Wednesday, January 31, 2001
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Posted on: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Quick Bites

By Joan Namkoong
Advertiser Food Critic

Bigger brewpub

The Brewpub Oasis, part of the Kona Brewing Co. facility in Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island, has just expanded to provide more seating. Kona Brewing Co. hopes to play host to small concerts and private functions. For more information, call (808) 334-2739 or check

Taste of Singapore

Starting March 30 and continuing through the end of April, the Singapore Food Festival will be on in that southeast Asian country, a month-long series of events for foodies. The gastronomic extravaganza, "Feast Your Senses," will feature cooking demonstrations, dining experiences, a movie marathon, musical entertainment, guest celebrities and other activities to highlight the diverse culinary heritage of Singapore. Singapore’s annual World Gourmet Summit will run from April 22 to 27. Ten master chefs, including Hawaii’s Roy Yamaguchi, will be there. For more information:

Napa cooking

Just released from Ten Speed Press is Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani’s cookbook, "Terra: Cooking From the Heart of Napa Valley" ($40). Sone and Doumani, frequent visitors to the Islands, are the husband/wife/chef/owners of Terra restaurant, in St. Helena, Calif. Sone, a native of Japan, and Doumani, who grew up in Napa Valley (her family owned Stag’s Leap Winery), met in the kitchen of Los Angeles’ Spago, the first restaurant of legendary chef Wolfgang Puck. Doumani worked as pastry chef for Roy Yamaguchi at 385 North in Los Angeles, a predecessor to his namesake chain of Roy’s restaurants. Sone, fond of Spam musubi and saimin in the Islands, runs Terra’s kitchen, fusing southern French and northern Italian styles with a Japanese sensibility. Doumani, the talker of the couple, makes sure you feel like you’re an invited guest in the dining room.

The cookbook is a tribute to their restaurant’s food and the people behind it. A valuable part of the book is a section at the end devoted to basic techniques like preparing artichoke hearts and beets and deveining foie gras, and basic recipes like ponzu, mashed potatoes and pesto. The gem in this section is the two pages devoted to cutting terminology, with life-size color photos.

Mango a top seller

Frieda’s, a specialty produce marketer and distributor based in Los Alamitos, Calif. (they made kiwi popular), has just released its list of top-selling produce for 2000. Topping the list was mangoes, which we’re seeing a lot of these days in our markets, imported from Mexico, Central and South America. Fresh chilies, topping the list in 1999, was second last year, followed by tofu, fresh-cut herbs and donut peaches. In their list of 60 top-selling items, soy products like soy nuts, Soytaco and Soyrizo and edamame (fresh soy beans) have gained in popularity.

Diamond hunt

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the hunt is on for a 7.5-carat diamond ring valued at $125,000 hidden in a box of Godiva chocolates. Celebrating its diamond anniversary (75 years), Godiva is giving away certificates for the ring, plus 75 3-carat diamond bracelets in boxes from its "Exquisite Romance" Valentine’s Day collection. Retail prices of these boxes start at $20; they’re sold at Godiva Chocolatier stores nationwide, including three in Hawaii: Ala Moana Center, Kahala Mall and Waikiki. Godiva is also sold at Liberty House. You can participate by calling 1-800-946-3482 or visiting on the Web.

Quick Bites runs every Wednesday in The Advertiser food section. Food Editor Joan Namkoong welcomes tidbits of food news Write to her c/o The Honolulu Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802. Call: 525-8069. Fax: 525-8055. E-mail:

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