January 10, 2014

Casa de Kei in Kauai

by Kayoko

Let’s be real: when my brother Keisuke said he would join us for our First Annual Kauai Trip, I hoped (really hard) that he would cook for us. Ah hell, we all did. Have you seen Casa de Kei? His midnight creations are totally bananas — creative yet approachable; high art meets B-kyu (aka comfort food). Johnny drools over his Instagram feed on the daily. We rented a condo with a kitchen. Would it have everything he would need? A proper knife and a cutting board? And indeed it did. And Kei being Kei, energetic and loathsome of idle hands, got to cookin’.

Breakfast Day #1: Sauteed baby potatoes, scrambled eggs with a tomato salsa and avocados (above).


Photo by Yoko Kumano


Photo by Yoko Kumano

Our view from our lanai (balcony):


Paradiso! Yes, we ate here every day. Photo by Yoko Kumano

Kei preparing vegetables from the Kapaa farmer’s market:


Photo by Johnny Lopes

We helped too!


Rie and me picking cilantro. Photo by Johnny Lopes

Dinner Day #1: Kra pao, sauteed bean sprouts, stovetop steamed rice!


Photo by Keisuke Akabori

Dinner Day #2: Spring rolls with shrimp, sausages with beer braised collard greens and kaffir lime leaves.


Photo by Yoko Kumano


Brilliant! Photo by Yoko Kumano


Salad with avocado and fried ginger! Photo by Yoko Kumano

Breakfast Day #3: Breakfast burritos!


Photo by Johnny Lopes

Fried rice, breakfast potatoes, eggs over easy, star fruit:


Photo by Kayoko Akabori

Boo-yah!


Photo by Yoko Kumano


Photo by Keisuke Akabori    

Kei prepared awesome tuna sandwiches for us for our long hike along the Nepali Falls. We were well-rewarded with these sandwiches and cold beers on our midway pit-stop.


Photo by Keisuke Akabori    

Last supper: BBQ grilled steak, prawns, steak, eggplant and asparagus. Sashimi and Caesar salad courtesy of Costco:


Photo by Johnny Lopes

Kanpai!


Photo by Johnny Lopes

How lucky are we?!?! Our Kauai trip was a Casa de Kei extravaganza! Keisuke is so talented — his food looks good, tastes excellent and is full of energy and confidence. I mean, who thinks of frying ginger for a salad??? Won’t he just move back up to the Bay Area already?

See you next year for 2015 Umami Kauai! Same time, same place.

*Top photo by Yoko Kumano. Slivers of avocado slices by Keisuke.

One Comment

  • Yoko
    Posted January 10, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    I was so impressed by Kei’s endless pot of creative ideas and enthusiasm for cooking. I enjoy cooking but am not inspired everyday. Sometimes i just want to relax and come to the dinner table without spending an hour in the kitchen beforehand. This was a true vacation: a vacation away from the kitchen. Thanks Kei!

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