Casting the Net for the Best Local GrindsFeatures Inside Feature
June 25, 2011
Story By: Dining Out Team |
To the ocean we go! Locals and tourists have been setting sail for Fresh Catch, an island-style Seafood & Meat Deli serving up the freshest in local cuisine. Chef and owner Reno Henriques opened the doors to this nautical-themed, one-stop poke picnic and tailgating deli four years ago in Kaimuki, and since then opened up a second location in Kaneohe last year.
With 30 different types of poke, marinated meats, sashimi platters, lau lau, patele, beef stew and more than 15 types of seafood plate lunches gracing the menu, Henriques, a local boy who graduated from Saint Louis School and the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Ore., loves creating island favorite upon island favorite and treats each customer as if they were family, with the warmest aloha.
Dining Out couldn’t resist the charm of this local establishment, or the Ahi Katsu, Furikake Salmon and the Spicy Hawaiian Poke, for that matter, so all aboard, mateys, it’s time to reel in one Fresh Catch!
DO: Fresh Catch is definitely bringing in the customers, no question about it. How did this establishment come to be?
Henriques: Actually, it wasn’t always a goal of mine to open my own restaurant, but I love to fish — and if I’m not fishing, then I’m diving. I’ve also had some experience experimenting with making poke. So when this place was available, I said, “why not?” and I guess the rest is history.
DO: You obviously have something special going on here and have built up quite a reputation. Yet, what can new customers expect upon setting foot into the establishment?
Henriques: Good local-style food (laughs). Smoked Meat and Onions, Kalbi Beef, Beef Stew, Lau Lau, Patele, Ox Tail Soup, Tripe Stew and then a bunch of fish dishes. When it comes to the fish plates, I love using plenty of mayonnaise, and I started pairing it with the Ahi Katsu and Furikake Salmon. When I first started this restaurant I only had three items on the menu — I was trying to keep it simple and small — and every day I would feature a new special. Slowly I began to see what was working and the Furikake Salmon started taking off (sold 200 plates per day), so I made that and other top sellers a part of the daily specials.
DO: Now that’s impressive. Of course, you only serve fresh fish here. Where do you obtain your fish?
Henriques: We get our fish from the auction block every morning and sometimes I’ll cook up some of the fish that I catch while fishing or diving.
DO: Fresh Catch offers daily and weekly chef specials, including its most popular Ahi Katsu ($10.25) and Furikake Baked Salmon ($10.50). What are some other favorites?
Henriques: The Deep Fried Ahi Belly ($10.50) is a daily special with a butter garlic heavy cream sauce. All of our fish lunches also are accompanied by two scoops of rice and green salad. When it comes to our weekly chef specials, our We d n e s d a y special, the Crab Stuffed Ahi Roll ($11.50) is really popular. It consists of ahi and crab meat wrapped up in nori like sushi, and then it’s panko deep fried, topped with our secret sauce and furikake. It’s a little similar to the ahi katsu. If you love meat, you’ll enjoy the Smoked Meat and Onions ($10.50) — a daily special — where we smoke our own pork and saute onions, and top it with our special teriyaki sauce. It’s served with two scoops of rice and potato salad. Our Fish-n-Chips ($10.50) is another daily special. It features mahi mahi or cod fried in our own beer batter and paired with seasoned fries and potato salad.
Everyone also comes for our poke bowls. We charge 50 cents per scoop of rice and the poke is priced by weight. You can really customize your poke bowl.
DO: Breakfast is served during the weekends. What can early birds find here?
Henriques: We have an Ahi Loco Moco, Smoked Meat Fried Rice, Kalbi and Eggs or Mahi Mahi and Eggs, and we also make a Banana Rum French Toast.
DO: Everything is delicious here! Tell us, what’s the secret?
Henriques: It’s all in the sauce, but I can’t give away the secret recipe (laughs). But it’s a gourmet dipping sauce that we also sell in Longs, and we’re planning to make our dipping sauce available at other stores as well. We also have a creamy oriental salad dressing that’s really ono, too.
DO: The portions are large and the prices are very reasonable, wouldn’t you agree?
Henriques: Yes, you know, fish prices are always fluctuating, but I try to keep everything here at a set price — so no matter if the fish price goes up, my prices will always stay the same. We have 32 different types of poke, from your basics like ahi poke to aku poke, spicy poke, shoyu poke, shrimp poke and crab poke. What makes us different is that we offer the whole spread. We even have ake poke that no one really makes anymore. Our poke usually ranges from $9.99 to $13.99 from quarter pound up to two pounds.
DO: Fresh Catch is literally your one-stop-shop for all your local favorites. What is your personal favorite on the menu?
Henriques: Well, everything on the menu is considered to be my favorite, but if I had to choose just one, I guess it would have to be the Smoked Meat and Onions.
DO: You’ve really personalized the restaurant and made it your own, by hanging personal family photos from previous fishing trips on the walls. Describe the atmosphere of the restaurant.
Henriques: It’s really casual. It’s almost like Fisherman’s Wharf with the nets, buoys and floaters hanging, and the old school pictures from young kid time — we really added a personal touch. Being a fisherman, I love to cook, so it’s great to be able to do what I love for a living.
- 3109 Waialae Avenue
- Honolulu, HI 96816
- 45-1118 Kamehameha Highway
- Kaneohe, HI 96744
- (808) 735-7653 (Kaimuki)
- (808) 235-7653 (Kaneohe)
- 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- Monday – Friday
- 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.