Sherman's Food Adventures: Giovanni's, Matsumoto and Hawaiian Island Xtreme

Giovanni's, Matsumoto and Hawaiian Island Xtreme

To some, this post represents 2 of the most overdone and over-hyped tourist food attractions on the island of Oahu.  I don't deny this and in fact, whole-heartedly agree.  Personally, I would've tried other places since I've been to both Giovanni's and Matsumoto on my last visit to Hawaii.  But with the kids around, we thought they needed to experience them as well.  So after lunch at Mike's Huli Huli Chicken, we continued driving towards the North Shore.

Our first stop was Giovanni's Shrimp Truck which was super busy.  Man, we had not visited the place since 2003 and let's just say that they have gotten even more popular.  I went for the standard Shrimp Scampi marinated in olive oil, fresh chopped garlic and lemon butter.  Okay, I'm going to say something that might offend some people, but Viv and I thought the version at Mike's Huli Huli Chicken was better.  The one at Giovanni's was a bit overdone and the caramelized garlic was sweet and aromatic, but was missing the pungency of the one at Mike's.  With that being said, it was still addictively tasty.

While at Giovanni's, we noticed Hawaiian Island Xtreme and their Ice Cold Coconut.  Although it was a hefty $6.00, we thought it was well worth the cost.  Partly because we were thirsty and mostly because the chilled drink was sweet and refreshing.  It was a bit unusually sugary and we wondered if there was anything added to it.  Whatever the case, we enjoyed it to the end partly because it was so humid and secondly we needed something refreshing to down the garlicky shrimp.

Next stop was the ever-popular Matsumoto Shave Ice out in Haleiwa, also in the pouring rain. To our surprise, they were renovating the ol' store into something more modern.  We had to head around the corner to join the long lineup.  We ended up with a small Shave Ice with raspberry, cherry and grape flavours.  With these basic fruit syrups, it was expectedly sweet and really didn't taste like the real fruit.  Furthermore, the ice itself was somewhat gritty and not as soft as we would've liked. The kiddies loved it though, so what do we know.  Other than the Dole Whip (which we didn't have when at the Dole Plantation), the shrimp and shaved ice are some of the obvious tourist destinations in Oahu (that is not located in Honolulu).  So there, we did it, now onto less touristy eats...


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