Japengo Jumps On the Dessert BandwagonColumns Jus' Desserts
December 23, 2012
Story By: Nicole Kato | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
Everyone feels like a VIP when walking through the doors of Japengo at Hyatt Regency, as each area of the restaurant has a different feel from the rest, making each dining experience intimate.
There are separate rooms adorned with modern light fixtures, as well as traditional dining tables that sit within tall glass windows, which open up diners to the beautiful Waikiki sky.
To match the modern beauty Japengo has to offer, chef de cuisine Michael Imada and the rest of the culinary staff have created a dessert menu that satisfies all tastebuds.
Japengo Coconut Creme Brulee ($10) is the restaurant’s signature dish, and it’s not hard to see why. The coconut-flavored custard sits atop a bed of shredded coconut within the coconut shell and pairs well with the chocolate toffee garnish delicately placed alongside it.
Molokai Sweet Potato Cheesecake ($10) is topped with azuki beans, acai berry syrup and little chunks of Okinawan sweet potato, and tuile (made from egg whites and powdered sugar) is added for an extra visual effect.
Sliced apple bananas and macapuno coconut fill the caramel-topped Banana Lumpia ($10), and nothing goes better with banana lumpia than a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
“It’s normally just served straight, as it is,” Imada explains. “But the vanilla ice cream is complementary, the flavors go well together.”
He also says that the macapuno adds a unique texture, flavor and concept to the dish.
And it’s good to know that a lot of the food on Japengo’s menu is locally sourced, or thoughtfully sourced as Imada says, such as Molokai sweet potato and locally grown apple bananas.
Despite the fantastic desserts that embellish Japengo’s locally inspired menu, Imada says that his staff is his pride and joy.
“Our menu has a lot of staff contribution to it,” he says. “I’m very proud of them.”
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa Ewa Tower, third floor
Open nightly for dinner, 6-10 p.m.
Sushi bar and lounge open at 5:30 p.m.