Sherman's Food Adventures: The Alley

The Alley

As I’ve lamented time and time again, Guy Fieri sometimes gets it right despite all the misses. Now, we can’t blame him for most of the crap featured on Triple-D’s because it is not completely up to him where the show takes him. If you watch the show enough, you can certainly tell when he actually likes a dish and when he is merely indifferent. One of those “money” dishes you can completely believe his enthusiasm is the Oxtail Soup found at The Alley Restaurant on Oahu.

We stopped by the place in hopes of playing a few games of bowling prior to eating another filling meal. Well, the lanes were full and so was the restaurant. We resorted to waiting for a table for our next feed. For the kids, we decided to get them the Saimin with the usual Spam, cha sui, fish cake and veggies. This was actually quite good with an aromatic broth that featured sesame oil. The noodles were texturally on point with an appealing chewiness. The only weakness was the lack of ingredients as there was only a few slivers of Spam, 2 slices of cha sui and 3 rice cakes.

For myself, I did another Mixed Plate with Tasty Chicken and Garlic Shrimp accompanied by 2 scoops of brown rice and of course mac salad. Aptly named, the tasty chicken was exactly that with moist and juicy meat coated with a crispy batter. It was tossed in a sweet chili type sauce that had just the right amount of sweetness to compliment the salt and spice. Meaty and large, the garlic shrimp were indeed garlicky, which went well with the rice. Similar to Rainbow Drive-In, the mac salad was too soft, but the creamy mayo dressing did taste really good with a bit of pepper.

Okay, for the moment of truth, Viv’s order of Oxtail Soup did live up to the hype and then some. The broth was super aromatic with a light licorice finish from the star anise while there were hints of booze from the JD. However, the most dominant flavors were from the meaty oxtail and shiitake mushrooms. As much as oxtail is sometimes referred as a “can’t screw up” cut of meat, this one was prepared masterfully being tender and nicely glutinous from the tendon and fatty portions. And yes it pains me to agree with Guy again, but the dipping sauce was the cherry on top as it added a sweet spicy ginger hit. This dish hit all the flavours including salty, sweet, spicy, tart, bitter and the umami from the mushrooms.

We finished off the meal with the Chocolate Insanity Cake which was addictively good. We weren’t sure why it wasn’t featured on Triple D’s because it really did take the cake. It was served warm and super moist with thin layers of icing. The cake was purposefully sweet with a tonne of dark chocolate. Better than the motherlode cake at Claim Jumper in our opinion.  So there you have it, our last meal in Hawaii before returning on an evening flight back to YVR.  It was one of the better ones and it didn't disappoint despite the hype.

The Good:
- That oxtail soup...
- That chocolate cake...
- Just plain good

The Bad:
- Not cheap
- Super busy, including the parking lot


Jade said...

That's the thing about Hawaii ... even though there's tons of beautiful fruits and vegetables available on the island they don't really seem to find their way into many of the mainstay meals. We are lucky to have access to some wonderful markets and thus prepare most of our meals at our home when we are in Kauai. For some reason much of the food is fried and very meat/starch driven.

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