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Step Up to the Plate

Kissaten Coffee Bar

By Alana Folen Photos By Leah Friel
June 30, 2013

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A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: SUMMER TOMATO SALAD ($8)

Kiss away the hunger pains at Kissaten Coffee Bar, a contemporary establishment that always has its doors open to patrons for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining.

Conveniently located on Piikoi Street, Kissaten prides itself on classic comfort food with a gourmet twist, encompassing Japanese, Italian and French culinary influences.

Just in time for summer, chef Edison Ching was inspired to create Summer Tomato Salad, a July special available for lunch and dinner.

Tapioca balls marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette burst with flavor. “At first glance, people think it’s caviar, but it’s my own unique creation. Besides flavor, it brings a nice texture to the dish.”

Hints of homemade goat cheese pesto are on point and takes the salad to another dimension — a welcomed fusion of Italian and local flair.

“This is a refreshing take on the traditional Caprese salad. I was inspired by the season. The key is to keep things light and fresh,” Ching says.

Sliced radish, Japanese cucumber and Kamuela tomatoes complete the salad. The tomatoes are doused in a red wine vinaigrette and garnished with basil, oregano and thyme. “The red wine vinaigrette gives an acidic punch to the dish,” Ching says.

Bite-size pieces of local seedless watermelon add sweet sensations to the dish. Because what’s summer without watermelon? These juicy morsels of goodness pair perfectly with the acidic flavors of the red wine vinaigrette and balsamic vinaigrette.

“When creating this dish I played with the sweet-and-sour flavor profile and different textures. Some people think of Kissaten as a place for soups and sandwiches, but this dish will make for a new dining experience. There are a lot of healthy components here.”

Kissaten Coffee Bar

88 Piikoi St., Honolulu
593-1200
Open 24 hours daily