Oct 23, 2017
Riding with Nalu Health Bar & Café
Standing in the kitchen of her South Shore Market restaurant, Christiane Pfisterer delicately puts the final touch on a mouthwatering strawberry mozzarella salad. Gently, she looks over at her business partner and boyfriend, Jota Munoz, who's helping cut vegetables, and smiles. Before her are an array of delectable on-the-go dishes for the couple's sunset picnic at Kewalo Harbor.
It's no accident that Christiane and Jota appear more than comfortable behind the kitchen. As the owners of Nalu Health Bar & Café, they've spent countless hours preparing, cooking, and running the day-to-day operations behind their successful cafe in Kailua. Known for their authentic Brazilian acai bowls, the pair is expanding and recently opened their second location at Ward Village's South Shore Market. Prior to their opening date, they've opted to take a break from the inherent stress that comes with launching a new business to have a sunset picnic at Kewalo Harbor. As long-time surfers and outdoor enthusiasts, the afternoon getaway serves as a much-needed reward for all of their hard work.
"We're really excited to be a part of this new community," says Christiane, who goes by Chris. "We love the vibe down here at South Shore Market and appreciate all of the efforts being made to create a sustainable community. We love that Ward Village is LEED-ND certified. Plus, we're stoked to be close to so many great surf spots! We've been working hard to open the cafe and are looking forward to a sunset picnic."
Christiane and Jota have packed some of their signature dishes, including the aforementioned strawberry mozzarella salad, drizzled with a sweet balsamic vinaigrette. They've also packed a healthy wrap that's composed of all raw ingredients and is undeniably delicious. Rounding out the picnic, they've brought their toasty, roasted-turkey, kale, and pesto sandwich—the perfect cure for even the most extreme post-surf hunger pangs.
While these healthy, fresh, and savory dishes will surely whet your appetite, it's Nalu's signature acai bowls that have made them famous among health enthusiasts. In Brazil, the dish is everywhere, and while acai has certainly made a splash in Hawai'i, according to Chris, it could still be hard to find authentic acai. That's where Chris and her partners came in.
"It all began with acai," Chris tells me with a quick laugh. "I'm originally from Brazil and acai is a huge part of our palette. After moving to Hawai'i, I really wanted to introduce authentic acai to the island. With the help of Jota, and our talented partners, Justina Ladogana and Tomas Kloosterboer, we've been able to do that and more at Nalu Health Bar & Cafe. Between our acai bowls and our healthy, fresh dishes, we've created a place that serves the kind of food that we love to eat after a perfect day spent surfing, hiking, or hanging at the beach."
After their picnic has been packed, the duo grabs two bikes from the nearby Biki station, located adjacent to South Shore Market. With their gear in tow, they gracefully glide toward Kewalo Harbor, taking in the fresh air, cool breeze, and warm Honolulu sunshine before they park their bikes and dive into their picnic. Seated upon the emerald-green grass that skirts the beach, Chris and Jota neatly lay out their meal, accessorized with an eclectic mix of perfect-picnic accessories found at Ward Village. It's a truly perfect moment and is deserving of a few selfies.
"What an amazing sunset and afternoon," Chris exclaimed as the sun gently dips behind the horizon, effectively closing the curtains on their perfect picnic. "I love this. It's already so convenient to get to the beach, and now, it's even more so with these bikes from Biki." As they pack up, they took one last moment to reflect on the sunset and enjoy their much-needed break. "We'll be doing more of this in the future," adds Chris. "But next time, we're packing surfboards with the picnic!"
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