Monday, May 17, 2010

Kauai Day 1: Aloha from Kauai!

“A day without Aloha is just another mainland day.” - Buck Buchanan

Mr Self Care and I spent the entire first day of our vacation travelling.  We left home at 5am (Seattle time) and arrived our hotel in Kauai via Honolulu at 3pm (6pm Seattle time).   Needless to say, we were pretty tired, but thrilled to be here. 

We love the Koa Kea Resort!  It is a small "secret" hotel on the beach, with a fabulous staff and the best restaurant on the island, Red Salt.   We like that it is just peaceful and kid free (nothing against the kidlets-but we are romancin' here)

A few pictures of the hotel:   The pool from our room, the bed from our room, and the ocean.... from our room...

 If you know me at know that I am passionate about good food.   Last night we ate at Red Salt.   This restaurant is at our hotel and it has been touted as the best on the island.   The executive chef was trained at El Bulli in Spain (the #1 restaurant in the world.)  This was the highlight of our day yesterday.

We started dinner with some bread.  It was served with unsalted butter and famous Kauai Red Salt  (Kauai soil is red clay, the beaches are pink because of this and the salt is invariably red too).   Because there was no other salt available at the time for me to compare it with, I can only describe it as tasting a lot like salt.   I may have detected a hint of earthiness about it, but the fact of the matter is it's just prettier than table salt.

I am a very big fan of amuse bouche- this is a french invention meaning "mouth teaser"- it consists of a single beautiful morsel, often served in a spoon like this one:  crab seviche in a cherry tomato cup (this looks bigger, but it is the size of a cherry tomato)....

For an appetizer,  I selected the special scallop wrapped in duck proscuitto and served with a mango -carrot vinegarette.   Mr Self Care had the mushroom soup- in a coconut milk broth.  Yummy.

For entrees, Mr S.C. selected the vanilla seared mahi mahi, and I chose a 7-spice seared ahi

That frothy goodness is what the chef refers to as 'coconut cloud'.  It reminded Mr Self Care and I of our dining experience at the Herb Farm in Woodinville where we were presented with a very similar looking (but not nearly as pleasant) cup of sea urchin froth.  Coconut cloud is frothy coconut milk.   Much tastier.

We skipped dessert - I am sure we will have some before we leave.   As much as I am just wanting to indulge at every turn, I also feel compelled to pace myself.    

I am thinking that I might need to find myself a mu'u mu'u if tonight was any indication of how the rest of this week is going to go!


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