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February 6, 2018

Visit Hilo: Moon & Turtle

While planning our getaway to Hilo, Moon & Turtle was frequently mentioned as a must-visit.

This small, charming restaurant in Downtown Hilo is run by husband and wife team Mark and Soni Pomaski, and features a frequently changing menu based on locally-sourced ingredients.

We were invited to dinner at Moon & Turtle by the amazing team at Big Island Candies.  One of the Directors at Big Island Candies told us he constantly mentions Moon & Turtle to customers that go to the store and ask for restaurant recommendations, so we knew we were in for a treat!

We ordered every single dish on the menu!

SMALL PLATES:

Magic Mac - House Made Kona Big Wave spatzle, shiitake and Hamakua Ali`i mushrooms, sweet onion, white wine, cheddar, truffle oil
Crispy `Aweoweo - Whole fried local Hawaiian Bigeye, Dam Fine Farms frisee, golden tomato citronette
Smokey Sashimi - Kona Cold Kampachi, Kiawe-smoked soy, Hawaiian chili pepper water, extra-virgin olive oil
Garlic Butter Belly - Pan fried local Ahi belly, roasted garlic, butter, ponzu, tomato, onion, sesame

LARGE PLATES:
Wild Boar Pappardelle - House made tomato pasta, Kulana wild boar sausage, Kulaniapia Farms kale, Ocean View golden tomatoes, Dam Fine Farms"mizugula" pesto, Parmesan

Chowder - Kona Cold Manila clams, Kauai prawns, market vegetables, OK Farms heart of palm, potatoes, cream

Crispy Chow Fun- Deep fried noodles, braised Big Island grass-fed beef, Chinese cabbages, OK Farms heart of palm, market vegetables, 5 spice gravy, hot mustard

Vegetarian Crispy Chow Fun with Hamakua Mushrooms
Salty Fish Fried Rice - Garlic-seasoned brown Jasmine rice, house cured local fish, Farmer's Market vegetables, farm fresh local egg
Those who know me well know I don't eat a lot of seafood, so I was worried that I wouldn't have much (or anything at all) to eat, but thankfully there were several menu items I loved.

The Magic Mac was a fave at the table.  It was like a bowl of elevated comfort food at its finest.

The Crispy Chow Fun (vegetarian style) was one of my personal faves.  I loved the contrasting textures and flavors in this dish.  Some had mentioned that not all of the noodles were crunchy, and they bit into forkfuls of soft noodles, but I didn't encounter that issue. 

Many raved about the Chowder, Crispy `Aweoweo, Smokey Sashimi, and Garlic Butter Belly.

In fact, we cleaned off each dish - the entire menu was just outstanding based on everyone's input.

Moon & Turtle also offers fantastic cocktails during Happy Hour.

The Pau Hana Punch and Lemon Peel Lemonade at just $5 each were hits with our group.  One of the members of our party loved the Lemon Peel Lemonade so much, she wants to go back just for that cocktail!

Since I love rum, I ordered a Mai Tai Trio from the regular cocktail menu. 

Mai Tai Trio
Made with a trio of rums and a special house made fresh juice blend, it was so good, I drank it up in no time.

It was a packed house the evening we dined, but service never faltered, and we even got to meet the fab duo behind Moon & Turtle!

Definitely visit Moon & Turtle while in Hilo for great food and cocktails!

Moon & Turtle
51 Kalakaua St
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 961-0599

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