"Did you go to Punahou Carnival last year?" people always asked me whenever I told them I lived near Punahou School. Turns out, Punahou Carnival is one of the most awaited family fun carnivals of the year where all Punahou students and their parents prepare and run the entire event. My boss, being a proud Punahou alumni, had been telling me about this for 2 weeks in advance.
“So, what is it about Punahou Carnival that got everybody so excited?” I asked my boss.
“There are so many good foods and we go there just to pig out!” he happily exclaimed.
Since I lived three foodsteps away from the campus, it is a must for me to come pig out for two days in a row. Unfortunately, all of my pictures from the first day were lost due to a second of stupidity…Anyway, I still managed to eat as much as the first day and took as many pictures on the second day.
For an ease of transaction, you gotta buy scrip in exchange for real $$$ and use the scrip to pay for food. Each scrip costs 50c and you pay accordingly depends on how much each item cost. All proceeds will go to support the school’s financial aid program, so it’s pigging out for a good cause!
While the seniors participate in the musical Variety Show, the juniors, their parents and some alumni run all the food booths. It’s a great parenting activity since it doesn’t matter who you are, you gotta roll up your sleeves to help your kids grillin’ burgers and wok-up fried noodles!
The dads worked the grill, the moms helped prepping other stuff, and kids served customers in the front. Super efficient!
Wok-ing up some tasty fried noodles!
Plating fried noodles in small serving trays.
Now onto the food. My companions and I decided to get huli huli chicken, Portuguese bean soup, and gyro. Portuguese bean soup is such a popular carnival dish that some online recipe even name themselves after Punahou carnival. The wait for Portuguese bean soup was 20 minutes!
Portuguese bean soup is such a popular carnival dish that some online recipe even name themselves after Punahou carnival. The wait for Portuguese bean soup was 20 minutes!
The gyro was consisted of two strips of nicely chargrilled gyros, some crispy cold cucumber slices, and creamy yogurt sauce. Yum!
The famous Punahou Portuguese bean soup was definitely living up to its popularity: it was flavorful and homey with Portuguese sausage, ham, macaroni, celery, and red beans.
Now, this is not the prettiest picture ever, but I swear to god it’s one of the best huli chicken I’ve ever had. The white meat was so moist and tender! How could you do that? Isn’t white meat supposed to be all dry and flavorless??
I also got acai bowl – acai berry sorbet, granola, banana and black berries. Refreshing!
The famous malasada – can’t believe I was waiting in line for 15 minutes for one malasada!
There were roller coasters, rides, and merry-go-round, but I was too full to play.
The foods are absolutely the highlights of Punahou Carnival. Everything is really good, not restaurant tasty but yummy and decent festival foods. It feels like strolling around in a food festival in the summer, although it’s not summer and it’s technically not a festival. Ha!
If you are in town for the next Punahou Carnival, definitely check it out, buy a lot of scrip, and pig your heart out.