of batch cooking, and how it can help to save time, money and energy. We sampled pizzas and shakshuka, and ended up taking away our own pasta sauce and fresh pasta.

While John Lewis have their own batch cooking tips here, I wanted to add a few of my own, and how it’s helped me save time and money, without sacrificing flavour or the experience!

1) Food Processor

Batch Cooking - John LewisBatch Cooking - John Lewis

My Magimix has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made. The quality is excellent, and having a robust food processor can save on so much time in cutting vegetables and prepping sauces. It’s a little bit of an investment, but it’s completely transformed my home cooking – whether its for sauces, or making dough, I love how its elevated my cooking.

2) Making Your Own Pasta

My housemate gave me a pasta machine for Christmas, and I’ve consistently used it once a week since – the quality of a fresh egg pasta really can’t be beat! Once I’ve made the strands, I freeze the nests to use at a later date, saving tons of time and money.

Batch Cooking - John Lewis

3) The Right Storage

I might be Tupperware queen, but having the right storage is so important in meal planning! I used to rely so much on the plastic tubs you’d get from the takeaways, but investing in jars, and something a little more sturdy and robust really can help make storing and saving food simpler.

Do you batch cook? Let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

 

I Wrote A Book!

I started a blog about five years ago.

I was inspired by a job I had at the time, working to create content on behalf of clients. The appeal of having my own place where I could share the images that I wanted, and write the copy that I wanted, was what lead me to start it in the first place.

I didn’t actually think anyone would read it.

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Starting Island Bell easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve been able to pursue and combine so many of my passions; I’ve met some incredible people; and I’ve even been lucky enough to get some amazing opportunities and experiences out of it.

In September of last year, I was contacted by HarperCollins about a possible commission. The last few months have definitely been some of the busiest (and most surreal) of my life – and now I’m really excited and proud to share that my book is coming out on the 19th of April.

Japonisme is a lifestyle book inspired by my upbringing, and aspects of Japanese culture that I love so much – ikebana, calligraphy, tea ceremony, and (of course) lots of food. I’ll be sharing more from it over the coming months, but in the meantime you can pre-order it on Amazon here!

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I’m incredibly proud of it, and can’t wait to share it. The illustrations by Ryo Takemasa are incredibly beautiful, and it was an honour to work with Nassima Rothacker, who has worked with some of my favourite chefs on their books – her photos are amazing. The team at HarperCollins have been absolutely incredible, and I feel so incredibly lucky.

I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to stop pinching myself over this!

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Give me a follow on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Photo Credit: Nassima Rothacker