Must-Try Restaurants While Visiting Hawaii


Are you going on vacation this summer? If you haven’t yet picked your destination spot, the Hawaiian islands are always a favorite hot spot, and for good reason! Gorgeous beaches, hiking near waterfalls, perfectly warm tropical weather year round and, of course, tasty Hawaiian food!

For all you foodies out there that are visiting these beautiful islands, we’ve researched and collected a list of a few popular restaurants for that authentic island taste that is sure to satisfy, no matter which island you decide to visit. E ‘ai kakou! (Let’s eat!)



Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, North Shore, O’ahu


Courtesy of Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck on Facebook.

This is my personal favorite and is an absolute must every time I go to O’ahu. It’s not exactly a restaurant, but it should be! Once you find Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, be prepared for a wait. But I promise you, if you love cajun-style seafood, it’s well worth it! They have a “No Refunds” Hot and Spicy flavor and a simpler Lemon Butter option, but trust me when I say the Shrimp Scampi is the way to go. Large shrimps on a bed of rice and covered in a flavorful, garlic lemon butter sauce and, wait, even more garlic!



Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts, Honolulu, O’ahu


Guava Mochi Ice Cream, Courtesy of

Unique, homemade ice cream flavors are one thing, but Bubblies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts are on a whole new level. It offers an array of mochi ice cream flavors you never knew existed, ice cream cakes with bizarre names (how about a slice of Hard Headed Woman or The Pretender?) and sundaes that aren’t your typical banana splits. Take a break from those surf lessons and cool down with these sweet treats!



Da Kitchen, Kahului, Maui

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Who doesn’t love spam? Sure, it isn’t the healthiest choice, but you can’t deny that it’s perfect for any time of the day. Da Kitchen’s fried spam musubi, along with the loco moco, is just some of the many favorites at this restaurant. Come hungry or be prepared to share because patrons say these portions are huge!



Koloa Fish Market, Koloa, Kauai


Courtesy of Koloa Fish Market on Yelp.


Courtesy of Koloa Fish Market on Yelp.

What’s a trip to Hawaii without having some fresh Hawaiian poke? Here, you may find several different flavors that aren’t available in the homeland. For instance, patrons rave about the Wasabi Poke and Korean Style Poke. If you still aren’t a fan of raw fish, they have grilled fish options as well!



Mark’s Place, Lihue, Kauai


Courtesy of Mark’s Place on Facebook.


Courtesy of Mark’s Place on Facebook.

If you’ve tried Rainbow Drive-In in O’ahu, locals claim this is Kawaii’s equivalent! With weekly and daily specials on plates and salads, you will never get bored with their menu. They are also known for a dessert called the butter mochi! So if you want to grab a quick and delicious plate of Hawaiian food before burning it off during your next outdoor adventure, this is the place to go.



There are so many more great Hawaiian restaurants around the islands! Which ones have we missed and are your favorites?


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Hong Kong Foodie Tours


Hong Kong bursts at the seams with global fabulousness, but it’s easy to argue that you’ve not experienced its soul unless you’ve stepped into some of the tiny, no-frills establishments focusing on just one or two particular delicacies. Though finding the most ultra local places to make those “ah-ha” food discoveries can be daunting, Hong Kong Foodie Tours ensures those hidden treasures are more accessible than ever.

To get to the start point of their Sham Shui Po Food Tour in the heart of Kowloon, I take the Tsuen Wan line of Hong Kong’s efficient subway to Sham Shui Po Station. My guide, Fiona, waits in front of a tidy French-style bakery kiosk and advises me and other tour participants that what waits outside is authentic Kowloon to the core. We emerge from the sleek, mall-like station into an aromatic patchwork of small restaurants, shops, stalls, produce stands and local businesses. In contrast to the polished shelves and cases protecting sandwiches, cakes and various fancy bites in trendy gourmet fast-casual restaurants and markets near the Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong Central, humble dim sum, pastries, meats and vegetables are out in the open and within easy reach. Lines perpetually form behind steaming kettles and tureens of cooking soups and noodles.


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With Fiona taking the lead, we zigzag through the commercial streets of Kowloon. The tour’s four hours fly by, thanks to her detailed but breezy discourse. The tour is a revelation, as it doesn’t just deliver on the promise of superb examples of milk tea, pineapple buns, braised goose, tofu desserts, almond cookies and ju cheung fun (rice rolls). There’s also a generous helping of the area’s history, foodstuffs and cooking supply shops, as well as observations of the day-to-day customs specific to Kowloon.

“All our Foodie guides are Hong Kong locals who are passionate about food and Hong Kong, whether they are lifelong residents or expats who have taken the initiative to learn about Hong Kong’s unique food culture from top to bottom,” founder Cecilia Leung explains. “While the focus is on food, the tours are not just about going to restaurant after restaurant, but knowing the stories and context behind what’s served.”


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Leung enjoyed a successful corporate career that had her living and working in the U.S., Japan and Singapore, and traveling to 34 countries. “When I visited a new city or town, I always went to different neighborhoods to explore where locals eat,” she says. “I truly believe that you are what you eat, and by learning about local cuisine, I also believe one can learn a lot about a city’s culture and its people.”

She soon recognized the business opportunity in her own hometown of Hong Kong. “There’s no question that Hong Kong is a foodie haven, and I firmly believe that by sharing our local cuisine, we can help visitors better understand Hong Kong. As there were no other walking food tours in Hong Kong, we took the plunge.” Partnering up with sister Silvana, Leung applied her extensive experience in everything from marketing to e-commerce to launch the company in 2011.

The only licensed food tour operator in town, Hong Kong Foodie Tours does not publish the names of featured restaurants. According to Leung, this ensures the pocket-sized eateries will not be overwhelmed by crowds and can maintain their authenticity and integrity. The sisters’ business savvy and knowledge of Hong Kong and Kowloon, meanwhile, have ensured that the best form of advertising remains word-of- mouth among locals and travelers who rely on social media to suss out the best food and travel experiences.

So what’s next for Foodie Tours? “We are going to be launching a new tour in 2015,” says Leung, “but you’ll have to stay tuned and go online to find out!”

For more information, visit


This story was originally published in our Spring 2015 issue. Get your copy here

[Video] 100 Years of Filipina Beauty In Under Two Minutes


Beauty standards have and will forever change and evolve. Every edge of the world holds different ideals of beauty, whether it be beautiful sun-kissed skin, milky complexions, or defined cheekbones. No matter what you’re accustomed to, you can bet that it may all change within the next decade and the video below certainly proves that.

You probably remember YouTube channel Cut because of their video 100 Years of Beauty: Korea. Well, they’re back to deliver another collection to their 100 Years of Beauty web series with their exploration of Filipino beauty in the past century.

This evolution video begins in 1910 when the Philippines was in the midst of the Philippine American War. During this time, the Filipino idea of beauty was either heavily influenced by the Spanish (due to the long history of Spanish colonization) or untapped by Western and European influences, like the tribes of the Cordillera mountains as seen in the video. The Cordillera women were decorated in traditional spiritual tattoos and fashioned headdresses made from from the natural resources of their environment.

Once the US came into the picture, women’s beauty standards shifted greatly into Eurocentric standards brought in by the Western forces. Even after the US departed once recognizing Philippines’ independence, there was residual influence. Just look at Imelda Marcos who copied Jackie Kennedy’s beehive, the popular 90’s zig zag part and most noticeable of all, the lightening of skin tones.

The video concludes with the modern day beauty ideal with the woman rocking full and volumized, wavy hair and a more natural makeup look that embraces a sun-kissed complexion.



Harry Shum Jr. Joins ABC’s ‘Shadowhunters’



Harry Shum Jr. has danced his way into many of our hearts ever since he entered show business– from his part as the funky footed Elliot Hoo in The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers to his memorable role as Mike Chang in Glee. Since concluding his run with Glee, we wondered what’s next for the mega-talent? Well, you can expect to see Shum on the big screen this summer, because Shum has been working on his role as Tiefang in the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel — Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend — which is expected to be released August 30th!

But even bigger things are in store for Shum! It looks like he’s swapping his dancing shoes for some glittered eyeliner as he joins the cast of Shadowhunters as the high and mighty warlock, Magnus Bane.



ABC’s Shadowhunters TV series is based off the novel series The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. The story follows the heroic journey of a group of Shadowhunters who fight off demons called Downworlders. Along the way they are aided by the High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus Bane. Even though the TV adaptation won’t feature the original cast from movie adaptation The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and as much as we looooveee Godfrey Gao, we’re excited to see what Shum has to offer.

Shadowhunters will start filming for the series on May 25th in Toronto.


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Meet the World’s Biggest ‘FRIENDS’ Fan


While many of us can claim to be huge fan of the popular NBC television series Friends, it takes something special to be called the world’s biggest Friends fan. This is where Gunther from Beijing, China takes the cake.

“For me, Friends is my life.” says Gunther, who is actually named Du Xin. True to his word, Gunther seems to have dedicated much of his life towards the award-winning show from his apartment to his job.

Gunther was recently featured on Obsession where he explains how it all began with a heartbreak. His first love had just left him so one of his mates insisted that he watch Friends. Thankfully, this seemed to do the trick and Gunther believes the show is what helped him through rough times.

“It changed my life,” Gunther admits. “And I will try my best to persuade more people to watch Friends just like persuading a lot of people to believe in some kind of religion.”

Sounds extreme? Well that’s nothing compared to how he shows his love for the series. For starters, his apartment is an impressive replica of Joey and Chandler’s apartment. Showing great attention to detail, the apartment has everything from the lazyboys, the foosball table and even the drawing pad that hangs on the doorway.

Although his wife, Rachel, calls him a geek, she doesn’t seem to mind his obsession too much. After all, their son’s English name is Joey and he’s already nailed Joey’s catchphrase, “How you doin’?”

But it seems coming home to Friends simply wasn’t enough. After quitting a job he was unsatisfied with, Gunther went on to build his very own Central Perk coffee shop in Beijing, China. Gunther once again shows incredible attention to detail from the furniture to the decor. In fact, the shop is even home to Smelly Cat.

For Gunther, falling in love with the show and the characters just made sense. “These six people spent ten years to teach you how to love.” he remarks. It’s no surprise that Gunther is completely happy living in his very own version of Friends.




Wet Origami: Artist Turns Damp Paper Into Incredible Works of Art

Origami, the art of paper folding, has been practiced in Japan since the Edo period (1603–1867). Needless to say, its popularity has flourished into a worldwide phenomenon. But while everyone seems to know a thing or two about origami, much less are familiar with the origami technique called wet-folding.

The wet-folding technique was pioneered by Akira Yoshizawa, who is known as the grandmaster of origami. Although Yoshizawa has made a number of contributions to the art of origami, wet-folding is certainly one of the biggest.

As you probably guessed, this technique involves slightly wetting thick paper before folding it. The damp paper is not only easier to manipulate, it can also create a round, sculpted look.

Although Yoshizawa is no longer with us, his technique lives on. Most recently, 27-year-old origami artist Hoang Tien Quyet has been creating quite the buzz for his work which utilizes Yoshizawa’s wet-folding technique.

“I have been folding paper since I was a small kid,” Hoang Tien Quyet writes. “At the time I was amazed at how a flat sheet of paper could transform into beautiful 3D animals and objects, and it was also a joy of a kid who could make his own toys.”

“I like working with new and fresh ideas, and always try to breathe life and my personality into my models,” he continues. “I hope people can also feel that from my work.”

I don’t know about you, but I can certainly feel personality from his work. Check it out for yourself below.


Michelle Waterson Officially Signed to UFC


When you first encounter Michelle Waterson, you’d probably never guess that her profession is to kick butt in cage matches. Her bubbly personality, sprinkled with giggles in between her sentences, and that infectiously sweet smile would lead you to believe otherwise. In fact, I bet you would have never guessed that she’s an Invicta FC Atomweight Champion. Yeah, stay on her good side.

But even bigger things are happening for the Thai American fighter, as it was announced that she was signed to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). When she came into Invicta FC (the official organization for women’s MMA) weighing in at 105 pounds, she was placed into the Atomweight division and gained herself a pounding 12-4 record. Included in that record is her astonishing win against Jessica Penne, who stood above Waterson in the Strawweight division. It was a battle where the odds stacked against Waterson, but she fought hard for that win. Now, she’s moving up a weight division and into the Strawweight division (at 115 lbs.), which is the lightest division recognized by UFC.


Waterson had an early start with mixed martial arts when she was enrolled into Karate classes, which eventually lead to her popular nickname “Karate Hottie.” The year before fully transitioning over to MMA, Waterson moved to Thailand where she trained at a Muay Thai camp. On top of being well-versed in martial arts, she’s also a mother to her 3-year-old daughter and is excited to show her daughter that women can conquer at whatever they do.

You can see Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson in action during her first official UFC fight against Angela Magana set for July 12.

[Video] Korean Woman’s Before and After Makeup Looks Go Viral


We’ve all seen the power of makeup before and how it can drastically transform someone’s face. But, one simple video of a South Korean woman removing half of her makeup has attracted more than two million views on YouTube since it was uploaded on May 2, according to Rocket News 24.

The video begins with the woman wearing full makeup and shaking a bottle of makeup remover. As a cheerful song plays in the background, she wipes the right side of her face with a cotton pad, revealing her bare (and perfectly normal) face.



While this kind of before-and-after image is nothing new, many commenters from around the world expressed their amazement over the woman’s transformation, particularly how her right eye suddenly shrank in size. Some viewers wrote that the woman used circle lenses to make her eyes bigger, while others claimed that she used double eyelid glue. Several commenters also noted that the woman was beautiful both with and without makeup.


Personally, this writer is more interested in the brand of makeup remover the young woman used. She used one cotton pad! Now, that is makeup magic.

This story was originally published on 



The Filharmonic and Anna Kendrick Riff-Off on ‘The Late Late Show’


Calling all Filharmaniacs! Are you excited to see your favorite a cappella sextet on the big screen? So are we! If you haven’t heard already, these six Filipino American gentlemen are in Pitch Perfect 2 as a team representing the Philippines singing against Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hana Mae Lee, and some new additions to The Bellas.

The movie hit theaters on May 15th, so we expect plenty of Pitch Perfect 2 promotions within the coming weeks. And that means we’ll see even more of The Filharmonic!

The boys’ latest promotion was on The Late Late Show with James Corden as the boys took the stage to accompany Anna Kendrick and James Corden in a good old fashion Riff-Off. Watch the a cappella battle below:


And in case you missed it, The Filharmonic was one of our runway performers at this year’s Audrey Fashion Show 2015! They energized our runway with their smooth out vocals and slick dance moves. Check out their performance highlights.


Featured image courtesy of

Attention Tea Lovers: Sencha May Be The Next Hot Green Tea

Avid tea drinkers, if you’re anything like me, ordering a tea from Starbucks or buying a box from Trader Joe’s just doesn’t do it anymore. After years and years of drinking various types of tea (I drink it as much as water), I’ve gotten so used to strong flavors that a lightly flavored green tea is just not enough. If this also sounds like you, then sencha green tea is a must-try.

While we all love matcha-flavored desserts and drinks, true brewed matcha tea that hasn’t been sweetened is actually quite bitter. This is why I found the flavor of sencha tea so similar and I love it! Although they may be similar in taste and both originate from Japan, they are very different. For starters, while matcha is a powder tea that can be mixed into hot water, sencha is a loose leaf tea that has to be steeped.

We tasted three different sencha teas and Steve Schwartz from The Art of Tea told us all we need to know about each one!



1. Eisai’s Choice Sencha

Eisa's Choice

Eisai’s Choice Sencha is traditionally used in Zen monasteries to aid in meditation by helping bring clarity and focus to the drinker. It is known for its dark leaves, grassy and crips flavor and just the right amount of caffeine to get you through the day.



2. Gyokuro Sencha


Gyokuro is grown and cultivated using traditional Japanese methods. They are shade grown for two weeks, harvested and promptly deep steamed while maintaining high levels of chlorophyll.



3. Fukamushi Sencha


This became Schwartz’s favorite find and my favorite as well! This sencha is grown on the foothills of an active volcano in Kirishima, Kgoshima and in a region known for its thick fog. Its leaves are enhanced through a deep steam process and brews to a cloudy, green turbidity. The aftertaste is aromatic and, for me, it was slightly sweet.

This particular sencha tea is also believed to allow more Catechins, Theanines and caffeine in the cup. This promotes mental stimulation, clarity and helps remove free radicals and fat elimination.



For easier consumption, we used The Art of Tea’s biodegradable tea bags.  For every cup, we used about one one tablespoon of tea leaves. Unless you want an overly bitter tea, try not to steep your tea for longer than three minutes! Check out how we brewed our perfect cup below:

Filter bags JianneStep 1 Step 2 Step 3 Cup


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