Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hawaii Highlights: Helena's Hawaiian Food

Calvin and I love watching Man vs. Food and in one episode, the host ate at this popular Hawaiian restaurant: Helena's. On the show the locals said that this was the best place to get traditional Hawaiian grub (in Honolulu?).

The diner is a little small - there was a line outside when we arrived, good thing we found some shade while we waited.

On our second day of the trip, Calvin and I (along with my sister and her bf) decided to have lunch there. One of the most popular dishes offered are the short ribs (Pipikaula style). The short ribs are marinated in a sweet soy sauce mixture, hung to "dry", then deep fried. We also ordered the laulau - chunks of pork and butterfish wrapped in luau (taro) and ti leaves, then steamed for a couple of hours until tender. At first we only ordered one large size of the short ribs and one order of the laulau to sample, but when our order came, we realized the ribs weren't enough and so we ordered a second large. Calvin also ordered the boiled butterfish collar with stew gravy.

The large order is not too large. Good to share between 2 people, not 4.

A little bit of pork and fish left and a lot of leaves.

The fish had bones in it still, but they were big so you could easily avoid them.

The ribs were definitely flavourful and not too chewy, although the pieces were quite fatty. The laulau was soft and tender; however, I thought the leaves somewhat overpowered the flavour of the pork and fish. The stew gravy of Calvin's boiled butterfish collar was tomato based and slightly tart (but in a good way); the fish was not overcooked. The two latter dishes reminded me and my sister of our mom's Filipino cooking.

The prices of the dishes are fairly cheap (except the large order of the short ribs is over $10.00), so if you want to give traditional Hawaiian cuisine a try (without having to pay a fortune to go to a luau), I would definitely recommend making a trip over to Helena's. They also offer combo dinners.

Overall rating: 7/10

Helena's Hawaiian Food
1240 North School Street
Honolulu, HI   96734

1 comment:

Chris said...

You know, I could never stand fish with bones because of a constantly nagging fear of bones in my throat.

This, however, looks yummy. I NEED MORE ADJECTIVES :D

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