There has been some sort food movement happening here in Honolulu recently. Chefs from celebrated local restaurants have been branching out and experimenting on their own by creating these pop-up restaurants for a brief period of time while gracing us civilians with their culinary talents. The Pig & The Lady is the second pop-up restaurant I have been to. They are a family cooking team operating out of Hank’s Haute Dogs in Kaka’ako. They also have a stand at the Blaisdell Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays.
I was really excited to see their menu and told Andre about it immediately. We were looking forward to the dinner with Helen and her husband, who we went to Plancha with last time. Unfortunately, Andre could not make our much anticipated dinner due to an eye infection, so I asked my friend Anna, who I knew would enjoy and appreciate the menu offerings.
Dinner was served promptly at 7:30PM and started with a bowl of shrimp chips and a bowl of pickled radish and carrots that is normally found in banh mi. It was very good. The shrimp chips were not the wimpy kind. They were large and fresh and perfectly crispy.
The first dish was a carrot soup, which was served first in a bowl with only the ingredients and then our server came around and poured the soup into our bowls. It was delicious and the curried rice puffs provided a nice texture. The soup was creamy and you can taste the curry from the rice puffs, which was like an accent flavor.
The next dish was the octopus. I expected to see chunks of tentacles, but they actually made it in a style similar to head cheese. The octopus was served in a thin slice as you can see from the picture above and it was brilliant. It was the perfect texture, not too rubbery and not too thick.
Then there was the gnocchi. This was quite a surprise because gnocchi is a type of potato pasta and is normally found in Italian restaurants served with a cream sauce. This gnocchi was served with kimchi, bacon, sesame leaves, and lets not forget about the crispy pig ears! Wow. There was an explosion of flavor and texture. I really enjoyed this dish. I saved the pig ears for last and they were delicious, almost like chicharon.
The most anticipated dish was the pho. The weather was perfect for it since it has been getting cooler here at night. We actually opted to sit outside at a picnic table for four. It reminded me of a sidewalk cafe, which is desperately missing in Honolulu. The pho was served with a chili pepper dipping sauce and a lime wedge. Nothing else was needed. The broth was warming and tasted homemade. The noodles were excellent and I actually wouldn’t have minded if it was just a bowl of pho noodles and broth.
Dinner ended with a jasmine tea which had a small mint leaf. It was refreshing and a nice way to end our meal, but of course that was not the end.
Last but not least was the Hawflake dessert! Oh my. When I saw hawflake on the menu, I was intrigued because I grew up eating hawflakes as a snack. I absolutely love the hawflake flavor. The dessert was very interesting and the homemade hawflake was actually the topper for the dessert. The guava sorbet was refreshing and palate cleansing. The olive oil cake was light and soaked up the sorbet nicely. The kaya was the most decadent part of the dessert. The kaya spread is made with eggs, coconut milk, sugar, butter, and pandan leaves so it is a bit on the richer side, and a tiny dab is all you need. I put some kaya on the olive oil cake and it was very good. I actually bought four jars of the stuff! I can’t wait to dig into it! I left the hawflake for last and savored every bite of it.
Unfortunately for Andre, he missed a wonderful dinner, but I am sure The Pig & The Lady will continue to share their culinary adventures with the public in this forum, so there will be other opportunities to try their amazing experiments.
You can check out their blog at: thepigandthelady.com to keep yourself informed on future dates. Definitely not one to miss!
Hank’s Haute Dogs
324 Coral Street
Honolulu, HI 96813