Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lucky Belly

Asked the lunch partner where she wanted to go for lunch; food is always a pleasant distraction from work. She mentioned NonStop Honolulu's column on Lucky Belly, and that she wanted to go back. Okay, but I figured it will probably crowded if we go during her regular time...

She checked. We left early. By the time we got there around 11:45, it was already filling up. But we got seated right away, as we accepted counter seats. Good thing we both like counter seats.

For those that don't know, Lucky Belly occupies the space where Mini-Garden used to be, on the corner of Hotel and Smith Sts. Door is on the Smith St side.

Took a look around. Remembering what the old Mini-Garden was like, they definitely changed the place. Remember the back wall? Gone; more seating back there.

The artwork was...interesting. Girls with phones was the motif, I guess.

The menu. Lunch menu was rather sparse; assuming it was built for speed of delivery. The blog post said the portions were large, so we decided to share. Picked the Duck Lumpia from the appetizer menu.

Geez, I need to learn how to take better pictures of menus...

  From the Plate menu, I/we picked the Ku Chu Jung Braised Brisket Tartine. Mostly because I didn't feel like chicken or shrimp. Next time, whenever that is, looking at the Karaage Chicken Sandwich. And maybe the Shrimp Kim Chee Bowl. The Tempura Shrimp Tacos looked good, too.

By the way, the bowls they use for the Ramen are HUGE! Like, stick your head in it and feel like Alice Down the Rabbit Hole huge. The portion is somewhere at the bottom; it was kind of amusing watching the lady next to me on the counter having to wave her elbow in the air to get down into the bowl. Almost chin-high...

Since we were sharing, they gave us plates. Square plates. I guess they have a problem with dishes rolling away on them...

Duck Lumpia. With Orange Sesame sauce. Menu said Bing Cherry. She forgot to tell us they were out. Pity; I think the cherry sauce would have made a difference. The lumpia was hefty, the duck was very nice. Good crunch. The orange sauce was... okay. Almost forgot to take a picture; her hand was almost in the frame, haha.

The Tartine came out in a very large serving bowl. Couldn't turn it on the counter, so I had to maneuver around to find something. This was the best I could get before getting slapped for being too slow. I kid; she's a sweetie.

It is a sandwich; there is another piece of toast underneath. Don't try to eat it like a sandwich, though. Too large, too messy. I tore it apart, and we made it a knife and fork lunch. Well, I used that to get it to the plate, then switched to chopsticks. The hands were getting quite confused, uncoordinated person that I am.

Flavor. It was there. Just not enough of it. Needed a boost. Salt would do it, but then, it is salt. I don't know. And then, there was the lack of zing; with Ku Chu Jun in the name, you have expectations. We found it as the bottom of the bowl, at the very end, still a little weak. And then there was the serving temperature. It was not hot. Rather disappointed, could have made a big difference in the reception. But the portion is very large, the meat was tender, and maybe we need to go in forearmed with some knowledge on how to attack this beforehand to help the experience along.

We talked about the meal as we returned to work. Agreed that the temperature needed a bump. The Tartine needed work, as mentioned. But we also agreed that there is promise, and would like to go back in a few months. And then we got distracted by a certain t-shirt shop...

All photos taken with an Apple iPhone 4s. Noise Reduction with the Noise Master app, processed with the Nik Snapseed app.


  1. I can't wait to try this place. :D and that t-shirt place... i loves it. :) Great post, you need to do more of these... since you eat at all the awesome places... all the time!

    1. hey, you can post! yay!

      thank you! i do think it merits a return trip, maybe with no expectations this time. open mind.

      and yes, isn't that a great shop? dragged the lunch partner in; she bought stuff. i'm dangerous to be around...

      you need to post your food adventures, too; much more interesting than mine. do it!