Jun 8, 2011

A Note Card from Hawaii. PF Chang's China Bistro, Honolulu.

Well, the last 32 hours of work haven't been much to write home about.  No, I tell a lie, there was 5 hours of sleep in there somewhere and I got to watch 40 minutes of Downton Abbey but it was still tense and draining.  I'm in even more need of the coming long weekend than I was this time last week.

Having a sound understanding of who I am and what I need, I've got a bottle of something French in the fridge already.  Not that anything really needs formal refrigeration with this weather.  Then I worked on my psyche and internal energy.  I did some cycles of deep breathing cycles and visualized all the amazing shopping that has come my way in recent weeks.

Note card of the day meet necklace of the day - Faux Fuchsia Orange by the Red Phoenix Emporium.

I even got this thank you card from the sales assistant in Hawaii in the post today.  Does this count as an actualization of my positive thinking?

As I mentioned in the Hawaii Shop Girl (that's me but in a different city) post, I shopped for the nation.  My choice of scarf colours however paid homage to our blog friends and icons in Brisbane, Faux Fuchsia, Willow and Lotus.  The love of  pink, fuschia and orange crosses state boundaries more harmoniously and with more taste than State of Origin.

A minor deviation from the pink and orange colour themse.

On to matters of a more serious nature.

Image from The Straits Times online

More life affirming than a note card from Hermes Hawaii (as many things are) is the news about a suspension of all Australian live cattle exports to Indonesia.  The people of Australia have well and truly spoken and they been heard.  There are two sides to this and I sympathize with both.  I hope that this action will initiate better control of the way livestock are treated in foreign countries but I also feel deeply for the farmers in Australia whose businesses are now even more vulnerable.

The longer the ban lasts, the easier it will be for foreign markets to find alternate sources of livestock.  The longer the ban lasts, the harder it will be for fellow Australians.  What is more important?  I don't have an answer.  There is also the immediate concern of what happens to the 2000 heads of cattle who were meant to board a ship from Western Australia.  Transferring these livestock in a humane and timely manner is not without considerable cost to their owners.

Perhaps with this issue at least partially resolved, we can shift our energy to our role in Afghanistan and also our responsibility to refugees.  So many hard decisions where what is 'right' depends on who's talking the loudest and the longest. 

I don't have any answers but I do have more Hawaii photos.  How's that for a change of pace and mood?  It's the sleep deprivation, it has paradoxically made me a little jumpy with my train of thought.  Or perhaps it's that large skinny cap from this morning and the 5 cups of tea that followed and are still following.

The sun was setting on yet another perfect day in Honolulu.

As the sun went down, the flame torches got lit.

I thought that the flames went on automatically.  But there's actually a person whose job it is to flit between torches to light them by hand.

Mr SSG and I decided a fix of Chinese was in order.  So we went to PF Chang's.

Condiments are key at PF Chang's.  Here is their trio of chilli, garlic and spicy sauces that go with everything.
Originating in Arizona, the bistros are a funky mix of entombed warrior replicas, warm toned lamps and sleek laquered furniture in black and deep reds.

Note the replica dessert tray in the middle of the photo.  More later.
We started with cocktails.

Our entree was the Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps which are the chain's most famous dish.

The lived up to they hype with just the right amount of spice.  The trio of dipping sauces I was talking about earlier went perfectly with these wraps.

The view across the street.  Note an outlet of the ubiquitous ABC Stores.  Up above is Cheeseburger Beachwalk where we went for breakfast and a Bloody Mary one morning.

Our mains arrived pretty quickly after we'd practically licked the plates we were eating the wraps from.  Too much information.

The spinach and garlic was cooked with a light hand and wasn't soggy.

The combination lo mein was fresh with a bit of spice.

My favourite though was the kung pao chicken.  I've always been curious about kung pao chicken.  It seems to be one of those uniquely American Chinese dishes.  I've not seen it much in Australia.

I really got to love brown rice whilst in Hawaii.  Must use it more when cooking at home.  It actually goes well with Chinese dishes.  I never would have thought!

Remember the replica dessert tray in an earlier photo?  Wondering why we were relatively restrained with our meal order?

Here we have Mr SSG's left hand as a size reference for a slice of the Great Wall of Chocolate cake.

The actual serve of cake was possibly taller than the replica.

I was up for a challenge.  Mr SSG and I shared a slice of this cake, with ice cream.  It was very moreish because the cake itself was rather light and not too sweet.  The frosting wasn't spread too thickly either.

And with those chocolate frosted memories on my mind, I'm going to hit the couch and have a bit of a pre sleep nap.

Take care and stay warm!

P.F. Chang's China Bistro on Urbanspoon


  1. Thank you for your balanced view of the live cattle trade to Indonesia.

    It is obviously huge news in rural WA. Such a complex issue. And one in which I obviously have a great interest.

    Tonight I am glad no more Australian cattle will suffer such cruelty but at the same time am very aware that some cattle farmers will go under after a 6 month ban. I was listening to a woman who is married to a station owner on the ABC radio today (I have met her and she is well educated) and she said they won't last 6 months without that market. She wondered how many city people would forgo their entire years income for this cause. It's a good question. These station owners had no idea of this cruelty until just over a week ago and had been paying the MLA to prevent it in good faith. She also said that station owners in WA had been receiving death threats.

    The current position of the Cattle Council (which is the industry governing body) was to restrict the trade by 60% and only ship to abattoirs that meet Class A standards (the WHO accepts class A and class B abattoirs - the cattle council only wants class A to pass)

    Overall I think the writing is on the wall for live export - I would like to have seen the industry given more warning than 10 days though.

    I am also concerned as to where Indonesia will now get cattle from. I would hate for the Australian industry to suffer when that abominable cruelty is still occurring to cattle from other countries.

    Anyway - just my opinion (which you are welcome not to publish!!!)

    Take care my lovely bloggy friend.


  2. AFW

    Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective on this post.

    It is a difficult situation that we've gotten ourselves in but the wonderful thing about our freedom of speech is that all sides of a story can be heard by each and every one of us.

    Thinking of you and yours.

    SSG xxx

  3. The live cattle trade is a complex issue that can hopefully be resolved equitably. Those images cannot be forgotten, but neither can farmers' livelihood.

    That dinner and dessert look fabulous.

    TDM xx

  4. I love the guy that runs and lights the torches at Waikiki....

  5. Thank you a very balanced post. The MLA seems to have a lot to answer to. I'm sure Farmers would have trusted them in good faith to make sure their animals were treated humanely. How wouldnt?

    Hawaii looks lush.


  6. Hi SSG,

    I've just finished reading all your Hawaii posts. I'm so glad you loved it there. I had the same fears when I went- that it would be trashy and awful, but now I think it was one of my favourite holidays. We stayed next door at the Sheraton and went to a lot of the same places. I really loved the food there!


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