Weekend Brunches Just Got Better

Piggy Smalls and Herringbone add new twists on weekend breakfast fare.


Published:

The brunch spread at Herringbone, left, and the papaya halo halo on the brunch menu at Piggy Smalls.
Photos: Courtesy of Herringbone and Piggy Smalls

 

Two newish restaurants—Piggy Smalls, younger sibling of local favorite The Pig & The Lady, and the popular Herringbone at the International Market Place—expanded their menus recently to add weekend brunch items that make them worth a daytime trip.

 

Piggy Smalls

Mama Le’s rib-eye steak and eggs, cooked in brown butter and fish sauce, is one of the specialty brunch dishes at Piggy Smalls.
Photo: Courtesy of Piggy Smalls

 

At Ward Village’s Piggy Smalls, it’s easier to get in for the weekend brunch than for dinner, but that might just be that word hasn’t gotten out about the eclectic and yummy brunch options, available on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

SEE ALSO: First Look: Piggy Smalls

 

Best advice is take at least four people, share everything family-style and order at least one of the Dutch baby specialties ($14), which take at least 20 minutes to bake. Our group went with the savory Dutch baby pancake with duck sausage, potatoes and lavender gravy topped with a fried egg. It was tasty and different yet escaped that faint hint of potpourri that some lavender dishes can conjure.

 

Piggy Smalls serves both savory (pictured) and sweet Dutch babies.
Photo: Robbie Dingeman

 

One of my favorites that I’d order even if were dining solo was the Truffle Shuffle Quiche ($15), which whisks mushrooms and eggs into a thick slice of the quiche of your dreams poured into a buttery crust and served with fresh greens that offset the rich pie.

 

One of the crowd pleasers was the Hot Crab Benedict Pie ($17), which is described as an open-face pot pie but seemed more like a crab-stuffed scone with a creamy filling. Whatever you call it, it succeeded with crab in every bite that neither overwhelmed nor got lost in the dish.

 

On the lighter side, the Weekend @ Burmese Salad ($12) offers the mix of salty, citrus-y and the crunch of a Burmese tea leaf salad with shredded green papaya as the veggie base.

 

On the sweeter side, the Butter Mochi Waffle ($13) topped with strawberries delivered soft, mochi texture with a hint of peanut from the kinako dusting. While it can be ordered vegetarian, we felt it needed the crispiness and saltiness of the bacon if it were being eaten as an entrée.

 

The Weekend @ Burmese Salad offers a nice mix of salty, citrus-y and crunch.
Photo: Robbie Dingeman

 

The Butter Mochi Waffles are topped with fresh strawberries and kinako.
Photo: Courtesy of Piggy Smalls

 

Another very sweet and indulgent option is the Donut Milkshake ($7) topped with a beignet filled with an espresso cream, which is almost too pretty to eat and seriously takes like you’re drinking a Love’s Bakery doughnut. Less dessertlike and more refreshing, the watermelon mimosa ($11) was something we’d all order again, as was the miso bloody mary ($11) with gin, yuzu, red miso and kaffir lime. We also liked the non-alcoholic rosemary watermelon shrub, which bar manager Blaine Shimabukuro happily explained how to make. Another tasty and different non-alcoholic drink was the Go Get Em Tiger! ($5), which combines turmeric (ʻōlena), ginger, lemon and soda water.

 

From left, the watermelon mimosa, the Donut Milkshake and the miso bloody mary, all available for brunch.
Photos: Courtesy of Piggy Smalls, Robbie Dingeman

 

And yes, you can still order Piggy Smalls favorites, including the LFC chicken, oyako pho and pho-strami dip. But we’ll be back to try the rest of the brunch dishes first.

 

9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, reservations recommended, Ward Village, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 777-3588, thepigandthelady.com/piggysmalls

 

Herringbone

 

The brunch spread at Herringbone includes hearty plates, shared dishes, salads and specialty cocktails.

 

Photo: Courtesy of Herringbone

 

Though part of the Hakkasan chain, Herringbone has incorporated local ingredients since its August opening here in Waikīkī’s International Market Place. At weekend brunch—offered on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays—this shows up in a few dishes including the Shaka Moa brand eggs and Naked Cow cheese in the California burrito and Portuguese sausage in the chilaquiles.

 

SEE ALSO: First Look: Herringbone

 

The décor is fun with giant hanging-box planters that have become a DIY dream for me and several other friends who’ve seen these.

 

We opted for the splurge-worthy side of the menu, figuring that a signature eggs Benedict ($28) is a good test of any brunch. This one stands out by adding uni to the hollandaise, using sweet bread as the base instead of the more traditional English muffins and featuring Mari’s Garden spinach with a touch of caviar and more uni to top the dish.

 

The dish worked as rich and creamy with the added nutty brine of the sea urchin on top. Although the uni gets a little lost when blended into the hollandaise, the dish is still memorable.

 

Another rich dish that’s a specialty is the Biscuits & Pono Pork Gravy ($15), with house-made buttermilk biscuits on top of porchetta with black pepper gravy poured all over. Props to the biscuits and gravy, but the pork below felt too fatty bathed in the already indulgent gravy.

 

A media preview offered the option of trying anything on the menu and we’re glad we asked the server for her recommendation. When we asked about a lighter dish to balance the rich options, she suggested the papaya bowl ($13). Seasonal fruits nestled in the half papaya included three kinds of berries, kiwi and starfruit topped with acai, local honey, matcha, raw granola and pomegranate seeds. It made for a refreshing and flavorful counterpoint to the heavier fare.

 

The menu also includes fish tacos and a daily catch, an omelet, burger and another favorite with other diners—the Ray Ray Pancakes ($14), a short stack served with lilikoʻi butter, tree sap (!) and fruit.

 

The refreshing papaya bowl balanced the heavy, rich brunch dishes at Herringbone.
Photo: Robbie Dingeman

 

The Ray Ray Pancakes come with fresh fruit, liliko‘i butter and tree sap.
Photo: Courtesy of Herringbone

 

Rounding out the experience, Herringbone rolls out a bevy of brunch libations, including two $25 bottomless options that likely call for a designated driver in the group: either rose wine or tropical mimosas. Servers bring a choice of three juices from guava, mango, lilikoʻi, peach and orange in little carafes and along with a glass of prosecco leaving you to mix your own concoctions. The beverages keep coming, making it festive and fun to try different mixes of mimosas.

 

For both restaurants, we welcome the brunching out.

 

10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, reservations recommended, International Market Place, 2330 Kalākaua Ave., (808) 797-2435, herringboneeats.com/locations/waikiki/

 

READ MORE STORIES BY ROBBIE DINGEMAN

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Recent Posts

Archives

Categories

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags