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TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: Ginger Steamed Monchong ($33.50)
Ocean House wants nothing more than for its guests to feel right at home. Situated in Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel, this Waikiki establishment exudes casual elegance in its plantation-style dining room. Ocean House captivates all the senses with its classic American fare and Pacific fusion masterpieces, along with its beachfront dining and picturesque views of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head. General manager David Nagaishi speaks highly of the restaurant’s Ginger Steamed Monchong.
“In Hawaii, we refer to two species of deep sea pomfret as monchong, which are harvested in small quantities by tuna longline and bottom fish hand-line fisheries,” explains general manager David Nagaishi. “The predominant species is known as sickle pomfret, because of its fork-shaped fins and large scales.”
Ocean House reels in its fresh catch from the fish auction. Regarded as an exotic fish, monchong is identified by its clear, white flesh with pink undertones. When cooked, the meat becomes firm and full of flavor.
Filet of monchong is steamed and drizzled with sizzling hot peanut oil before it’s adorned with additional flavors derived from shiitake mushrooms, ginger, green onion, cilantro and tamari. The fish is served with steamed rice.
In addition to its smooth texture and savory appeal, the gluten-free fish has proved to be beneficial to one’s health. “Monchong is an excellent source of healthy, lean protein. It’s low in saturated fat and sodium, but rich in niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium,” says Nagaishi.
According to the general manager, monchong is growing in popularity among both locals and visitors alike. “Most people are familiar with onaga, opakapaka, opah, mahi mahi and butterfish on our menu. But for a lot of customers, monchong is a new experience, and they are very surprised at how delicious it is.”
Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel
2169 Kalia Road
Open daily, 7 to 11 a.m. (breakfast) and 5 to 10 p.m. (dinner)
Note: Validated valet parking is available, and reservations recommended but not required. Reservations can be made via phone, or through OpenTable.com.