Foodland Farms Ala Moana, the company’s flagship store, is now celebrating their 1st anniversary.
Beginning August 31st through September 4th, customers can enjoy Labor Day Weekend for their 1st Birthday, “Baby Luau” style, with Hawaiian-inspired food that have a modern twist from the hot and cold food bars. Favorites include Kalua Pig and Cabbage, Hawaiian-style Beef Stew with poi as one of its ingredients, pineapple-braised shoyu chicken, squid luau made with local kale, lomi salmon and lomi tomato, sweet potato salad, locally grown taro mash, fried Akule and fried Ahi.
Also as part of their 1st birthday celebration, Foodland Farms Ala Moana will launch nearly three dozen new culinary offerings at the wide variety of stations in the store, including HI Steaks, Poke Island and The Bar at R. Field Wine Company. (see a more detailed description of all the new food items in the official press release here)
This past Tuesday, August 29th, Foodland Farms Ala Moana hosted a private preview media tasting event to try eight new culinary offerings being launched for their 1st Birthday. This included their new Rainbow Roll Poke, Charred Tomato Caprese, Beet Hummus and Grilled Veggies on Housemade Focaccia, Soy-braised Pork Belly Bao, Steak Saimin, Bacon Cheeseburger Royale, Housemade Premium Ice Cream Sandwich “Birthday Cake” and Macadamia Nut & Kona Coffee Andagi.
On behalf of the Tasty Island, Yours Truly was invited to attend the media preview tasting event, hosted by Sheryl Toda, Foodland Senior Director of Marketing, Corporate Chef Keoni Chang, In-Store Chef de Cuisine Brian Nagai, and In-Store Pastry Chef Rick Chang. (more details about them on the Chefs Bio page)
Following is photo coverage and caption commentary from the event. Enjoy. ;-)
Bacon Cheeseburger Royale: with Housemade Bacon Cheddar Jalapeno Beef Patty, Crispy Bacon, Melted Cheddar and Cajun-Style Remoulade on a Brioche Bun. At The Bar.
Housemade Premium Ice Cream Sandwiches: Kona coffee ice cream between chocolate chip cookies, green tea ice cream between sesame cookies, coconut pineapple ice cream between macadamia nut cookies and rainbow-sprinkled birthday cake ice cream between vanilla sprinkle cookies. Offered next to the Shave Ice Station and Bubbies Ice Cream.
And? How was the food? Excellent! Naturally being a Poke fanatic, the Rainbow Roll Poke was my fave. The combination of ahi, salmon, imitation crab, avocado, masago, wasabi mayo and kabayaki sauce are a fantastic marriage of textures and flavors. Totally works. Plus it had a potent wasabi “kick” to it, which I love. Awesome poke!
The Charred Tomato Caprese really did have a nice char-flavor, while overall coming across as sophisticated yet simple.
Now that Beet Hummus and Grilled Veggie Focaccia sandwich was BOMB DOT COM! OMG, by far one of the best “haute” sandwiches I’ve ever tried. If you’re in the mood for “sammy” when in Foodland Farms Ala Moana, GET THAT!
The Soy-Braised Pork Belly in the Bao was super tender and thick-cut with lots of fat on it, and deeply flavored with the soy, rockin’ that Okinawan Rafute beat, while housemade pickles and pillow-soft Bao bun brought it all home. Winnahz!
Surprisingly the Steak Saimin was my least favorite, mainly because I’m a traditionalist when it comes to Saimin, and this was just too busy and “out there” for me. I think they should rename it Steak Ramen, not Saimin.
The Bacon Jalapeno Royal definitely had spicy-hot kick to it thanks to Jalapeno peppers mixed right into the patty, along with that kickin’ cajun aioli spread on the bun The beef patty itself had a nice crust and was cooked just right, being charred outside, juicy inside. While I’m admittedly not a fan of bacon on my burgers, the crispy bacon on this was indeed tasty, while other than that, the melted cheddar on the patty and Brioche Bun helped make this one a winner burger. You’ll definitely like this burger if you like ’em spicy.
I wasn’t expecting the Housemade Premium Ice Cream Sandwich to “wow” me, but you know what? I was impressed! I was “wowed”! Really, really ono! The cookies are of course housemade, while the ice cream is actually Gelato made by one of their vendors. It being Gelato is definitely what takes it up a few notches. Definitely get one of them Ice Cream Sandwiches as well!
Finally, the Macadamia Nut & Kona Coffee Andagi was another thing I wasn’t expecting to “wow” me, but it did! Since they gave in a to-go bag, and didn’t serve it there, I ended up taking it home and popping a few in the toaster oven to heat it up. And it was fantastic! To be honest, it would be better if it had been served fresh out of the deep fryer, but for what its worth being reheated the next day? Winnah! You can definitely taste the Kona Coffee, while I didn’t really get anything Macadamia Nut about it. Still, the idea of flavoring Andagi with Kona Coffee is genius! Note to Okinawan Festival organizers for next year! Speaking of which, reminder, the Okinawan Festival goes on this Labor Day Weekend. Woot-woot!
Following are some of the peeps at the media preview tasting event this past Tuesday.
Miyhun Kang of PacRim Marketing Group (Korean speaking) and Ritsuko Kokuno of POOHKOHAWAII.com (Japanese speaking)
Olena Rubin Heu of Olena Heu Communications and Pomai Souza of the Tasty Island (you are here)
Wrapping it up, once again, Foodland Farms Ala Moana is celebrating their 1st Anniversary “baby luau” style from August 31 to September 4, 2017 at that store. Come on down and join in the fun and ono grinds!
Foodland Farms Ala Moana
Ala Moana Center, Ewa Wing street level
1451 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
Tel. (808) 949-5044
Open daily 5am to 10pm
• Foodland Farms Ala Moana – Yelp user reviews
Tasty Island related links:
• Foodland Farms Ala Moana 1st Anniversary official press release and Chefs Bio
• Foodland Introduces Fun New “Do the Loco Moco” Reusable Grocery Bag
• HI STEAKS at Foodland Farms Ala Moana
• Foodland Farms Ala Moana
• Da’ Bes’ Hawaiian Local Style Beef Stew