Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Mughlai specialties coming to KCC

By
August 21st, 2014



In anticipation of the opening of the newly renovated Mughal Suite at Shangri La, the estate of tobacco heiress Doris Duke, University of Hawaii’s Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapiolani Community College and Shangri La will present a series of fall public programs highlighting Mughlai cuisine.

Courtesy University of Hawaii PressChef Kusuma Cooray will be cooking up Mughlai cuisine next month at Kapiolani Community College.

COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII PRESS

Chef Kusuma Cooray will be cooking up Mughlai cuisine next month at Kapiolani Community College.

Ka 'Ikena Laua'e, the fine dining restaurant on the KCC campus, will present a special lunch menu featuring Mughlai cuisine created and prepared by KCC Professor of Culinary Studies and former Doris Duke corporate chef Kusuma Cooray and KCC culinary students.

Mughlai cuisine is a style of cooking developed by the imperial kitchens of the Muslim Mughal Empire. It represents the cooking styles of North India, Pakistan and Hyderabad.

Reservations are being taken for the lunch being offered Sept. 16 through 19, with seatings at 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and noon each day. At $22.95 per person, the lunch will feature:

» Appetizer: Mughlai Murgh (braised chicken with raisins and almonds), curried dal, pineapple chutney, raita and pratha

» Entrée: Shahjahani Biriyani (rice and lamb with saffron, aromatic spices and yogurt), Rogan Josh (curried lamb), vegetables, tomato chutney and pappadams

» Dessert: A Mughlai fantasy and choice of coffee or tea

» Drink: Assorted fruit juices and lassi

Ka 'Ikena Laua'e is in the Ohelo Building, 2nd floor, at KCC. Call 734-9499 for reservations.

Other upcoming events at KCC include:

» Aug. 25 to Dec. 19: South Asian Cuisine exhibition, display featuring South Asian recipes prepared for Doris Duke by chef Kusuma Cooray will be on view at the Kapiolani Community College Library, along with materials from the Shangri La Historical Archives; admission is free

» Oct. 6: Mughal cuisine lecture and Taj chefs demonstration, co-sponsored by Shangri La, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and featuring executive chef Hemant Oberoi and two master chefs from Mumbai’s Taj Hotel; includes a Mughal cuisine cooking demonstration and tasting in the Culinary Institute of the Pacific auditorium, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Ohia Building 118; seating is limited and admission is free

THE LATE Doris Duke collected Islamic art over 60 years, forming a collection of about 2,500 objects, many of which are embedded into the structure of Shangri La, including Iranian ceramic tile panels, carved and painted ceilings from Morocco, jalis (perforated screen) doors and windows, and textiles and carpets.

It was her wish that Shangri La be maintained as a center for Islamic arts and culture, kept open for public visits and educational programs.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage appears in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Café Grace reboots bagel culture

By
August 14th, 2014



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comCafé Grace's chicken Alfredo melt, finished with bacon.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Café Grace's chicken Alfredo melt, finished with bacon.

Terumi Drake couldn't help noticing over the years that her customers at Lox of Bagels enjoyed their bagels one way, simply slathered with plain or flavored cream cheese. But she knew the the bagel could be the basis of more substantial, creative fare, and has set out to prove it, rebooting bagel culture via an extension of her business, Café Grace by Lox of Bagels.

The new cafe opened its doors today with a blessing and taiko performance, as well as a media tasting of a handful of sandwiches and desserts.

In keeping with today's sustainable, locally sourced ethos, the sandwiches are full of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Highlights include a chicken Alfredo melt; bagel and egg combos on a taro bagel; and lox with jalapeño egg salad, for those who love the sting of heat.

As a grand opening special, the cafe is offering a bagel (excluding taro and cheese bagels) with plain cream cheese for $1 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 15, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 16, while supplies last. (The regular price is $2.75.)

The menu is more adventurous than Lox of Bagels Dillingham location, and this is just a start. One item on their "coming soon" roster is bagel French toast. Waiting for that one!

Thunderous taiko rhythms greeted guests at the grand opening of Café Grace by Lox of Bagels.

Thunderous taiko rhythms greeted guests at the grand opening of Café Grace by Lox of Bagels.

The Café Grace staff, led by president Terumi Drake, third from left, and general manager Stacy Kim, second from right, is blessed before entering the cafe. In the center is the cafe's namesake Grace, Drake's 17-year-old daughter.

The Café Grace staff, led by president Terumi Drake, third from left, and general manager Stacy Kim, second from right, is blessed before entering the cafe. In the center is the cafe's namesake Grace, Drake's 17-year-old daughter.

Lox topped with spicy jalapeño egg salad is likely to become one of cafe's best sellers.

Lox topped with spicy jalapeño egg salad is likely to become one of cafe's best sellers.

Egg appears on the menu many times. Below, a cross-section reveals an egg omelet layered with ham and cheese on a taro bagel.

Egg appears on the menu many times. Below, a cross-section reveals an egg omelet layered with ham and cheese on a taro bagel.

Grace section

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Café Grace is on the Kawaiahao Street end of Imperial Plaza, 725 Kapiolani Bouldevard. Hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Call (808) 492-1493.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Experience the divine at Wada

By
August 13th, 2014



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comWashugyu tataki topped with sea urchin is one of the many wonders on the menu at Wada.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Washugyu tataki topped with sea urchin is one of the many wonders on the menu at Wada.

Once the domain of the AARP set, a new generation of the underemployed and the single is discovering the beauty of happy hour, where diners can indulge at reduced prices.

Restaurant Wada's recent launch of a happy hour menu provided a welcome excuse to revisit this gem, known for serving some of the most decadent sushi in town, as well as beef tongue in multiple forms.

The restaurant showcases the work of Takanori Wada, a Hokkaido native who worked at Sushi Yasuda in New York City, before opening his restaurant here.

Restaurant Wada is at 611 Kapahulu Ave. Call (808) 737-0125. Happy hour starts at 4 p.m. and runs through 6 p.m., and again from 9 to 11 p.m. for late-nighters Tuesdays through Sundays. Select dishes run $3 and $5, and select sushi is $2.50 per piece. Select handroll or roll sushi is $3.75, and Kirin draft, hot or cold sake, shochu, pinot grigio, chardonnay, pinot noir and merlot selections are offered at $3.

Washugyu tataki in garlic ponzu.

Washugyu tataki in garlic ponzu.

Sea bass sashimi.

Sea bass sashimi.

There's tender tako underneath the layer of greens and salmon roe.

There's tender tako underneath the layer of greens and salmon roe.

If you're in an indulgent mood, try the tuna akami topped with foie gras, at $9.50 per piece.

If you're in an indulgent mood, try the tuna akami topped with foie gras, at $9.50 per piece.


As decadent as some of the sushi is, I also loved the simplicity of agedashi tofu, just $3 during happy hour.

As decadent as some of the sushi is, I also loved the simplicity of agedashi tofu, just $3 during happy hour.


Crispy mochi sticks ($7.75) are light spring rolls with a center of mozzarella and mentai cod roe wrapped in thin, crisp rice paper. It is $5 during happy hour.

Crispy mochi sticks ($7.75) are light spring rolls with a center of mozzarella and mentai cod roe wrapped in thin, crisp rice paper. It is $5 during happy hour.


Beyond happy hour, washugyu tongue is the centerpiece of an ishiyaki meal, at $47 for 8 slices of the Oregon black angus, or $62 for 16 slices. The tongue is cooked at the table, at 10 seconds on one side before being flipped over and cooked through. It's accompanied by a light lemony ponzu sauce, pepper and garlic salt. The second part of this meal is a stir fry of harumi, or skirt steak, and onions with shishito peppers.

Beyond happy hour, washugyu tongue is the centerpiece of an ishiyaki meal, at $47 for 8 slices of the Oregon black angus, or $62 for 16 slices. The tongue is cooked at the table, at 10 seconds on one side before being flipped over and cooked through. It's accompanied by a light lemony ponzu sauce, pepper and garlic salt. The second part of this meal is a stir fry of harumi, or skirt steak, and onions with shishito peppers.

More sushi decadence, uni and ikura.

More sushi decadence, uni and ikura.


Flash-fried skate fin was a recent daily special, served with lemony aioli.

Flash-fried skate fin was a recent daily special, served with lemony aioli.


This grilled eggplant was more like an Italian casserole with mild tomato sauce and golden mozzarella. This dish puts many a local Italian restaurant to shame.

This grilled eggplant was more like an Italian casserole with mild tomato sauce and golden mozzarella. This dish puts many a local Italian restaurant to shame.


Wada is at 611 Kapahulu Ave. Call (808) 737-0125.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

New happy hour menu at Hy's

By
August 12th, 2014



Hy's new mini beef Wellington happy hour specialty is perfect for those trying to cut back on both meat, and carbs of the puff pastry.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Hy's new mini beef Wellington happy hour specialty is perfect for those trying to cut back on both meat, and carbs of the puff pastry.


In May, Hy's Steak House launched its renovated Executive Level, as well as a convertible private dining room called the Executive Suite that accommodates up to 25 for corporate events and meetings, complete with presentation and slide-show ready HD television, Wi-fi and audio system, or other special occasions, from intimate birthday and anniversary parties to wedding receptions.

Some of the details were noted in one of my earlier posts: http://www.honolulupulse.com/2014/05/hys-steak-house/

The latest news is executive chef Erwin Manzano has come up with an elegant new happy hour menu that addresses a new generation of diners easing away from large meat entrées in favor of grazing and sharing a variety of smaller, more affordable plates, including adorable mushroom cap-size mini prime filets of beef Wellington, thoroughly enjoyable at $10. (The full entrée is $48.95 in the dining room.)

Just because portions are smaller doesn't mean these dishes are any less satisfying. They're still quite old school, rich in the butter and cheese that many of us still love, albeit in moderation.

Prices start at $5 for panko fried onion rings, to $12 for a prime rib sandwich or ahi poke. Happy hour runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m. daily in the lounge, and also features $8 classic cocktails and wines by the glass, as well as $8 seasonal cocktails such as a refreshing summer strawberry Lemondrop, limoncello Collins, white sangria and Watermelon mojito.

Here's a look at a handful of the dishes:

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comEscargots a la Hy's remains one of the restaurant's classic dishes, offered at a reduced price of $10 during happy hour.

Escargots a la Hy's remains one of the restaurant's classic dishes, offered at a reduced price of $10 during happy hour.


Grilled asparagus is topped with poached egg and finished with bacon, Parmesan and truffle oil, $8.

Grilled asparagus is topped with poached egg and finished with bacon, Parmesan and truffle oil, $8.


Baked garlic shrimp and artichoke swimming in cheese and butter.

Baked garlic shrimp and artichoke swimming in cheese and butter.


If you choose to proceed to dinner, roast rack of lamb is a good choice. It's $39.95 for a half rack.

If you choose to proceed to dinner, roast rack of lamb is a good choice. It's $39.95 for a half rack.


Also on the main menu, prime filet mignon with rosemary skewered shrimp. It's amazing how much flavor is infused into the shrimp from the single rosemary stem. It's $52.95 for a 7-ounce filet mignon.

Also on the main menu, prime filet mignon with rosemary skewered shrimp. It's amazing how much flavor is infused into the shrimp from the single rosemary stem. It's $52.95 for a 7-ounce filet mignon.


Finish with a classic dessert of Bananas Foster or Cherries Jubilee. How classic? According to Wikipedia, the flambé ice cream and cherries is generally credited to Auguste Escoffier, who prepared the dish for one of Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebrations, though it is unclear whether it was for the Golden Jubilee of 1887 or the Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The 10-year difference might have big a big deal at one point, but after more than a hundred years, it's legendary either way.

Finish with a classic dessert of Bananas Foster or Cherries Jubilee. How classic? According to Wikipedia, the flambé ice cream and cherries is generally credited to Auguste Escoffier, who prepared the dish for one of Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebrations, though it is unclear whether it was for the Golden Jubilee of 1887 or the Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The 10-year difference might have big a big deal at one point, but after more than a hundred years, it's legendary either way.

Hy’s Steak House is at 2440 Kuhio Ave. Call (808) 922-5555

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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