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With an exotic external beauty that can’t go unnoticed, Aureana Tseu also has a deeply rooted inner beauty and exuberant spirit that’s brought to life with equal parts passion, determination and drive. Here at Atlantis Seafood & Steak in the heart of Waikiki, she flaunts a flirty dress perfect for spring in an eye-catching vibrant yellow. Tseu is your dream island girl come to life. Almost goddess-like, her glowing skin is a beautiful toasty hue and her luxurious locks appear gently tousled by a sea breeze.
“It’s so nice to be back in Waikiki! There’s a nostalgia about it that I just love,” says Tseu, who currently resides in Japan, but was recently back home to compete in the 50th annual Merrie Monarch Festival, in which her halau, Hula Halau O Kamuela, placed second overall. Also a former beauty queen and successful entrepreneur, Tseu was the perfect choice for this week’s Dining with the Stars.
“I’m a huge foodie! I love to eat and can definitely appreciate good food,” she says. “Can you believe it’s my first time dining here at Atlantis Seafood & Steak? And the restaurant definitely lives up to its name with amazing seafood and steak!
“I love the fact that you can choose to sit inside or outside on the lanai, and the staff is great!”
Yes, the establishment’s premier servers, chefs and kitchen staff prepared a feast fit for a queen, highlighting some of the eatery’s most renowned dishes. Minds were blown with Seafood Boat ($39.95), comprised of fresh shucked oysters, tiger shrimp cocktail, crab claws, Manila clams and mussels; Sizzling Garlic Ribeye ($39.95), a 16-ounce roasted ribeye presented on a sizzling platter; and Ocean Seafood Pasta ($28.95), which features the fresh catch of the day prepared in a basil tomato cream sauce with tiger shrimp, Manila clams and a selection of seasonal vegetables.
“I love oysters, and the oysters in the Seafood Boat are super juicy. The crab is delicious, sweet and tender, and the shrimp tastes very clean and fresh. It’s hard to find seafood that is this fresh,” Tseu gushes, as she delves into another oyster.
This local girl does not discriminate. Tseu prefers to take part in both surf and turf — this was witnessed by her love of Sizzling Garlic Ribeye.
“The steak is juicy, tender and full of flavor. It’s a hearty piece of meat, with more meat than fat. The onions are sweet and sauteed perfectly, and the rosemary and garlic flavors also are very prominent.”
Tseu’s vivid descriptions of such lavish Atlantis fare could translate to a role as a food critic someday, but for now, Tseu is living it up in Tokyo, where she founded Aureana Productions LLC, directing and producing Polynesian-based musicals and productions, such as Ka Nani a Hawaii — Voyage.
“Moving to Japan was on my bucket list for some time,” she says. “The aloha spirit is full-heartedly embraced there. It’s so nice to be in another part of the world that truly appreciates what’s so special about Hawaii.”
Tseu, a well-respected international artist, entertainer and model, is currently in the process of directing her next production in Japan, titled Nostalgia Hawaii, which will debut in August.
“I grew up with a lot of Hawaii’s nostalgic music that people around the world recognize and appreciate. I want to bring that back, and Japan is the perfect stage on which to do it,” she states.
In the meantime, however, this former Miss Hawaii USA and Miss Teen Hawaii USA has taken the reins as executive director of Miss Hawaii Earth, the official preliminary to Miss United States Earth and Miss Earth, a leader in the realm of international pageants.
“Miss Hawaii Earth is going to be held Sept. 1 at Ala Moana Hotel,” Tseu explains.
“It has the requirements and standard procedures of a beauty pageant. However, each girl must have an environmental platform. The theme this year is water conservation.”
You’d never guess it from her trim and toned figure, but this beauty is a dessert fanatic! Despite the extravagant feast before us, Tseu firmly believes no meal is complete without the sweets. Enter Chocolate Lava Cake ($8.50) and Gelato & Sorbeto ala La Gelateria ($6.50), which features decadent tastes of Kona Cappuccino, Green Tea, Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Gelato, along with Mango and Raspberry Sorbeto.
“You always have to have dessert,” Tseu confirms with a laugh. She’s as down to earth as you can get.
Having traveled to 22 countries as one of Hawaii’s top entertainers, Tseu has experienced a vast array of worldly cultures. Yet, throughout her flourishing career, she always finds a way to return to her island roots and mentor Hawaii’s youth.
“Next summer, my sister Tatiana and I hope to open Hui Iwa Academy, a place where students can be groomed in all aspects of the performing arts — whether it be in entertainment, dancing, modeling, etc. This is an endeavor that we’re really proud of,” Tseu says.
Atlantis Seafood & Steak
2284 Kalakaua Ave.
Daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.