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« Fusion Food & Boba Cafe | Main | Nijiya Market - Our Dependable Standby »

Wednesday, 24 August 2005


clare eats

This place looks fabulicious!!!!! OMG what a pair of meals!
mmmmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmmmm


To me, a tamale has always been the true test of any south-of-the-border restaurant. Much similar to how a French chef is judged on weight of how well he can make a simple omelet.

I generally don't like to keep scrolling down to read an article that's been elongated by pictures as much as I may enjoy the accompanying pictures themselves. But what made reading "El Salvadoreno" worth the scroll, was the unrushed tempo of the review.


Hi Clare - This was indeed "delici-yoso"!

Hi RONW - I probably haven't had as many tamales as you, but this one was different from the one's I've had. I think it took longer to write up than to eat the two meals combined, we pretty much scarfed everything in minutes - Erasmo was very impressed.



Wow...that was a great post...I have not tried pupusas. But your write along with Pam's a while back makes me want to go out and get some post-haste!


You know folks, we have been doing a lot of talking about how things are diffrent from one place to another, banh mi, Reid's "neo-disaster" Malaysian experience, and here tamales. We discuss "authenticity" and "brand loyalty". Please allow me to interject an additional thought here because these lovely tamales bring it to mind.

Just what exactly constitutes "authentic"? Is it seasoning? Main ingredient? Method? What exactly is it?

I ask because when you get right down to it, you can pick a spot on the planet, visit 3 houses and 3 restaurants within a 3 mile radius eating the same dish at all 3 and each time, the dish will be different by some degree at all 6 locations.

Here Kirk discovers the difference a "tamale" makes between 2 countries. Heck, in Spain a "tortilla" is a thick omlette usually with potatoes and onions while in Mexico it's a thin "bread" made with either wheat flour or pounded corn. And there you go again, in Mexico, how similar are corn tortillas and flour tortillas?

Kirk, I've gotta try Salvadoran food before we leave! That tamale looks awesome and so do the pupusas!!!


Hi Elmo - Thanks, the pupusas were very tasty, they're definitely worth a try. This opens up a whole new world of food for me to try. I was getting kind of tired of the usual Taco Shop fare.

Hi Jo - I'll stay away from that can of worms. I don't know what makes an authentic tamale - I do know what I like though, so I'll stick with that! :) I really like pupusas.....delici-yoso!


I will say one thing though - I'm pretty sure that the vegemite I ate was authentic!!! LOL!

clare eats




I'm so glad you enjoyed your maiden pupusa voyage!!! I had my first dose of Salvadoran food a couple of months ago and I'm hooked. Regarding pupusas, I think they've got that addictive quality about them, kinda like that cheesesteak sammich you had not too long ago. You'll see... =)


Hi Clare - Somehow I knew you'd get a kick out of that!

Hi Pam - After Elmo pointed out that you wrote something up earlier - so I checked it out; and I couldn't agree with you more. I really don't know why Salvadoran Food is not more popular? BTW the handmade corn torillas and fried chicken here, kick's butt!


Kirk, the food looks so good! Thanks for sharing... this is all new to me, but it looks so yummy! I'd love to try a pupusa. The tamale does look very moist. All the ones i've had are the drier ones, which are still good, but that moister one looks even better. :D~~



No "outsider" can ever know what constitutes "authenticity" for a foreign dish. With the exception of people who have lived in the foreign country itself or have been well aquinted with the same nationals stateside, but even for them recognizing the authenticity of a specific dish, and cooking up the same dish, are worlds apart from one another.

Here's one example among many. IMHO, only a Chinese knows how to properly make "beef brocolli." On the surface beef brocolli is a simple dish to make. But it's the way they slice the beef and when to add the oyster or whatever sauce at the right moment that makes a distinct and forge-proof difference.

Also, if you allow yourself to get too lax in using what's considered kosher and what's not, there's a point where the foreign dish may get basterdized in the transliteration. Fusion aside. Chef Boyardee aside. And yeah....every country has its different factions to complicate things further.


Bruddah James - This was new for me too! It's really enjoyable. Actually it's a Guy from back home that told me about this place - but he goes there for the Fried Chicken - which is really good. Hey, I even liked the beans!

Hi RONW - Here's one for you. A friend of mine had a Mutt, and every time someone asked what breed the dog was, he'd say "pure poi...". All in the eye of the beholder, eh?


Hi Kirk,

I haven't tried Salvadorean food before, but this looks delicious. Remind me to come here when I visit SD. I'm going to plan a trip for next February/March if it's possible.


To answer your question, the authenticity thing came up with Baba Neo because of the following: I was in Singapore for almost 3 weeks earlier in the year and none of the so called Singaporean dishes tasted anything like what I had eaten when I was there. Granted there are differences regionally, but genereally the food (preparation/presentation) is similar, if not the same. What made this an even worse experience, was the fact that the person that I visited the restaurant with was a Singaporean born and raised. His opinion was that the restaurant wouldn't last more than a few months in Singapore.

This same type of discussion goes on with a Malaysian/Singaporean restauarant here in Hawaii called the Green Door. The owner/chef is from Hong Kong, how she knows about Singaporean/Nyonya/Malay food is beyond me. A lot of people enjoy the food there, however, all of the Singaporeans that have been there, including the one that I took there, will never go back because the food is, in their eyes, not authentic.

clare eats

Fried Chicken
get your self some Ayam goreng mmmmmm best fried chicken eva!

oh and Kirk,
you have a crazy arsed bbq right?

I got a BBQ book freebie and I remember reading this spam recipe last night that I think you will *heart* :P


Hi Reid - Will do! So Feb/March, huh? If you don't mind chowing with a fellow blogger, I'd loove to take you down here and Ba Ren. They don't have these types of food in HNL.

Hi Clare - I look forward to the recipe. Is it better than Vegemite?


That is one side of the issue Reid and I agree with you whole heartedly on it. But there is the other side which has the "tortilla" thing. Ensaimada is another example. Mallorca (where it originated) is even trying to register the thing but in the Philippines they make a different pastry with the same name. The difference? In Mallorca it's similar to a croisant (lard & snail shaped versus butter and cresent shaped) and in the Philippines its more like a brioche. The similarities (aside from the name), both are takes on French classics. Explain that one!


Jo - You may need a food anthropologist for that one. It's the Fritatta (Italian), that's a Torta (Filipino), that's not a sandwich (Mexican) thing.

clare eats

:P :P :P to u kirk *grin*

Hey boy you started the vegemite thing if I remember correctly :P, Jo Milly back me up?

I bet your Fried Chicken against my Ayam goreng :P

I think you will find the spam recipe hilarious!


Hi Clare - Well let's see that chicken then!!!! So long it's not Spam ala king, I'll probably like the spam recipe. LOL!

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