Savoring Waves of Contemporary Asian Flavor
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STORY BY MICHELLE LEE
Having recently undergone various kitchen renovations and adopted a new menu, Tsunami is a crossroad between relaxed casual and sophisticated contemporary. The bar and lounge aims to serve the highest quality Hawaiian regional cuisine with a fresh, contemporary twist.
“Before, we used to offer primarily just bar-style food,” says Rich Shibasaki, manager of Tsunami. “Now we have a much more refined menu.”
Along with a new menu, the revamped Tsunami kitchen now falls under the jurisdiction of newly appointed chef Wade Ueoka. Formerly the chef at Alan Wong’s for 17 years, Ueoka has hand-crafted a delectable new menu for diners to enjoy while keeping the theme of comfort bar and lounge food.
“Eventually I would like to open up my own restaurant,” explains Ueoka. “Tsunami agreed to give me the great opportunity to create my own menu and experiment with different dishes to maximize unique flavors.”
Since launching the new menu and venue last January, Tsunami actively experiments with new weekly specials such as natto and uni pasta, which highlight the plethora of farm-fresh produce available in Hawaii.
To continually deliver beloved local favorites with a creative, contemporary flair, Ueoka encourages the use of local farmers for fresh produce and other ingredients. “Using healthier, better quality ingredients and cooking techniques is what I am used to,” says Ueoka. “Our customers really have embraced the new menu because they recognize what those elements will do for their dining experience.”
One such standout dish is Ueoka’s very own take on Tonkatsu ($16), which is meticulously and lovingly slow-roasted before fried to ensure the meat is tender and juicy. The dish also supports local produce by incorporating braised cabbage as well as a unique mustard katsu sauce.
Another menu favorite is Grilled Kalbi Shortribs ($18), which comes with succulent grilled eggplant and a refreshing kimchi potato salad. For the vegetarian, Tsunami offers a tasty meatless option with Ho Farm Vegetable Poke ($8), which uses fresh produce items such as okra, long beans, tomato, long squash and cucumbers intermingled in a sweet shoyu vinaigrette.
“We pride ourselves in supporting the local farmers and businesses,” says Ueoka. “All of our ingredients have come straight from the source unlike imports which have had to travel long distances from the Mainland.”
In addition, Tsunami also boasts a specially made, in-house beer called “Hi Beer.” Diners not only enjoy the beer as a refreshment, but Chef Ueoka and his team often use the hearty brew as a cooking ingredient to braise pork belly and other meats.
As the night progresses, diners will notice the music grow slightly louder and the atmosphere more relaxed. “Tsunami is great for anyone from business professionals to those in the older crowd,” says Shibasaki. “It really is a place for anyone who enjoys good food and a nice ambiance.”
March 20 through 27, Tsunami will feature a Hot Deals Hawaii offer at StarAdvertier.com. This deal will offer a $20 special for $40 worth of food and services including a pitcher of the in-house beer.
1272 S. King St., Honolulu
Open Monday-Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Saturday–Sunday 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.