During the long day in Oahu Golden Princess was tied up at Pier 10 with downtown Honolulu steps away. We weren’t sailing until 11 at night and it was Patti’s birthday. Needless to say, we had plans.
We made a midmorning exit and strolled into Chinatown in search of Char Sung Hut and a sack of the pork-filled rice buns Hawaiians call manapua (known as bao elsewhere). Char Sung Hut is a hole in the wall famous for its inexpensive manapua , but when we got there it was closed, as it is every Tuesday. But the rice buns are ubiquitous in Chinatown, so we enjoyed our sack lunch onboard anyway.
Plans called for a late-afternoon martini at nearby Restaurant Row in the same outdoor bar where we had planted ourselves last May just as news broke that Osama bin Laden had been killed. But we were running late and I wanted to treat the birthday girl to happy hour at Hiroshi at dozen steps away, so we went straight to the restaurant.
A favorite of locals, Hiroshi is one of the best restaurants in Honolulu, and our old pal Chuck runs the wine and spirits program there and at all the other DK restaurants in Hawaii—Vino, Sansei and more. But Chuck isn’t only the best wine guy around, he’s also the busiest. Although DK’s offices are right there, I never expected him to be at his desk. But he was and he came out to talk story with us while we ate happy hour’s half price “Eurasian tapas”. That’s Chuck in the picture.
After plenty of laughs, the discussion turned serious—in other words, to martinis. We talked gin aromatics and botanicals. I said I loved Bombay Sapphire for just that reason. He said his favorite was Plymouth. So naturally I had to react politely and try a martini made with it. That’s it there on the bar top. I have to admit, pretty swell. Mahalo, Chuck.