Archive for the 'Vietnamese' Category

Yen’s Cafe, Hilo

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Some of the best cold noodles and pho in town at this tiny restaurant.

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Great prices and nice service. They also have some mean cake noodles!

235 Waianuenue Ave
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 933-2808

Pho Viet

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

in Aiea, Oahu

Well, It seems like I’m posting more places in Oahu than in Hilo recently. During the holidays, I visit Oahu more since a lot of my family is there. So I’m sorry that I’ve been slacking with the Big Island places!

Pho Viet Restaurant Outside Pho Viet inside

According to Pho Viet’s sign, they claim have the “best soup in town”. A strong statement considering the amount of Pho places on Oahu, although I’m not sure how many there are in Aiea.

The restaurant is a very small, but inviting place. There was only one other family there at the time we went (which was quite late).

We started with the spring rolls (I forgot the prices, but it was ~$5).

Pho Viet Spring Rolls

Along with the spring rolls came a nice vinegary sauce, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, mint and some thin rice noodles. I guess you eat it like this?

Spring Roll

Eating these were a real pleasure. The spring rolls were very light and crisp with a delicate flavor. There was not much meat filling, but it was still tasty. When eaten with everything else, it was great because of the contrast of textures and flavors.

I also ordered a large Beef & Meatball Pho (~$6). There was also a small for about $5.

Beef & Meatball Pho Pho Close-up

I should admit now that I’m not a Pho expert (I’ve even been misprounouncing it for some time!), so it is quite hard to gauge what a good pho should taste like. With that said, I can tell you that I did enjoy this pho. Everything tasted fresh. The soup was very flavorful and had a distinct anise flavor… stronger than what I had at 1 Plus 1 Cafe or Hilo Rice Noodle Shop back in Hilo, but I liked it. The beef was served nice and rare, and the meatballs were very tender and had a good flavor. The garnishes were given very generously and the basil was very fresh.

Later, I went condiment hunting and found this:
Condiments Some spicy sauce

Not sure what it is, but I think I put too much in mine. Very spicy and garlicky! Good, though. :P

Overall, this place was very good. The service was also friendly and attentive.

Pho Viet
99-163 Moanalua Rd Aiea
Aiea Hawaii 96701
Ph: (808) 486-7688

1 Plus 1 Cafe

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

Have you ever noticed that the restaurants with the strangest names have the best food?

1 Plus 1 Cafe Waiakea Center Food Court

1 Plus 1 Cafe is a fairly new Chinese/Vietnamese style restaurant located in the Waiakea Center Pavilion next to Walmart. The Waiakea Center Pavilion also holds a food court and Hilo Bay Cafe.

The inside is very nice and clean, and there is a large playful fish in a tank to greet you. It was about 11:30am, and there were about 5-6 other parties enjoying their food.

Inside 1 plus 1 Cafe

Most of the time I come here I order the Roast Pork Mein since they make some of the best roast pork I’ve ever had, and their broth and noodles are equally excellent. The roast duck is also so good here, so I ordered the Roast Pork & Roast Duck Mein ($7.95), the best of both worlds!

Roast Pork & Roast Duck Mein from 1 Plus 1 Cafe Closeup: Roast Pork & Roast Duck Mein from 1 Plus 1 Cafe

The roasted meats come in the soup yet the skin on both the duck and pork are still very crisp and crunchy. The meat and fatty portions of the roast pork are are so tender and full of flavor. The roast duck’s skin has a beautiful light crisp to it and is flavorful with very tasty tender meat. The meats help to flavor the well-balanced broth, which is great on a rainy day. The noodles are thin and have an “al dente” texture to them, which I enjoy. There are also some vegetables floating around, more at the bottom below the noodles. The portion is nice and big and it fills me up every time.

For dessert, Hilo Homemade Ice Cream is served here. You can choose from Green Tea, Chocolate, or Vanilla.

Ice cream menu

Hilo Homemade Ice Cream really deserves its own post, and I will post about them next time I visit their original location! I just couldn’t help ordering a Green Tea ice cream for dessert, though.

Hilo Homemade Green Tea Ice Cream from 1 Plus 1 Cafe

Unlike many other green tea ice creams, the green tea flavor in this one is very intense and like higher quality ice creams, much creamier. It was a perfect ending to a great meal. :)


1 Plus 1 Cafe
315 Makaala Street Suite 110
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 961-6288