A Sea of Flavors and Aloha Washes AshoreCover Story Features
March 9, 2014
Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
Embrace the pure essence of Hawaii at Ocean House, a restaurant within Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel that embodies casual elegance amid an open-air, plantation-style atmosphere. Having opened its doors in 2002, Ocean House thrives on the philosophy of treating everyone like family, where diners are offered the finest cuisine and greeted with aloha by a friendly and attentive staff.
Spectacular views of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head are the perfect backdrop for gorgeous sunsets — an exquisite pairing with your dining experience, be it to celebrate a special occasion or a relaxing night out.
Recently, Ocean House has welcomed a new member to its culinary team. In February, Ricky Goings came on board as chef, and he has a lot to bring to the plate. With more than a decade in the industry, Goings received his culinary training in Tokushima, Japan, under the tutelage of Chef Katsuyuki Kijiya, his mentor for four years. Goings returned to the Islands in 2009, and since then has bettered his craftsmanship at establishments such as Akinono, BLT, The Whole Ox, Heeia Kea Pier General Store and Deli, Prima and Indigo.
“With Ricky’s extensive Asian training and passion for island ingredients, he brings a unique and creative blend of flavors and artistry to Ocean House,” says David Nagaishi, general manager.
“I’m very excited to be here. I still can’t believe it,” Goings says. And although he hasn’t been at the restaurant for long, Goings already is moving in the right direction. According to the chef, the nightly menu remains the same, but he’s finalizing a few new additions to the menu and showcasing an array of specials.
Ocean House specialty Hawaiian Salt Slow-Roasted Angus Prime Rib ($34.50) always has been a show-stopper, as it tops the list as a best-selling entree served with creamy horseradish and Maui onion mashed potatoes.
Now that the carnivorous palate is satisfied, seafood aficionados feel right at home with Seafood Linguine ($36.50), featuring sauteed lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams, fish and Pen Cove mussels bathed in a lobster mushroom cream sauce and sprinkled with shredded Parmesan cheese. The restaurant’s Sizzling Ahi Carpaccio also gains mass appeal from both kamaaina and visitors alike. Priced at $14.50, this appetizer presents a plate beautified with delicate slivers of sashimi-style ahi nestled on a bed of Maui onions, radish sprouts and green onions. Hints of togarashi and Hawaiian sea salt are sprinkled atop the fish, along with a drizzle of sizzling sesame peanut oil to accentuate the natural flavor of the dish.
“Sizzling Ahi Carpaccio is gluten-free,” Nagaishi adds, noting that Ocean House easily can cater to specific dietary needs or preferences.
Other gluten-free options include Ginger Steamed Monchong ($32.50), flavored with shiitake mushroom, ginger, green onion, cilantro and tamari splashed with sizzling peanut oil and served with steamed rice.
And with an emphasis on health, the restaurant recently unveiled a gluten-free Curly Kale Salad ($11.50), a colorful medley of fresh kale, avocado, strawberries and papaya tossed in a basil papaya seed vinaigrette and garnished with toasted almonds.
“We support local, organic and sustainable farming whenever possible,” Nagaishi states, “and that shows in the quality of the food.”
Goings’ culinary stylings mirror that of Ocean House, rounding out the menu with locally grown and organic fare take precedence.
“We source fresh fish from the fish auction daily,” Goings confirms. “Local is always better.”
So, the next time you find yourself in the heart of Waikiki, take a moment to relax. Go home to Ocean House, breathe in the fresh air, soak in the gorgeous views and the rhythmic sounds of the waves washing ashore, and indulge in first-class fare that is sure to leave you at a loss for words. All this and more is just a seashell’s throw away. Come on in!
Outrigger Reef Hotel
2169 Kalia Road, Honolulu
Breakfast 7–11 a.m. daily
Dinner 5–10 p.m. daily