Yours Truly was personally invited once again by “Little Wang” Dan to a tasting event at Wang Chung’s, arguably Hawaii’s best karaoke bar, and by far one of the best places to hang out at night and have a great time in Waikiki.
Being Auntie Linh doesn’t run a restaurant or catering operation, and has an entirely different type of professional job by trade as the Senior Director of Development for the University of Hawaii Foundation, the menu here is pretty simple, being her very own home cookin’. Isn’t that so cool, where you can have a tasting event at one of the most premiere spots in Waikiki of your own personal favorite dishes you like to make at home? That is WAY cool!
So what you have here is a platter of the main ingredients needed to whip-up your own Vietnamese Summer Roll at your table. Those leaf packets are Ga Chien La Dua, or Fried Chicken wrapped in Pandan Leaves.
Something you won’t find at your neighborhood KFC or Popeyes anytime soon. lol
That salad is Goi Ga Xe Phay, described as “Auntie Linh’s favorite Vietnamese Chicken Salad, promoting heartiness and improving dexterity in our workers” It’s made up of chicken, cabbage, garlic, cilantro, onions, fish sauce, lime and rau ram. You know what rau ram is, right? Ah, that’s what I thought. neither do I. lol
This of course is the highlight of the show, the Banh Hoi Choi Tom, consisting of fine-woven vermicelli noodles, butter lettuce, mint, pickled daikon and carrots (Do Chua), cucumber, bean sprouts, rice paper, nuom mom, and last but not least, fried pounded shrimp wrapped over sugar cane. Neat-O’z!!!
I know it looks like some kind of Ham Shank deal, but nope, again, it’s Vietnamese style shrimp “paste” fried over a stick of sugar cane. That is WAY COOL!…
And of course you need your salty fish sauce as a dressing condiment on the side.
Here, Auntie Linh demonstrates how to make a Vietnamese Summer Roll using all the ingredients shown above, wrapped up in water-softened Rice Paper. And voila…
Dip that suckah in the fish sauce and BAM! You my friend are “good to, good to, good to go solo” (from “Every Little Step I Take“).
Rounding out this simple yet absolutely “Ngon” (delicious) tasting party was Auntie Linh’s Banh Choi, a Vietnamese Banana Bread Pudding. Dude, this is seriously “crack” on a plate. OMG, this Banana Bread Pudding was ROCKIN’ IT!!!!
That Chicken Salad was rockin it. LOVED IT! It’s like a “pickled” version of your typical Oriental Chicken Salad, sans the sesame oil, is the best way I can describe it. And the Fried Shrimp on the Sugar Cane was absolutely AMAZING, and I even got free scoldings from Auntie Linh!
Huge mahalo to “Little Wang’ Dan “the man”, owner of Wang Chung’s for personally inviting me to this private tasting event. And also of course to Auntie Linh for sharing your wonderful Vietnamese home cooking with us. It was FANTASTIC! Also props to Brian, Chris and all the other awesome bartenders at Wang Chung’s. You guys all ROCK!
P.S. About a week ago the Hawaii Five-0 production crew (a big group!) were hanging out at Wang Chung’s Waikiki, where here I am with Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and “Danno’s” (Scott Cann) stunt doubles Shane and Justin “JJ”….
This is a better shot of JJ, where you can really see his resemblance to Scott Caan…
Next time Hawaii Five-0 has a casting call, I’m definitely gonna’ try out!
See Justin and Shane in action in this really cool video Ryan Ozawa shot at Dole Cannery (I was there at the same time and shot other videos, but this one’s better!)…