Tidings of comfort food and joy

Ali Carte Columns

December 7, 2014

Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

In recent years, the number of restaurants embracing healthier dishes and local ingredients on their menus has grown exponentially. Kakaako Kitchen (KK), however, has been ahead of the pack since its inception in 1995, thanks to the efforts of owner and executive chef Russell Siu, who has prioritized these ideals at his establishment since the start.

Specializing in a gourmet approach to plate lunches, the Ward Centre mainstay has long been in favor of substituting the usual suspects — mac salad and white rice — for more nutritious brown rice and ‘Nalo Farms greens. Two decades later, not only is the restaurant still going strong, but it is excited to bring its unique style of healthier comfort food to celebrations of the season.

Holiday Eve Dinner to Go ($30 per person) packages seamlessly bring Hawaii-sourced selections to Christmas Eve gatherings. The all-in-one feast presents divine Beef Burgandy and plump Garlic Grilled Shrimp “Lollipop” Skewers accompanied by asparagus spears wrapped in bacon, creamy mashed potatoes and a vivacious Field of Green Salad made with ‘Nalo Farm greens, feta, walnuts, cranberries, Mandarin oranges and lemon vinaigrette. End the meal on a sweet note with Cream Cheese Pound Cake and cherry sauce.

“Our Holiday Eve Dinners are filled with love and all the trimmings,” says chef Anthony Phillips.

Diners may reserve Holiday Eve Dinners to Go until Sunday, Dec. 21., and pickups will be held at the restaurant on Christmas Eve day.

For the first time ever, Kakaako Kitchen introduces New Year’s Eve Celebration Platters as a festive addition to any party. A Not So Shrimpy Platter ($95) features 15 pieces of Frizzled Shrimp with chipolte aioli and 15 pieces of Garlic Grilled Shrimp and Tomato “Lollipop” Skewers, while “BOBC” Best of Both Chickens ($65) presents Sweet Chili Chicken and Garlic Chicken (3 pounds each).

All of the platters showcase customer favorites, such as A Kalbi to Remember ($150), highlighting 20 full pieces of tender short ribs marinated in the eatery’s special sauce, grilled to perfection and cut pupu-style. Additionally, Small Fry ($75) platter offers 10 Crab and Cream Cheese Won Tons, 10 Spicy Pulled Pork Empanadas and 10 Furikake Tempura Catfish with house-made ponzu sauce; a bigger version, Large Fry (20 pieces each), is available for $145. Last but not least, don’t forget the staples including KK’s Fried Rice ($40 medium tray).

Orders for New Year’s Eve Celebration Platters must be placed by Sunday, Dec. 28, and pickup will be on New Year’s Eve day.

Patrons who visit the establishment also will be charmed by an array of season-summoning gift sets. One gift box houses the executive chef’s Assorted Sea Salt Combo Pack (2 ounces each) — Chili Pepper Salt, Lemon Nori Salt and Alae Salt — which are made with Kona Sea Salt products. It also contains Chef Russell’s Kona Blend Coffee (1 ounce) and a $15 KK gift card, all for $25.

Other great offerings include Assorted Sea Salt Combo Packs ($10 each), 3 ounce bags of individual salts ($5 each) and a $12 combination of one sea salt (3 ounces) and a $10 gift card.

“We hope to keep providing locals and visitors alike with delicious dishes and heartfelt service for 20 more years, and beyond,” says Siu.

Kakaako Kitchen

Ward Centre
1200 Ala Moana Blvd.
596-7488
Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Note: Kakaako Kitchen will close at 5 p.m. Christmas and New Year’s eves.

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