Make It A Festive ChristmasCover Story Features
November 26, 2011
Story By: Dining Out Team |
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort will celebrate the holidays with its “Mele Kalikimaka” meals at its signature restaurants, including the award-winning Bali Steak & Seafood. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 5 to 9 p.m., Chef de cuisine Matt Alleshouse will present diners with a feast for the kings.
Dining Out recently caught up with Chef Matt, who gave us a sneak peek into what to expect come Christmas. One thing’s for sure — it’ll be a very merry season for your appetite.
DO: What is the concept of Bali Steak & Seafood? What can patrons expect when they dine here?
Alleshouse: The concept of our restaurant is steak house-driven, but it’s a steak house with an island flair. What we try to do here at Bali is blend the best of both worlds. Obviously, we’re here on this amazing island, and we have all these wonderful sources of fresh and local fish, so we incorporate that into our menu, just as much as we incorporate our fine steaks as well.
DO: Are the holidays a great time for business here at Bali? You folks are always doing your best to give back to the community, correct?
Alleshouse: Yes, the holidays are huge, not only just for Bali Steak & Seafood, but for the Hilton as well. We’ll be running three to four different holiday parties. And this year for Thanksgiving we went down to a homeless shelter and presented 500 to 600 meals there as well. I would say we served about 2,400 meals for Thanksgiving alone.
In terms of giving back to the community, it’s a huge thing for me. I don’t just want to be a chef at a restaurant or a chef at a hotel, I want to be a part of the community. For me, getting involved with different things, such as helping to feed the homeless and also working with the local vendors and farmers, gives me that sense of community and gets me rooted a little quicker.
DO: As a chef, what kind of impact do you hope to bring to Bali Steak & Seafood?
Alleshouse: My philosophy is simple elegance — don’t overwork the great local ingredients that you have. It’s really a farm-to-table philosophy that comes truly from the heart. I hope to soon be digging in the dirt along with the farmers on a Saturday morning and then coming back to work here Saturday night.
Here at Bali, and with our style of cuisine, if we’re going to use these elevated ingredients, then we’re going to use our creativeness and the techniques that we’ve learned along the way to enhance the ingredients, not mask them. You shouldn’t have to use additives or create flavors when it’s all right there naturally for you. I would say close to 75 to 80 percent of our ingredients are local products, but it’s my hope to get it to where we’re using 90 to 95 percent of local ingredients — hopefully one day 100 percent. We always go to our local farmers first, they’re our No. 1 source, including Nalo Farms, Hibara Farms and MA‘O Farms.
DO: Christmas is just around the corner. What is Bali doing to celebrate the holiday season?
Alleshouse: Well, here at Bali, for Christmas we’re focusing on a four-course prix-fixe menu that will be available for dinner on Christmas Eve and Day ($75 per person). We also have a three-course tasting menu that’s available for kids ($45 per person).
You kind of get the best of both worlds. The adult menu begins with a choice between Kona Lobster Bisque with Lobster Fritters, and Hamakua Mushroom Boullion. The salad is either a Waimea baby romaine salad or Hirabara Farms mixed greens. For their entree, diners can choose one from among seven choices: Filet Mignon with Bearnaise Sauce, Prime New York Steak with peppercorn sauce, Prime Rib of beef with au jus, Molokai Honey and Balsamic Pheasant, Lemon Grass and Butter Seared Island Snapper Filet, Baked Seafood Pot Pie with Scallops, Fish and Kona Lobster Cognac Cream Sauce, or Hauula Tomato Risotto with winter vegetables (for our vegetarians). The prime-aged New York steak is seasoned with our own special spice mix, Kona sea salt and marinated in a garlic oil. Finally we top it off with a Gorgonzola and smoked Kona Sea Salt butter that’s melted right over the top and served with a pepper-corn demi glace. As for dessert, we’re serving the ever-famous Chocolate Hazelnut Yule Log with egg nog panna cotta and raspberry coulis. It’s a traditional Christmas dessert that we slice down. It’s very fresh and delicious.
DO: You had mentioned a keiki menu. What can the kids look forward to?
Alleshouse: The kids are definitely not shorted by any chance. This year, the meal begins with Hamakua Mushroom Bisque and Hirabara Farms mixed greens salad. Keiki can choose among three entrees, including Petit Filet Mignon with Bearnaise Sauce, Grilled Chicken Breast with Herb and Garlic Roasted Potatoes, and Campanelle Pasta with slow-simmered marinara sauce. The dessert is a Chocolate Hazelnut Yule Log with egg nog panna cotta.
DO: Is this Christmas meal something that’s done every year here at Bali Steak & Seafood?
Alleshouse: The Hilton’s always done holiday celebrations. The holidays are always a huge event here, because the hotel always attracts so many people this time of year, and it would seem like almost a waste not to capture it. We definitely gear toward both tourists and locals — the more locals we see in here the better. For the locals, we do offer free validation when you dine here.
DO: Wonderful! Sounds like you love what you do. What are the rewarding aspects of your job?
Alleshouse: I would definitely say that I get to do something that I’m very passionate about, and I get to take that to a professional level and a global stage, so to speak. Cooking is something I’ve been doing since the age of 6, and I haven’t looked back since. I’m very fortunate to be able to do something that I’m very much in love with.
Hirabara Farms Mixed Greens Salad Bali Steak & Seafood is ready to serve diners the finest cuisine this Christmas.
Bali Steak & Seafood
- Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
- 2005 Kalia Road
- Honolulu, HI 96815
- (808) 949-4321 Ext. 43 (Dining reservations are needed)
- Tuesday – Saturday
- 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Bali Steak & Seafood is located on the second floor of the Rainbow Tower. Validated parking for any restaurant on property.