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Inside Feature

Afternoon Tea Takes Tantalizing Twist

Story By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
May 6 - 12, 2012

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Situated along iconic Waikiki Beach, flanked by views of Diamond Head and honu feeding in the crystal blue waters below, RumFire Waikiki defines the term hot spot as guests soak up the sun by day and revel in the glow of the surrounding fire pits by night.

Diners are treated to an assortment of Pacific Rim and contemporary “social comfort food” from the creative mind of Executive Chef Brett Villarmia, and do so in a relaxing setting that features both indoor and outdoor seating within the pristine Sheraton Waikiki Hotel. While visitors and kamaaina rave about the menu, which features the freshest local ingredients, and the bar, home to more than 100 varieties of rum, RumFire is poised to add another alluring element to its repertoire.

Dining Out readers are treated to yet another inside scoop as RumFire launches its Spiked Tea menu — billed as anything but your Tutu’s tea party. Starting Mother’s Day and continuing every Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., diners will be treated to a delectable assortment of sliders, desserts and “spiked” teas that are sure to turn the tables on traditional tea gatherings.

“What if we reinvent afternoon tea?” says Diana Su, public relations manager for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Waikiki, when discussing the inspiration for the Spiked Tea offerings. “We keep all the traditions of tea and dainty finger sandwiches, but kick it up a notch with spiked tea — alcoholic beverages that all incorporate tea — and sliders with multiple fillings.”

The sliders ($5 each) steal the show, offering fresh and hearty ingredients that elevate finger food to the next level — leaps and bounds above archaic “finger” sandwiches. Diners may select from five different sliders: The Remedy (ground black Angus beef, Italian truffle cheese, caramelized onions and summer truffle aioli), The Twisted (braised beef short rib and cole slaw), The Little Saigon (tamarind marinated chicken and young papaya salad), The Spiked (herb marinated mahi mahi and shredded cabbage slaw) and The Skinny (fresh mozzarella, macadamia nut romesco and Haumakua tomato).

“High Tea is known for its drinks and finger foods, so we wanted to put a twist on it and modernize the experience,” Villarmia says. “It’s something different, something for a younger generation. I wanted to introduce RumFire in a different way. This would be another way to get to know what we’re all about with some of these sample bites.”

In addition to the sliders, the Spiked Tea menu also features side orders ($5 apiece) of Tatas (crispy fried tater tots tossed in white truffle oil and Parmesan cheese) and Frisky Fries (chili-dusted Yukon fries). And if that wasn’t enough, “Happy Endings” ($5 each) also are available, and include Red Decadence (red velvet cake bites with cream cheese frosting), Chocolate Addiction (chocolate mousse, dark chocolate and hazelnut puffed rice) and The Tart (calamansi lime curd, chocolate paint and Italian meringue).

And, of course, Spiked Tea would not be complete without a vast selection of Tea Cocktails ($10 each). Lavender Mint incorporates American Harvest Vodka — an organic, handcrafted spirit — with double strength black tea, house-made lavender syrup along with fresh lime and mint. On the lighter end of the spectrum, Plantation Pineapple features Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka, Skyy Pineapple Vodka, chilled black tea, lime and pineapple — the ultimate twist on the traditional Plantation Iced Tea.

Guests can combine offerings into a set, aptly dubbed High Tea Experience ($20). The assortment contains a cocktail, two sliders and a dessert selection.

The only decision remaining for diners is whether to share with tablemates or go at it alone—a regrettable decision once the Tatas are all gone.

RumFire

  • Where
    • Sheraton Waikiki Hotel
    • 2255 Kalakaua Avenue
    • Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Call
    • (808) 921-4600
  • Hours
    • Open Daily
    • 11:30 a.m. – Midnight