From new dining concepts at Hawaii's luxury resorts to a festival that celebrates all things SPAM, we break down the latest culinary news out of the Aloha State.
Here what you need to know.
Celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto of "Iron Chef" fame recently opened Morimoto Asia in the newly renovated Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach. The 250-seat hotel signature restaurant is open for dinner only, with a menu integrating traditional Asian and Western ingredients, and specialty items, including dim sum plates, Peking duck and traditional wok fry dishes.
The Waikiki SPAM Jam is set to take place on April 28. The popular annual street festival takes place on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. The event celebrates the unusually high consumption of SPAM in Hawaii and sees a variety of Honolulu’s finest restaurants serving up SPAM-inspired creations.
Two entertainment stages provide non-stop entertainment consisting of several of Honolulu's finest restaurants which will be serving up Spam in many different ways for attendees to experience the enormous variety of its applications. A variety of Hawaiian craft booths will also be set up on the street.
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa recently opened its newest dining venue, The Buffet at Hyatt. With a focus on sustainability and delicious, organic options only available in Hawaii, The Buffet will be available at SHOR from 5:30-9:30 p.m. daily. Menu highlights include a made-to-order poke station, fresh sushi, kalua pig, Kauai shrimp, prime rib, crab legs, kiawe smoked dishes, ulu hummus, chia shots and more, with gluten free and vegetarian options throughout and an expanded seafood selection on weekends.
Drinks like the Manhattan, martini and Moscow mule will be featured as part of Mahina & Sun’s “7 for 7,” serving seven classic libations at $7 apiece. Complemented by craft beer and wine options as well, “7 for 7” is available from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and from 9 to 10 p.m. daily. The collection was designed as a nod to the stylish drinks of history infused with a local twist.
M.A.C. 24/7 Restaurant and Bar in the Hilton Waikiki Beach has launched the Wiki Wiki Lunch menu, featuring food served in 10 minutes or less from the time of order. The menu is ideal for residents on business meetings or travelers with minimal time between activities or heading to the airport. Lunch items include short ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, beef stew, smoked salmon, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and soup and salad or sandwich combinations. Lunch includes complimentary valet parking.
Peter Merriman will expand his namesake brand to Oahu this summer with the opening of Merriman’s in Kakaako. Visitors can anticipate the chef’s signature local and seasonal Hawaii eats.
Opening in the Hotel Wailea on Maui, Ondine is a new dining concept from noted Hawaii chefs Chris Kajioka and Anthony Rush of Senia restaurant on Oahu.
Ondine will be situated in three Hotel Wailea dining venues, including a private chef's kitchen with a tasting counter, a garden with a view of the kitchen, and a private tree house. The chefs' fare will focus on Maui regional ingredients procured from farming relationships exclusive to Ondine.
The Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina has partnered with James Beard award-winning chefMichael Minato open Mina’s Fish House.
Paying homage to a traditional Hawaiian fish house, chef Mina’s original Hawaiian dream restaurant concept has come to life: a fish restaurant in Hawaii where local fisherman can come to the back door of the restaurant with the fresh bounty from Hawaiian waters daily.
Menu highlights include Kona Cold Lobster & Coconut Bisque, Hawaiian Abalone Spaghetti, Butter-Basted Swordfish with Pono Pork Portuguese Sausage and a few classic fish dishes from chef Mina’s repertoire, such as his signature Ahi Tuna Tartare, his Lobster Pot Pie and a Phyllo-Crusted fish with crab brandade.
The menu will change seasonally to reflect the best local products Hawaii’s producers can deliver.
Kualoa Private Nature Reserve announced a revamped "Taste of Kualoa Tour." Guests are now offered farm fresh products grown and harvested by Kualoa, on its 4,000-acre ranch spread across three valleys on the windward coast of Oahu.
This farm-to-table tour will see the ranch operations for cattle, sheep, pigs, and chickens, and will be guided through the rich agricultural lands where cacao, banana, papaya, and other seasonal fruits are grown.
The tour visits the oyster and shrimp farms for a look at aquaculture operations, and finally guests will end their tour at the vegetable farm, where a farm-to-fork meal awaits them. Inspired by Kualoa ingredients, local chefs will craft a special menu for this experience.
Lanai @ Ala Moana Center now features Agave & Vine, Ahi & Vegetable, BRUG, Da Spot, HiTEA Café, Mahaloha Burger, Sobaya, Musubi Cafe Iyasume and Teppanyaki Farmer.
The remaining eateries, including Ike’s Love & Sandwiches and Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha, are opening soon. Lanai @ Ala Moana Center is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The food hall offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and grab-and-go options, and features indoor and outdoor seating for up to 450 customers.
Mango Jam Honolulu, presented by the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts and Hawaii Food Industry Association, takes place June 29-30, 2018 at Honolulu’s Civic Center grounds. This celebration of one of Hawaii’s favorite fruits offers residents and visitors “A Taste of Island Culture” showcasing a diverse mix of live entertainment, food and craft booths, a beer garden, and a farmer’s market highlighting one of Oahu’s most beloved fruits. Admission and parking are free.