The day before Ash Wednesday (when the Christian season of Lent begins) is known as Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday. It is celebrated as Mardi Gras in places influenced by French culture, like the bawdy celebrations down in New Orleans. But in Hawaii, it has another name: Malasada Day.
We found some delicious cool and hot grinds at the popular Saturday KCC Farmers’ Market in Honolulu.
Annie and I are suckers for farmers’ markets. There’s just something magical about being in the open air, browsing (and grazing) the different stalls for whatever is in season at that moment. Whether it’s sand dabs in Saratoga, pimientos de padron (and pervs) in Palo Alto, California mangosteens in San Carlos, slurpaliciously fresh oysters in San Francisco, a delicious Japanese bento lunch in Austin, fiddlehead ferns at a Kuching night market, water apples at Kuching’s Satok Market, cat’s eyes in Serian, or live chickens in newspaper tubes at Sibu’s Central Market, you never know what you’re gonna find.
So even though we’d barely gotten off the plane from Taiwan, we knew there was no way we were missing the Saturday farmers’ market at KCC (Kapiolani Community College). It’s my neighborhood farmers’ market – situated on the backside of Diamond Head – and a foodie destination for locals and tourists alike.
What new foodie finds would we discover on this trip?
Sick of airplane food and not interested in airport food, but pleasantly surprised by airport hotel food!
We’re on our way from Kuching to Honolulu, but we made an overnight stopover in Kuala Lumpur first. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time in KL to get any mamak or roti canai. Breakfast was a bowl of porridge, while lunch was a McDonald’s cheeseburger and a Diet Coke at KL International Airport. Totally uninspiring.
The second leg of our journey took us from KLIA to Taipei, Taiwan. Our onboard airplane meal was special – especially horrible, that is. We should have known something when the supervisor at the check-in counter warned us about the kosher meal that Annie and I had reserved.
Hurry, hurry, hurry! Get your rice and curry! The best that’s found in Kampung Melayu, Georgetown. (Apologies to Dr. Bombay)
Nasi Kandar Kampung Melayu, Penang
Nasi kandar comes from “nasi” meaning rice and “kandar” meaning balance – hawkers in the olden days carried their rice and curries in buckets balanced on poles over their shoulders. Nowadays, bustling nasi kandar restaurants like Original Penang Kayu can be found all over Peninsular Malaysia, serving up Malaysian-Indian fare 24 hours a day. But one of the oldest – and arguably the best – nasi kandar stalls is found in the Kampung Melayu (Malay Village) enclave on Penang Island.
Annie’s uncle is a nasi kandar connoisseur. So, on the morning of Day 3 of our whirlwind trip to Penang, he took us for breakfast to Kampung Melayu Nasi Kandar.