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Inside Feature

It’s Always the Right Time for a Mac Attack

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Nathalie Walker
August 3, 2014

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Given the expertise and creative energy flowing from its kitchen and bar literally all day, every day, it’s easy to see why kamaaina and visitors alike flock to MAC 24/7 to fulfill their food and beverage needs.

Situated on Kuhio Avenue on the lobby level of the inviting Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel, MAC 24/7 serves up “modern American cuisine” infused with local flavors and influences amid an upbeat, contemporary setting. While local diners may be wary of venturing into Waikiki, MAC 24/7 is located near the Kapahulu end of the city and offers $3 validated valet parking.

“At MAC 24/7, you can come into Waikiki and not have to feel like a tourist,” says Mark Nelsen, director of restaurants for Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel. “That’s what makes us so much fun; we don’t fall into one specific niche. We offer a lot of farm-to-table dishes, health-conscious options and even a gluten-free menu. There’s something for everyone here.”

MAC 24/7′s menu is fueled by the culinary creations of executive chef James Aptakin, who along with his team of experienced chefs, continues to add new, exciting options designed to keep the dining experience fresh and engaging. Aptakin and the MAC 24/7 team were honored recently by the Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association with Best Taste and Best Presentation awards as part of the inaugural Taste Awards.

Aptakin’s flair for flavor comes through in a variety of dishes, including Deep Fried Short Rib Bites ($12) in tongue-tingling wasabi-scotch bonnet pepper oil, Thai mustard Mongolian glaze accompanied by fried avocado. The tasty spare ribs are lightly fried tempura style and presented in bite-sized portions, making them perfect for sharing along with a round of cold beverages.

Those in search of a hearty breakfast any time of day need look no further than MAC-Attack ($16), an assortment of French toast or pancakes and freestyle eggs along with breakfast potatoes, Applewood smoked bacon and link sausage. For an additional $2, diners may add one of five signature pancake flavors including hot and wild blueberry and vanilla glaze.

“The breakfast plate is one of our most popular dishes and is actually pretty common for dinner,” Nelsen says. “You can order everything all day, especially our pancakes because they’re very well known.”

Pan-Asian Salad ($15) offers a light yet satisfying option via kiawe-grilled teriyaki chicken, Napa cabbage, ‘Nalo spicy greens, Ho Farms cherry tomatoes, Mandarin oranges, fried wontons, almonds and candied walnuts all composed in sesame pan-Asian vinaigrette. Diners also may substitute coconut shrimp or ahi for $7 more.

MAC 24/7 has developed a reputation for serving up plentiful portions, and that is indeed the case with MAC-Aloha ($25), appropriately dubbed the “ultimate Hawaiian combo.” The large plate includes huli huli-style grilled chicken, kalbi short ribs, seared ahi tuna, fried rice and wakame garnish. Seven Cheese White Mac & Cheese ($16) also represents a customer favorite throughout the day, night and late night, as bleu, boursin, white Cheddar, Gouda, fontina, mascarpone and velveeta cheeses are blended to compose this classic MAC 24/7 favorite. Diners may add cherry wood smoked bacon ($2) or lobster ($8) to fortify the dish’s unique flavor and creamy texture.

“We’ve worked hard to expand our offerings and make sure that diners know that we offer much more than pancakes at MAC 24/7,” Nelsen explains. “Our dishes are locally inspired, and while we’re in a tourist destination, the experience also feels very comfortable. We cater to local residents as a host for practically any occasion.”

To complete one’s meal on a sweet note, diners may reach for one of MAC 24/7′s enthralling desserts such as Fried Banana Fosters Cheesecake ($9) accompanied by vanilla ice cream and caramel rum sauce.

As football fans rejoice with the return of gridiron action later this month, MAC 24/7 serves as an ideal destination for fantasy football draft parties. Those interested are encouraged to schedule their draft parties now to receive a free draft kit. Attendees of each party enjoy a comfortable private room that hosts up to 18 people, along with a flat-screen television, free Wi-Fi Internet and specials including 10 percent off all food, $3 draft beers, $4 Heineken and $5 Jack Daniels.

While MAC 24/7 has gained popularity thanks to its stellar cuisine, a new line of “Mactails” is quickly growing in popularity among bar patrons. The throwback cocktails ($9.50 apiece) include Red Velvet Chocolate Milkshake, which features a blend of 360 Double Chocolate Vodka and 360 Glazed Donut Vodka, and Pop Rock Martini — pop rocks and Three Olives Marilyn Vodka blended to construct an alluring treat.

School is back in session, and students can unwind at MAC 24/7 every Thursday from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. as part of “Student Night.” Students with valid identification receive 20 percent off food and can take advantage of specials including $8 Chicken and Waffles, $5 Fireball shots and $3 draft beers. It’s a deal worthy of an A-plus.

Mac 24/7 Bar & Restaurant

Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel
2500 Kuhio Ave., Honolulu
921-5564
Open 24 hours daily
Mac247Waikiki.com