Food La La: Honolulu Fest Friendship Gala
Last weekend was the 20th annual Honolulu Festival, a three-day event that showcases and promotes cultural exchange between Hawaii and the Pacific Rim region. Some of the festival’s highlights include a parade through Waikiki, a spectacular Nagaoka-style fireworks show and the annual Friendship Gala, which promotes international goodwill through delicious food and entertainment.
Guests were greeted by cheerleaders at the entrance to the Friendship Gala, which was held at the Hawaii Convention Center on Friday. The girls were very cute and cheered loudly for everyone.
Hakone was right at the entrance of the gala serving fresh oysters with green onion, ponzu sauce, lemon, and crunchy ogo.
There were fewer restaurants this year compared to last, but portion sizes were a lot bigger. This is the toro tartare with wasabi, sour cream and nori along with “Angry Chicken” topped with spice jus and Shishito peppers from Morimoto Waikiki.
My favorite dish of the night was the seared tenderloin with macaroni and cheese and a rich and creamy lobster bisque from Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
The most colorful dish of the night was the barbequed tiger prawns, avocado, citrus gazpacho, and Hamakua tomato salad with beets, cucumber, Kula greens, pink peppercorn Maui goat cheese topped with a tangy tangerine mustard vinaigrette from Mariposa.
Roy’s Hawaii Kai served chilled garlic shrimp with an extremely tender Kalbi glazed short rib.
These flaky soft strawberry cream macarons were courtesy of Cake Works.
I also enjoyed the decadent pulehu pineapple eclair by Honolulu Coffee Company.
Some of the beautiful floats that were used in Sunday’s parade were on display.
Everyone received a customized Honolulu Festival chocolate to take home at the end of the night.
These guys were attempting to create a map of the United States with the chocolates.
Hope to see everyone at the Friendship Gala next year!