Paia Eats: Iwamoto Natto Factory Natto

The very first stop I made on my recent trip to Maui was a walk through Ah Fook’s Supermarket in Kahului. After seeing the unique products they carried, it was also the last stop I made on my way back to the airport heading home to Honolulu. One of those unique products I brought back with me was this here Natto, made by Iwamoto Natto Factory in Paia, the same folks who make the undried saimin for Sam Sato’s.

Come to find out, the original Iwamoto family who founded the company were bought out in 1965 by the Yamashita family, with Robert and Patsy Yamashita, along with their son Daryl now operating the business. In fact, the noodle making equipment they still use to this day were given to them from Sam Sato himself way back when. This, according to Patsy, who I had a very nice conversation with over the phone a few days ago.

So here we have Iwamoto Natto Factory’s Natto, a Japanese delicacy that many outside of the culture may find repulsive, yet I think it’s absolutely oishii!…

Unlike the usual natto packaging in the form of a lidded square styrofoam container with a small packet of karashi mustard and soy sauce or other sauce, Iwamoto’s Natto is packaged in this here plastic container with nothing else included… not even instructions how to eat it. “Ouch” for those not familiar with eating Natto!

The proper way to serve Natto is to stir it vigorously with chopsticks to froth-up the gooey fermented slime that carries the soy beans. The best way to do this is by transfering it into a larger, sturdy bowl that won’t introduce any plastic or styrofoam matter into the Natto. Then you just take your chopsticks to it and stir away briskly until it froths up, which takes less than a minute…

After it’s frothed-up, this is the point where you can add more punch to the party, as Natto by itself is rather bland, save for its robust coffee bean-like element. A small drizzle of shoyu and chopped green onion (negi) works for me…

Then stir again to combine…

A very important key accompanyment that many (on YouTube) fail to understand is that the best way to enjoy Natto is by eating it atop a bowl of hot, steamed white rice…

Enhanced even further by the accompanyment of tsukemeno – in this case Takuan (pickled daikon) and Beni Shoga (pickled ginger).

Here you see Iwamoto’s Natto in all its ooey-gooey glory. Hai, itadakimasu!…

Notice the “hana buttah” like way the fermented “slime” pulls apart. This is good stuff my friends.

Just like this is winnahz, but even better when you mix the beni shoga and takuan in with it!…

Mmmmm.. oishikatta! As mentioned before, Natto is reminiscent of coffee beans that have a more legume-like quality to it. Think of taking boiled peanuts and soaking it in coffee, and it’s kinda what this tastes like. The clincher is that ooey-gooey slime they’re encapsulated in. If you can get over the “snot-like” texture it may remind you of, you’ll be fine. That’s why it’s important to eat it over a bowl of hot steamed rice. That helps to melt that slime over the rice, turning it more into a sauce than anything else. Some folks try to assimilate Natto with spoiled cheese, but I find that a much maligned description of it. In contrary, I find a really pungeant bleu cheese much more repulsive than Natto. Natto is really delicious if you eat it thinking “outside the box”. If you can do that, you’ll really enjoy it!

What? Hama Natto
Who makes it? Iwamoto Natto Factory in Paia, Maui
Where did you buy and how much? Ah Fook’s Supermarket in Kahului, Maui, $2.19 per 4 oz. container
Big shacka to: Robust and balanced bean flavor. Froths-up quickly when stirred. Carrier has nice “pull”. Very healthy.
No shaka to: The undeserving bad reputation Natto gets.
The Tasty Island SPAM Musubi rating: 4

Coming next, we’ll make Sam Sato’s Dry Noodles (a.k.a. Dry Mein) at home using Iwamoto’s Undried Saimin from Ah Fook’s!…

Iwamoto Natto Factory Undried Saimin – 1-1/2 pound package, $4.59 from Ah Fook’s Supermarket in Kahului, Maui

Here’s some fun YouTube clips of folks demonstrating their Natto eating skills…


Wailuku Eats: My Visit to Sam Sato's

Back in December of last year I did a surrogate post on my girlfriend’s visit to Sam Sato’s with her friends. Since I’m covering this place once again, this time with yours truly as a patron, we’ll add “my visit” to the title of this entry.

When I first heard about Sam Sato’s famous Dry Noodles, a.k.a. “Dry Mein”, I was so intrigued by the concept, yet frustrated at the same time that I didn’t have a first-hand taste myself of not only their noodle, but the broth on the side that accompanies it.

So I finally got my chance last week while on Maui to see and taste what the hype is all about.

As we expected on a Saturday around lunch hour, the place was a full house, with folks outside awaiting their name to be called for a seat…

Like Tasty Crust, Sam Sato’s clientele (at least during our visit) was majority all locals…

Founder Sam Sato…

An avid golfer…

An old school location…

The ohana…

Go Bows!…

While they apparently have enough business already, I really think tourists should be directed to this place, just like they’re lead to Hamura Saimin on Kauai. This truly is one of those local delicacy hole-in-the-wall gems that tourists ought to have the opportunity to discover. Same for Guri Guri, which also seemed absent of tourists clientele. Perhaps I may have simply “missed the bus”. Anyway, just sayin’.

Here’s the menu…

Since we were willing to sit at the counter, we got in quicker than other larger parties waiting outside. One of the “perks” by sitting at the counter was being able to see the dishes coming out of the kitchen service window right in front of us. While a majority of it was order-after-order of Dry Mein Noodles and BBQ Sticks, another dish that seemed to be popular here was their Spare Ribs Plate Lunch…

Sam Sato’s – Spare Ribs Plate Lunch, $7.25

Hooo, da’ buggah’ look ono!

Of course we were here for the Dry Mein Noodles, with my girlfriend getting the small order…

Dry Noodles (small), $4.95

As you see, along with the Dry Noodles, we also ordered a plate of BBQ Beef Sticks…

Sam Sato’s – BBQ Beef Sticks, $1.25

My girlfriend really enjoyed the BBQ Teriyaki Beef Sticks, but I thought they were just OK, finding them over-marinaded and over-cooked. But that’s just me.

Sam Sato’s – Dry Noodle large – $5.75

Fries go great with Saimin, and go equally as well with the Dry Noodles…

Sam Sato’s – french Fries, $2.50

Notice it’s served with mayonnaise mixed with mustard, da’ kine local style.. oh-right! They’re deep-fried to tender inside, crispy outside perfection and of course winnahz when dipped in the mayo-mustard.

Back to the Dry Noodles, here’s a closer look at my large order…

As you’ve already seen, they’re served with a small bowl of broth on the side…

O.K., let’s see what all the fuss is about. The waitress instructed me to lightly drizzle the noodles with the broth as I eat along, so that’s exactly what I did…

Winnah-winnah, dry mein dinnah!… err lunch that is. Seriously, this is some good stuff! The saimin noodles are cooked perfectly al dente, leaning just a bit more on the chewy side in a good way. They’re also thicker than the Sun noodle Original Hawaii Saimin noodle that I used in my “Dry Mein Project“, which gives it more character. Otherwise, they both pretty much share the same flavor which I think may be attributed to the Potassium Carbonate.

I took a sip of the accompanying broth to see what was in it, which to my surprise I could not taste any dashinomoto whatsoever in it. Unbelievable. Seriously, all I could detect in it was plain ‘ole chicken stock. Not even a hint of shrimp shells like that of 49 Niner Restaurant. No kombu either. The waitress wouldn’t divulge what’s in it, only saying the owner makes it from scratch.

Let’s have another bite…

Even before the broth is drizzled on it, the noodles arrive at the table with a slight sheen on them, which come to find out is the result of them being heated up with a light toss of vegetable oil, shoyu and oyster sauce. Aha! That’s what gives them that extra depth.

As for the garnishes, the bean sprouts were also al dente, with just enough crunch to give it that “veggie” contrast, along with the chopped green onions, while the sliced charsiu was tender, moist and flavorful, thanks in part to the chicken stock? drizzle.

No question though, the star of the show is the “dry” saimin noodles, which someone mentioned from my previous entry on Sam Sato’s are provided by Iwamoto Natto Factory in Paia. Lucky me, the very first day of my arrival on Maui I made a stop to Ah Fook’s Supermarket in Kahului, where low and behold, they had the Iwamoto Undried Saimin in stock!….

Iwamoto Natto Factory Undried Saimin – 1-1/2 pound package, $4.59 from Ah Fook’s Supermarket in Kahului, Maui

With several 1½ pound packages of Iwamoto saimin noodles now at my disposal in my refrigerator, I’m ready to REALLY replicate the Sam Sato dry noodle experience right here at home! Yee-haw! Oh, I mean, Banzai! **pumps both fists in the air** lol

Still, nothing can match the experience sitting down with fellow Mauiians (can I call them that?) for a bowl of the real deal at Sam Sato’s. The wait to get in may take a while, but the Dry Noodles, and what looks like everything else on the menu, along with family-friendly prices are absolutely worth it.

Sam Sato’s, Inc.
1750 Wili Pa Loop
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
(island of Maui)
Tel. 808-244-7124
Meals: 7am-2pm
Manju pick-up: 7am-4pm

The Tasty Island rating:

Related links:
Wailuku Eats: Sam Sato’s – The Tasty Island
Sam Sato’s – Yelp user reviews – Watch the Maui Visitors Channel 7 at this site to learn more about the many attractions Maui has to offer!

P.S. They had the manju and turnovers in front by the cashier, but after that big bowl of dry noodles and fries, I was stuffed, and we had a long day ahead of us, so I opted not to get any at the time. I think I’ll have to make an excuse to fly back to Maui very soon so I can pick some up!

Da’ Maui ohana preparing Kalua Pig on a backyard Imu for a fundraiser, as well as a very special wedding…

Shredding da’ pig…

Portioned in containers…

Da’ coolah loaded up with Kalua Pig for the upcoming fundraiser…

And da’ odda’ coolah loaded up with Kalua Pig for da’ big wedding….

After all the pig was pau in da’ imu, clean up da’ banana leaves and other opala, and here’s the heat source… the lava rocks…

Time fo’ sample some, cuz…

Oh yeah! Smoked with just the right amount of Kiawe, while being supah’ moist and seasoned with the perfect amount of Hawaiian Salt. Mahalo to all da’ ohana for preparing this for the wedding. Winnahz!

Kahului Eats: Tasaka Guri Guri

This is one of the first greeting signs to welcome you into the town of Kahului from the airport road. Yes, that’s Krispy Kreme behind that wall – the only location in the state.

What a fantastic time we had up in Maui last week. Now that I’m home (on Oahu) and settled back in, in the following week or so I’ll share with you some of the “grindventures” that took place while on the Valley Isle, also including a few other related photos of our travel there.

Since it was SCORCHING HOT during our visit on Maui (as come to find out was the case across the entire island chain), we’ll start this by cooling off with the one and only original Tasaka Guri Guri “Maui Sherbert” in Maui Mall in Kahului…

Tasaka Guri Guri “Maui Sherbert” 2 scoops (1 strawberry, 1 pineapple)

Just like you remember it, they still serve only two flavors: strawberry and pineapple. This two-scoop cup was a just $1.10, with more scoops of Guri Guri than that asking for not much more. What an amazing value considering how rare this treat is, added to that, the otherwise mostly high cost of just about everything else on Maui, save for a few more budget-friendly places I’ll get to later.

Here under the scoop of strawberry is a scoop of pineapple…

Ice cold ‘n creamy-fruity good, with that unique powdery, crystallized texture that plays tricks on you, as if a shave ice cart and ice cream truck had a simultaneous head-on collision into your tongue.

Here’s Henry Tasaka, grandson of the founder, giving a big shaka…

In that photo, notice the (amazing) price list, as well as the bags of Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips on the front counter.

While those CURRENT prices may remind us of the good old days, one thing that many do miss that Tasaka doesn’t offer anymore is Azuki beans to go with your Guri Guri. According to the girl working there, Tasaka’s hasn’t offered Azuki beans with their Guri Guri for more than 20 years now.

Oh well, at least the original secret recipe of the Guri Guri itself is still intact and taste just as ono today as I remember eating it as a kid when we used to visit Maui way-way-way back when.

Tasaka’s one and only shop in the Maui Mall used to be open air, but they’ve since enclosed it…

Tasaka Guri Guri prices are currently as followed (choose Strawberry and/or Pineapple flavor):
• 2 scoops – $1.10
• 3 scoops – $1.65
• 4 scoops – $2.10
• 5 scoops – $2.55

Take-out containers are available in 2-quart sizes at $11 each, frozen (solid), and will keep for up to 2-1/2 hours out of freezer (best if kept in a thermal bag or cooler with blue ice packs). If you plan to take this on an aircraft, it must be packed properly for check-in, as carry-on is not allowed for this item.

Tasaka Guri Guri T-Shirts are also available.

So next time you visit Maui, if you haven’t already done so, put Tasaka Guri Guri on your MUST-GRIND list. Not only is it a delicious and refreshing treat to beat the summer heat, it’s an old school gem unique to the island of Maui that can’t be found anywhere else, making it that much more worth savoring every moment of each spoonful.

Tasaka Guri Guri
Maui Mall
Kahului, HI 96732
(808) 871-4513

Hours of operation:
Monday thru Thursday: 9am to 6pm
Friday: 9am to 8pm
Saturday: 9am to 6pm
Sunday: 10am to 4pm

The Tasty Island rating:

(5) Superb. Worthy of repeat visits or purchases. (Broke Da’ Mout’!)

Related links:
Tasaka Guri Guri Shop – Yelp user reviews
Guri Guri – ‘Ono Kine Grindz
Maui: Tasaka Guri-Guri – mmm-yoso!!!

Tidbits from Maui…

Our rental car while on Maui was this gold Chevy Malibu from Budget…

Pretty tight handling and plenty of power, while good on gas. Sporty, yet luxurious leather interior as well, plus ample back seat and trunk space. Seemed just about every other tourist on Maui were driving a Malibu, as these made up a majority of the cars in the hotel parking lot and those seen driving in the area.

Next up, Tasty Crust in Wailuku town.

Here Today, Gone To Maui

Inset photos are Sam Sato’s Dry Mein (bottom left corner) and Maui Kitch’n Cook’d Potato Chips (top right corner). Contrary to that marker, we’ll be in Kihei and Wailea; not Makawao. Map image courtesy of Google.

Just a friendly note that I’ll be on vacation on Maui starting this Memorial Day weekend for the entire week, and will not be posting anything here during that time.

While there, a few places on the Valley Isle Tasty Island grindz agenda include: a wedding reception, Tasaka Guri Guri (Kahului), Tasty Crust (Wailuku), Sam Sato’s (Wailuku) Alexander’s Fish ‘n Chips (Kihei), Komoda Bakery (Makawao), Carrie and Eddie’s Hideaway (Kahului) and Nick’s Fishmarket (Wailea).

Where’s your favorite places to eat on Maui? Leave a comment and perhaps I may be able to check it out.

In the mean time, here’s some Maui grindz that’s been covered here in the past…

Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips

Wailuku Eats: Sam Sato’s

Omiyage from Maui: Butter Rolls & Manju

Maui Mom’s Specialties…

Also gotta’ check out da’ new Maui Zippy’s to see how it compares to those here on Oahu.

On a final note, catch Great Weekends with Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel, which will debut tonight, Saturday, May 23rd at 10pm E/P where she’ll be visiting the Big Island of Hawaii!…

Hilo's Atebara Potato Chips

Hot on the heels of the recent review of Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips, here we have another old school product from the Big Island of Hawaii’s Hilo town known as Atebara’s Potato Chips.

Just when you thought Maui Potato Chips Factory’s establishment in 1956 was old school, as you see by the label on Atebara’s, they go back even further to 1936.

Here’s a look at the current packaging of the one that started it all, Atebara’s Potato Chips…

As I had suggested previously with the Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips, Atebara’s has already addressed this by providing a brief history of the company, as well as information about the product itself on back…

What must be noted is that the Atebara family sold the business in 2002 to Clyde Oshiro, an accountant, and Clyde’s son-in-law, Nimr Tamimi, an engineer. With that, they expanded the product line-up and updated their marketing strategy, including the new packaging design as you see here.

What I have here are the original Atebara “Gourmet” Potato Chips and also Hawaii Island Gourmet Sweet Potato Chips by Atebara Chips. My sister just picked them up for me this past weekend while visiting the B.I. from KTA Super Store in the Kona Coast Center. They were $4.79 per bag, which is quite pricey for a 4 oz. bag of chips. As is usually the case with made in Hawaii products. What’s interesting is that she said they were located in an unusual location on it’s own rack, nowhere near the national brand of potato chips. Probably due to the price point difference.

Let’s take a look at the chips out of the bag…

Note the bullet points on the back of the package that claim:

• No cholesterol
• No trans fat
• Kettle Cooked
Oil removal spinning process

They’re certainly much less oily than the Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips. They’re also much thinner, having a similar texture and overall characteristic to Lay’s Potato Chips, albeit a bit more crunchy, which is great.

They’re also salted perfectly, with just enough to punch out the potato’s flavor, yet without having me gasp for water after just two chips.

Being that they’re quite thin like Lay’s potato chips, their kettle-cooked crispiness still allows them to fair well as dip chips, so I made a fresh batch of clam dip to enjoy them with…

I’ll get more into that clam dip later, which is indeed broke da’ mout’ winnahz!

Next up we have Atebara’s Sweet Potato Chips…

Notice the shape of the island of Hawaii (Big Island) “window” design. Pretty neat. The tapa pattern looks a bit “touristy”, but perhaps it will wear on me after a bit. I do prefer that “Hobo” font selection for the HAWAII ISLAND logo over the one they used for the Atebara Chips Potato Chips script font. Minor things, yet at least worth a grain of salt in thought.

Of course the biggest selling point they included on the label is that MADE IN HILO, HAWAII SINCE 1936.

Oh, that’s right, we were talking about these Atebara’s Gourmet Sweet Potato Chips. Here’s the back of the bag…

Here they are out of the bag…

As you might expect, I liked these even more than the potato chips. They’re a bit thicker, much more rigid, while being crunchy, yet sort of “chewy” at the same time thanks to the nature of it being a sweet potato. The sweetness is subtle, yet you know it’s there, while still tasting like potato chip in a tuberous way, if that makes any sense. Ha. Like the potato chips, they’re also salted (seasoned) perfectly.

Here at this angle you can see they’re indeed a bit thicker than the potato chips…

I really dig their deep purple coloring, with that light golden brown edge. Their improved rigidity over the regular potato chips also afford them less breakage in the package, with most chips still intact (not broken in pieces and crumbs).

That rigidity also made them bound for some clam dip…

Notice I add chopped green onion (I LOVE Negi) and fresh cracked black pepper for presentation to the dip.

The Sweet Potato Chips are good with the clam dip, but I think the regular potato chips compliment clam dip better. The Sweet Potato Chips are best enjoyed by themselves so you can savor its flavor in its unmasked, pure form.

Getting to the clam dip, this is my sister’s favorite recipe, and is a very simple-yet-effective one at that. Here’s the “ingrediments”…

To make this Clam Dip, first you let the brick of cream cheese soften to room temperature in the mixing bowl. I actually used two 8 oz. bricks of cream cheese for this batch. One thing I think is a MUST for good cream cheese-based dip, no matter what’s in it, is to use an electric cake mixer/beater…

Reason being, is that the high speed of the spinning beater paddles help to aerate the cheese, giving it a creamier texture and flavor.

As for quantites of each ingredient, per 2 bricks of cream cheese, I add approximately 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire (“what’s that here?”) sauce, 1/4 cup of the clam juice from the can of minced clams, 1/2 cup of cream (evaporated milk), 1/2 of a squeezed lemon and the entire can of drained minced clams. I really just go by taste as I add those igredients. It’s best to beat the liquids (Worcestershire sauce, clam juice, cream and lemon) thoroughly into the cream cheese before adding the clams.

After thoroughly incorporating the minced clams, put the clam dip in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let it chill and firm up.

Here it ready to serve from the mixing bowl…

Some folks add garlic or other things (like hot sauce) to their clam dip, but these are the core ingredients and I think it’s best this way by keeping it simple.

What? Atebara’s Gourmet Potato Chips and Sweet Potato Chips
Where did you buy it and how much? KTA Super Store in the Kona Coast Center, $4.79 each.
Big shaka to: Crispy and light (not greasy). Perfectly seasoned (with salt). Works as a dip chip. Sweet Potato chips taste exotic. Nice packaging design. Made in Hilo, Hawaii since 1936.
No shaka to: Relatively pricey. Not available on Oahu (that’s I’ve seen, anyway).
The Tasty Island SPAM Musubi rating: 4

Related links: – official site
Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips – The Tasty Island product review

Kitch'n Cook'd Maui Potato Chips

Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips – 4.5 oz. package, $4.50 direct from Maui Potato Chip Factory outlet.

If you’re not a Maui resident or haven’t visited the valley isle in recent time, chances are you haven’t seen these Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips for a while. Because of its current exclusivity to the Maui market, some folks may have even wondered whether this product or company that makes it still exists at all.

Well as you see by the bag presented here (mahalo to our Maui ohana for sending us a few bags!), Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips and the Maui Potato Chips Factory in Kahului who makes it are indeed still alive and well. Well, well enough to survive these tough economic times we’ve been dealing with, where local retailers and distributors around the islands have been streamlining their merchandising practices. Meeting demand has also been a challenge due to limited manufacturing capability with their current facility and manpower, and Maui Potato Chips Factory insists on maintaining quality control as their top priority.

That said, according to Mark Kobayashi, the third-generation owner and operator of the business, Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips are currently only available at select retail locations on the island of Maui or direct from their factory in Kahului.

Also, don’t go looking for fancy, say, “Maui Onion” or Lahaina Barbecue” flavors from Maui Potato Chips Factory, as they only offer one flavor, which is the good ole’ fashioned “regular” Maui Potato chips featured here.

The Kobayashi’s are actually the third owners of the business, where Mark’s grandfather Yoshio bought the business from former owner JJ Kohama, who in turn had carried on from the original founder of these Maui potato chips from pioneer Maki Nakamura.

As stated on the package, Maui Potato Chip Factory, under ownership by the Kobayashi family, began in 1956.

In case you’re wondering what the deal is with the name “Kitch’n Cook’d”, it turns out this was the trade name given by a turn-key franchise originally started by a businessman from Springfield, Ohio way back when. This franchise operation provided the potato chip manufacturing equipment, cooking process, and most importantly the “Kitch’n Cook’d” signature logo that we still see the packaging labeled with to this day.

This explains why you see the same Kitch’n Cook’d label on potato chips from a company in Kona, as well as one operating out of Virginia. These are all independent (non-related) Kitch’n Cook’d franchisees.

Speaking of logo and label, ask anyone who grew up in Hawaii within the last several decades or so, and most will be remember back to “hanabaddah dayz” the distinctive red, yellow and clear plastic bag these classic Hawaii-made chips are packaged in. The label design is pretty much how I remember it when they used to carry the product here on Oahu.

As for the “DO NOT EXPOSE TO SUNSHINE” disclaimer loudly emblazoned across the top band, according to Mark, the reasoning behind that is that the heat and UV rays will cause the chips to go soft (taste stale) due to the cottonseed oil content and lack of chemical preservatives (a good thing!).

There’s no frills on the back of the packaging, which includes no other information except a bar code…

In the future I’d like to see at least a brief company history summary printed on back.

Another thing that hasn’t changed is how relatively greasy these chips are, which you can visually see the cottonseed oil they’re fried in lightly coating the inside of the clear plastic package (click on photos above).

Let’s see how they look out of the package…

Yup, even the chips look the same. They have that same, rustic, hand-cut appearance, with each and every chip having its own unique shape. Some more brown, some less than others. Notice some of the chips still have a little skin on them, which further enhances their hand-made appeal and flavor. The potatoes they use are the Idaho variety from California, specially grown for the chip manufacturing market.

They’re also still relatively thick and very crispy like every good kettle style chip should be. Seasoning-wise, I’m happy to say they’re salted perfectly, where I’m not running for the nearest water fountain after eating just two chips. Know what I mean? Being salted at the right level and being extra crispy, these were just begging to hit some dip.

Mark mentioned these chips tastes great when dipped into French Vanilla Ice Cream, so I tried it…

Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips with French Vanilla Ice Cream “dip”

Hey, that’s pretty good! It almost makes the potato chip taste more a snack wafer, while the salt on it punches out the French Vanilla flavor quite a bit. The coolness of the ice cream also helps cancel out some of the greasiness of the chip. Even if you don’t have a Maui Potato Chip, try it with any kettle chip you’ve got. You just might like it yourself. I bet it’d taste even better dipped into some (softened) Tasaka Strawberry or Pineapple Guri Guri!

Then I tried it with some Clam Dip…

Clam Dip

Of course, guaranz crispy potato chips that are salted just right dipped in clam dip is gonna’ be a winnah, as it was here.

Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips are available in 1 oz. ($1.00 factory outlet price) and 4.5 oz. ($4.50 factory outlet price) bag sizes. A 10 oz. bag ($10) is also available by special order direct from the factory. Retail stores on Maui who currently carry it include Long’s, Star Market, Foodland, Safeway, Ah Fook’s, ABC Stores and even Tasaka Guri Guri. Retail store prices are higher. Call for more information.

What? Kitch’n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips
Who makes it? Maui Potato Chips Factory
295 Lalo place, Kahului, Maui, Hawaii 96732 Tel. 808-877-3652
Ingredients: Potatoes, cottonseed oil, salt.
Date of purchase: 5/1/09 (direct from outlet)
Big shaka to: Thick and crispy. Perfectly seasoned (wth salt). Tasty home-made flavor, including some skin on it! Rigid and seasoned just right for use as a dip chip. Nostalgic product and packaging. A made in Hawaii classic.
No shaka to: a little greasy (yet they always were that way). Only available on Maui.
The Tasty Island rating: 4 SPAM Musubi

Now to get my hands on a few flavors of Hilo’s famous Atebara’s Potato Chips!

Hong Kong Buns

Hong Kong Bun, 80 cents each

Make what you want of the name, but (no pun intended), this is in fact called a Hong Kong Bun. It’s similar in shape and size to a long john pastry, yet in flavor, it tastes more like a Filipino Pandesal. Actually, a Pandesal kicked-up several notches, as Emeril would say.

It’s glutenous and slightly chewy, on the sweet side, a little salty, and very buttery inside. Check it out…

These Hong Kong Buns have a sticky glazed sugar coating on the outside, then once you bite into it, it reveals this super-rich, almost cake frosting-like flavor on the inside, as shown. It’s altogether sweet, a little salty and very buttery, although that butteryness could just be lard or some other lipid. Not sure. Whatever is is they make this with, it’s supah’ ONO!

Here’s another look inside, this time using my camera’s flash…

Here’s how they come packed in a box…

Diner C got these for us from Chinatown (downtown Honolulu), although she can’t remember the name of the bakery, yet I know exactly where it is. It’s on King street on the makai side. Darned it, I can’t remember the name either. If you know, please tell us.

I’m thinkin’ this might work as a hot dog bun with a Sinai Kosher Polish Sausage in it, going for that savory-sweet “thang”. Oh, the possibilities!

Hong Kong Buns.