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Changing Menu, View at Top of Waikiki

Digest Lite Bites

August 13, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

As Hawaii’s only revolving restaurant, it’s not surprising that Top Of Waikiki is constantly changing.

  • Anise Braised Pork Belly ($12)
  • Garlic Shrimp Caesar Salad ($13)
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The view changes as customers dine — the restaurant slowly moves to make a 360-degree rotation every hour — providing varying views of the city.

“There are reasons to appreciate all times of the evening,” says general manager Craig Bunkley. “You can see the sunset over the ocean, and then you can see the lights popping up all down Kalakaua Avenue.”

And in accordance with this ever-changing environment, Top Of Waikiki is launching a new menu tomorrow, which will feature five new appetizers and several new or redone entrees. Many of the new dishes reflect chef John Neff’s talent to blend different flavors together. Neff describes his culinary vision as “globally inspired fusion.”

Bunkley says that one example of Neff’s ingenuity is Seared Scallops and Foie Gras ($19), which is one of the new appetizers. It has li hing-blackened scallops, seared Spam, Hudson Valley foie gras and pineapple gastrique.

Other new appetizers include Anise Braised Pork Belly ($12), which includes Fuji apple and parsnip puree with jalapeno cumquat chutney and balsamic sweet chili gastrique, and the Grilled N.Y. Strip Steak ($17) with papaya and Maui onion poke and lomi lomi grape tomatoes.

“Neff has a talent for crossing cuisines and tweaking things a little bit,” says Bunkley.

A revised entree that displays the restaurant’s innovative fusion is the Surf and Turf ($38).

“With this, I went for East meets West, blending Asian and American flavors,” explains Neff. “It has macadamia nutcrusted fish, Asian stir-fry vegetables and a sesame miso vinaigrette. The short ribs have mashed potatoes and Worcestershire sauce.”

Other new entrees include Garlic Shrimp Macadamia Nut Pesto Linguine ($31), Braised Leg of Lamb Rigatoni ($32), Herb Roasted Chicken ($29) and Garlic Shrimp Caesar Salad ($13).

In addition to all of these new options, favorites such as the Grilled Atlantic Salmon ($35), which Neff and Bunkley say is one of their most popular dishes, will still be available. “This has Asian and local influences, and takes tofu, scallops and shrimps to make it into a souffle, all in a tempura batter with grilled salmon on top.”

Top Of Waikiki also offers Sunset Specials, which include New York Strip Steak and Lobster-Crab Cakes ($23.95) and Seafood Risotto ($22.95), offered between 5 and 6 p.m. nightly. Daily Happy Hour is from 5 to 7 p.m. and from 9 to 11 p.m. and features $4 martinis and cocktails and $7 pupus such as Poke and BBQ Pork Sliders. On Saturday, enjoy late night happy hour from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

With these creative dishes and ever-changing features, it’s no wonder that Top Of Waikiki remains on the top of tourists’ must-do lists. Bunkley says that the local clientele has been increasing in recent years, too.

“For a reasonable price, you can have a fine dining experience with a great view and a menu that reflects the local scene,” Bunkley says.

Top of Waikiki

  • Where
    • Waikiki Business Plaza
    • 2270 Kalakaua Avenue
    • Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Call
    • (808) 923-3877
  • Hours
    • Open daily
    • 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.