Sunday, June 04, 2006

Saturday was a perfect day to be at the beach and that was what Ritsuko and I had planned to do earlier in the week! It's been awhile since I've been to the beach (I've only driven by to take perfect picture shots) and I drove us both to Ala Moana Beach Park. We found parking quite easily and settled nearby under 2 palm trees. The weather was cool in the shade and toasty in the sunshine The ocean is sparkling in the sun despite the recent sewage spill in Waikiki that polluted several closeby beaches. After a couple hours baking in the sun and a dip in the ocean water...I was was a little sunburned again and very hungry as it's lunchtime!

Size isn't everything I've read several reviews about this eatery place that offer good Singaporean and Malaysian nyonya inspired food. The Green Door Cafe is located at 1145 Maunakea St, entrance on Pauahi St between Maunakea and Smith Streets. I was interested to see if I would be eating real nyonya style dishes and suggested to Ritsuko that we give it a try. Its a tiny hole-in-the-wall place that has only four tables and 12 folding chairs! The menu is written on a dry-erase board, with a few specials tacked up on pieces of paper. We ordered 3 dishes - Malaysian Chicken Curry, Deep-fry Eggplant in an exotic sweet and sour sauce and Nyonya Stir-fry Sea Bass with Vegetables. Also ordered a side order of 2 roti canai (flat bread) to scoop up the curry gravy! A Singaporean guy sitting at another table had ordered the spicy red chili jumbo shrimp (with thick, red sauce of chili gravy); it's the like the Chili Crabs in Singapore and he was nice enough to let us take some pictures before digging in! *salivates*

As the owner Betty Pang started to cook...was I excited ~ one deep breath and you inhale the aromas of garlic, chili peppers, fried shallots, dried shrimp paste, ginger, galangal (a gingerlike spice native to Java), lemongrass, kaffir lime, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, mustard seed, star anise. Aduh...it felt like I was back home, getting ready to eat some good local food! It was really, really good and inexpensive too! Will have to go back again soon.

After that good spicy lunch, we walked down a couple blocks to RRED ELEPHANT CAFE for some coffee, iced chai tea for me. You can also order fresh-made sandwiches, salads, gelatos, sorbettos and pastries. Inside you find a half-dozen tables, a small stage for performers, and walls of interesting looking paintings. Thank you for a great time again, Ritsuko and Neko!

//m.u.s.i.c V.I.D.E.O

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