Melissa Chang

Frolic Contributor

Melissa Chang graduated from the University of Hawai‘i with a degree in journalism and has been blogging since 2007, mostly on food and travel. She works primarily in social media, so you can find her on Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

Articles

Asian Flavors spices up Ohana Hale Marketplace

Most people in Hawaii easily recognize Thai, Vietnamese, and Filipino food, but few — including me — know anything about Laos cuisine. In fact, I'm sure when people try it, they simply lump it in with Vietnamese and Thai food. Laos…

New dessert programs start at MW Restaurant in May

Although the food at MW Restaurant is good, everyone knows their desserts are always spectacular. It's no wonder: Michelle Karr-Ueoka — the "M" in MW — is the first woman from Hawaii to be nominated for the prestigious James Beard Award…

Moke's Bread & Breakfast opens tomorrow in Kaimuki

If you're a fan of Moke's Bread & Breakfast in Kailua, but rarely get to go because it's too far away, hang on to your townie card and rejoice. The Kailua breakfast hotspot is opening a second location in Kaimuki,…

Get a taste of heavenly noodles by a "ramen god"

Ramen fanatics may remember how, several years ago, Sun Noodle showcased renowned chef Shigetoshi Nakamura's talents in a one-night pop up at Lucky Belly. The wait was almost an hour long, but everyone — me, too! — proclaimed it worth…

Cheers to the new Let's Toast Cafe

Fancy toast really is a trendy thing, isn't it? Last week I told you about the new Ha'awi Toast & Tea at the Kakaako Market; this week, I'm crunching on more instagrammable toast in Kailua. Let's Toast Cafe is a…

New Haawi Toast & Tea is a hit at the Kakaako market

From left: Jodie, Bonnie, and Mark Shishido of Hā'awi Toast & Tea. Four weeks ago, I strolled through the Saturday Kakaako Farm Lover's Market and was surprised to see longtime Alan Wong's Wine Director Mark Shishido working a booth. At…

Hot in Waikiki: Seoul Tofu House

This cold weather has had everyone looking for the hottest food they can find, so it's good timing for Seoul Tofu House, which just opened in the Laylow Waikiki. Their specialty is soondubu, or Korean soft tofu stew, which is…

(Really) hidden gem: 'Olena by Chef Ron Simon

Last week, I told you about Hawaiian Chip Company and how owner Jimmy Chan renovated the two lots across the street to make his part of Republican Street in Kalihi a new destination. Well, 'Olena by Chef Ron Simon is…

New poke in Chinatown: Kahiau Jerky opens Friday

If you know, you know: Regulars at the Pearlridge Farm Lover's Market on Saturday mornings have either seen or stood in the hour-long line for Kahiau Jerky's super fresh, super ono poke. It's nuts. But it's worth it. Kahiau Jerky…

Zigu's new hotpot warms us for winter

My family enjoyed a rich treat this past weekend when we went to Zigu for dinner: The restaurant just launched their Mizutaki-style hotpot on Saturday, and it's only available through February 3. Usually, I wouldn't pay much attention to items…

New at 808 Center: Zhi Chinese BBQ

I recently headed to Mian at 808 Sheridan for a spontaneous lunch, only to find upon arrival that it had closed, and it was the first day of business for a new restaurant. Wait, WHAT? First, what happened to Mian? Don't…

Healthy indulgence: the new dinner menu at Vegan Hills

Maybe you overindulged at Thanksgiving. Heck, maybe you overindulge all year round! You don't have to resort to salads every day to be making a healthy choice.  I like Vegan Hills in Kaimuki because — although they do offer soups…

Newly opened Vein launches new lunch menu

There have been a lot of new food and drink venues opening at Salt Kakaako in the last few months, with more coming soon — we almost can't keep up with them! One of the newest is Vein at Kakaako,…

Finally! Small plates, lunch, happy hour at PAI

PAI owner/chef Kevin Lee. PAI Honolulu won Editor's Choice for Best New Restaurant at Honolulu Magazine's Hale Aina Awards last weekend, a well-deserved accolade for a spot that is still, after a year, a bit of a hidden gem in downtown.…

New in Chinatown: Amaebi Hawaii

Editor's note: This spot has closed. If you've been to the Farm Lover's markets at Haleiwa, Pearlridge or Kailua, you'll usually see a line for the Amaebi booth. It's kind of hard to resist when you can see Patrick Malone cooking…

Preview: Sheldon Simeon's new Lineage

Whether you're familiar with "Top Chef" alum Sheldon Simeon's food or not, you're in for a treat when he opens his latest restaurant, Lineage, on October 15. It's going into the Shops at Wailea next to the Island Gourmet Market,…

Basalt's new menu is worth a trip to Waikiki

I have to admit, I didn't try Basalt for most of its first year in business. There were a lot of kinks being worked out, plus they were bringing new ideas to life for breakfast, lunch, dinner AND happy hour.…

New in Chinatown: Santa Cruz Taco Company

Regulars at the Farm Lover's markets in Kakaako and Kailua (and previously, Pearlridge) love getting their Mexican food fix from Santa Cruz Taco Company, but that's only on the weekends. Now, you can get authentic Mexican food every day, since Julio…

Droolworthy: Drink Gazoz

Danielle Shemesh, owner of Drink Gazoz. I recently went to the Saturday Kakaako Farm Lover's Market on Ward, next to Ross, when this beautiful, colorful soda caught my eye. It wasn't just that I was withering in the summer heat; this…

Pioneer Saloon opens in Salt Kakaako

Pioneer Saloon has been a solid plate lunch spot on Monsarrat Avenue for a good nine years, offering hearty, tasty and affordable meals with familiar flavors for both tourists and locals. When it first opened, its "Japan meets Hawaii" approach…

Preview: Celeb chefs head to Maui to Fire It Up!

Summer is all about enjoying outdoor grilling and barbecuing, so the Grand Wailea created an event that would completely elevate that family picnic. Imagine sipping Buffalo Trace while talking story with celebrity chefs Sam Jones and Justin Brunson as they hand…

New in Chinatown: Ali'i Coffee Company

If you've been a regular at the Farm Lover's Saturday market at Pearlridge, as I am, you're familiar with the Ali'i Coffee Company booth that kept us caffeinated for the last couple of years. Will Gold and James Webb started roasting…

Vintage Cave Club revamps

After a lot of fanfare over opening with chef Chris Kajioka and then a period with chef Jonathan Mizukami, the original Vintage Cave seemed to go dark once Shirokiya and the Vintage Cave Cafe got built on the Ewa side of…

Butcher & Bird opens in SALT Kakaako

When I was little, my mom would take me to the neighborhood butcher in Chun Hoon Market every week as she picked out cuts of meat for dinner. We were such regulars there that I called the butcher Uncle Burt.…

Gochi Grill to bring upscale bentos to Bishop Street

Downtown office workers are eagerly anticipating the opening of Gochi Grill in the Remington College building on June 4. Yes, there are plate lunches and bentos everywhere, but this one promises to be a little different. Not many people know…

Fresh, healthy items debut at The Street

It's been a year since Michael Mina launched his food hall concept, The Street, in International Marketplace, and he's looking to launch some new food stations in the next two months to meet the demands and tastes of the customers. …

Turf Meets Surf chef exchange program in Kaanapali this weekend

I'm headed to one of the big events in Kaanapali this weekend, "Turf Meets Surf," a culinary exchange program that has Maui chefs Tom Muromoto of Kā’anapali Beach Hotel and Lyndon Honda of Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa collaborating with Canadian guest chefs Lino…

Elevated comfort food at Kaimuki's new Restaurant XO

There's a couple of fresh new faces on Waialae Avenue opening a new restaurant in ... well, an old space.  The old Hung Won on Waialae Avenue closed after two decades and turned into a Thai restaurant last year. The…

Beyond chili crab: Five eats & drinks in Singapore to try

Been there, done that: You can't afford to enjoy Singapore like a Crazy Rich Asian but you don't want to just eat at hawker stalls or at touristy restaurants that everyone else has already posted on their grams. Where will you go…

I lurve Singapore! My top 10 cheap/free picks

Sponsored With the popular novel "Crazy Rich Asians" coming out as a movie this summer, you can expect a lot of people will want to visit Singapore to see what it's all about. But do you have to be a…

Hot Mian to spice up your life

It's a good sign when you see Chinese people from the motherland eating in a Chinese restaurant. It's even more legit when the comrades are smoking outside. Are we in Beijing? Actually, we're eating noodles at 808 Sheridan. Wait, what happened to…

Hidden gem in Hilo: Poke Market

If you know, you know: Hilo may seem like a sleepy little rural town, but it's full of ono places to eat. I was only there for a couple of days, so there was no way to go to every…

Droolworthy: Unicorn honey toast at Shokudo

Cosmic fashion, makeup and food is the big trend now, so naturally, Shokudo created a psychedelic dessert to celebrate their anniversary month. Every year, the restaurant offers a different and unusual honey toast — since it's their signature dessert, it's…