Arvo

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Unicorn latte and nutella toast

Arvo

675 Auahi St.

Honolulu, Hawaii 96825

Last year, I discovered Paiko in Honolulu; a gem of a boutique full of local flowers. In a light-filled room, gorgeous proteas and monstera leaves sat in jars, ready to be picked by those who choose to lighten up a room with flora and foliage. To my right, is that a coffee shop I see? A flower bar and coffee? Genius. What more to marry the two things that I love (flowers and coffee of course) in one beautiful space. At that time, it was Brue Bar, a coffee shop I only got to know once in my life. If you’re asking, it was that exact moment.

At that time, I was living in Ewa Beach, which is probably a mission in itself when it comes to commuting. Traffic can go for hours and being in Honolulu was seldom compared to now. Currently, I live in Honolulu and just a few minutes from Ala Moana, Waikiki Beach, and Chinatown. These days are spent trying new restaurants as well as frequently visiting establishments that I know and love. To be honest, I haven’t gone to the beach as often as I liked to because of that reason alone which is food.

I finally made my way back to Paiko and discovered that Brue Bar was gone and in it’s place is Arvo. They weren’t officially open at that time but they were able to serve us delicious coffee. I was please with what I ordered and vowed to come back as they plan on serving food (the didn’t serve food the day that I visited).

I have since then visited Paiko and Arvo many times. It’s the place to be seen if you’re in town and one of my favorite places to go to while on a “coffee date”. I have since tried their nutella toast topped with strawberries, bananas, and edible flowers. A little pricey at $6 but delicious nonetheless. If you have been following me on Instagram, you may have seen the my photo of the prettiest latte that I have ever seen: the unicorn latte. This latte is definitely dreamy and magical all at the same time. It’s sweeter than a normal latte but one of the prettiest lattes that I have ever seen.

If you’re Honolulu, find your way here for some delicious coffee and take a look around Paiko for gorgeous flowers and Instagram’s favorite leaves: monstera leaves! There is a parking garage at SALT at Our Kaka’ako. Make sure to get your ticket validated!

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Around Auckland

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Around Auckland

Auckland is one of the largest cities in New Zealand. Despite it being the most populous city in the country, it’s quite small compared to other metropolis all over the world such as Los Angeles, Tokyo, Hong Kong, or even Seattle. You can quickly walk up and down and all over and tackle most of the Central Business District (CBD) in one day if you choose to do so.

Mojo Coffee

Wander Hour - Mojo Coffee

Interior and mochaccino

Before our long, four-hour drive to Tongariro National Park, my family stopped at Mojo Coffee on Durham St. to grab a mochaccino before our drive. This is my second time at Mojo as my brother and I visited their location in the Auckland Art Gallery. I love it as much as I love Starbucks (but what does that say about me? Haha). Mojo is somewhat of a chain in New Zealand and there are various Mojos in Auckland. This particular one was right be our hotel (Barclay Suites).

Wintergarden at the Auckland Domain

Wander Hour - Auckland Domain

You might have remembered my joy and excitement when I first visited the Wintergarden back in May. That joy may have subsided on my recent visit as the garden wasn’t as “dreamy” as it was in May. Still, it was beautiful to browse through their new “collection” of flowers I suppose.

Scarecrow

Wander Hour - Scarecrow

Beautiful blooms at Scarecrow and gorgeous anemones

Although the Wintergarden was a lackluster in the winter, the flowers at Scarecrow were just as beautiful as I remembered. One of the flowers that stood out to me from the rest was the beautiful white anemones. It was dark, eerie, and screamed autumn in every possible way.

Although New Zealand is known for it’s thrill-seeking activities (Zorbing, hiking, skiing, and what not), if you’re into the city like me, I highly recommend staying in Auckland for a few nights just to get a feel of the city and try the various restaurants there (Miss Moonshine’s, Giapo, Brothers Beer, Oaken, and Ortolana to name a few). Until then, looking forward to my next trip back to this beautiful country!

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Giapo

Wander Hour - Giapo

Giapo // Yelp

279 Queen St

Auckland 1010

New Zealand

Oh my indulgent. If you love sweets, you get your money’s worth with these decadent ice creams my brother and I devoured in Auckland. Tucked in between tall buildings and on one of Auckland’s busy street, Queen Street, Giapo is an ice cream paradise for those who seek more than just the basic cone and ice cream scoop on top. These fancy ice creams will set you back about $15 (US dollars) but I wasn’t lying when I said you get your money’s worth with these sweet indulgence. I ordered the Giapo Buono with a deluxe cone: a beautiful cone dipped in white chocolate and decorated with freeze dried blueberries which were carefully placed on the cone to mimic polka dots. To be honest, I don’t quite remember what was in it but it was sweet! The next time I’m at Giapo, I’d go sans deluxe cone but maybe not for photography purposes. Isn’t it Instagram worthy? Happy Wednesday friends!

 

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Oaken

Wander Hour - Oaken

Oaken

130 Quay St

Auckland

1010

New Zealand

Oaken is another one of Britomart’s restaurants with amazing decor and aesthetically pleasing dishes. The wooden-paneled walls, wood furniture, and large windows with natural light peeking through makes this restaurant a sight to see (and one to photograph for sure). My brother and I dined here for breakfast on our last day of Auckland and a great light breakfast so we can eat more throughout the day!

Feijoia & Pear Juice

Wander Hour - Oaken

One of my friends who moved to Auckland told me to try feijoia describing it as almost like a guava but not really. I’m one to try new things (especially when it comes to fruit; minus durian though) so I decided to try this feijoa and pear juice. I loved my juice. I can’t quite explain the flavor of feijoa but it’s almost creamy and tarty in taste for me. It’s definitely delicious though!

63.5 Degree Eggs, Bacon, Rock Melon Water, Mustard Oil, and Nasturtium

Wander Hour - OakenMy brother ordered this dish. I overhead the waiter explain the diners next to us that the 63.5 eggs is cooked less than poached eggs and therefore softer. My brother enjoyed his dish but again, the portion was too small just like Ortolana. The bacon was really yummy (but when is it not?).

Coddled Egg, Wagyu Bresaola, Celery, Parsley Stalk, and Chives

Wander Hour - OakenThis is the dish that I ordered. Although the coddled egg was something I wasn’t expecting I enjoyed the wagyu bresaola so much. My brother and I both agreed that it tasted like cheese but in a good way! Just like Ortolana, the egg yolk was deep orange color.

I would definitely take Charles here when we’re both in Auckland. The service was great and the prices were fairly reasonable. I might want to try a dinner menu the next time around! Happy Monday friends!

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Maguro Brothers Hawaii

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Maguro Brothers Hawaii // Yelp

Kekaulike Market Place

1039 Kekaulike St., Ste 113

Honolulu, HI 96817

 

Poke has been trending lately in the Mainland but has been a staple on the island of Hawaii for years. Being surrounded by ocean has its benefits; the abundance of fresh fish available on a daily basis. That said, poke here is like no other. Fresh tuna, the key ingredient in poke, makes or breaks it for me. I always, ALWAYS pick fresh (some places serve previously frozen tuna). I had previously written a post on poke (5 Place for Poke on Oahu) but I may have found a place that surpasses those five in terms of flavor and freshness: Maguro Brothers Hawaii.

While out in Chinatown with Charles and my brother, we were in search of a place to eat but most of the restaurants that we frequent in Chinatown were closed on Sundays. Charles found Maguro Brothers Hawaii on Yelp and we went to go search for it. Located inside one of the market places in Chinatown, it is a small, SMALL stall amongst the fresh seafood and produce that is being sold in the market place. I went up to look at the poke available since they’re usually displayed. I should note that there are different types of poke but I prefer spicy ahi poke (spicy mayo, tuna, green onions, etc.). Didn’t see anything. I assumed that they may have sold out so I asked the woman taking the orders if they had poke. She tells me yes and I proceeded to tell her that I wanted spicy ahi. The next thing that happened was the moment I knew I was going to love this place. They started making the poke right then and there! Not only is the fish fresh but they make the spicy ahi poke to order. I was too excited when I received our order and you can immediately tell how fresh it was. Definitely looking forward to writing a better post with better photos the next time around. Keep your eye out for it!

 

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