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Inside Feature

Takin’ It Easy With Island-Style Fare

By Lindsey Appleton Photos By Tony Grillo
October 4, 2015

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Executive sous chef Chris Kirksey holds Chicken Katsu Sliders ($16)

Executive sous chef Chris Kirksey holds Chicken Katsu Sliders ($16)

When taking a stroll down Kalakaua, options for food, hospitality and entertainment abound. However, nobody does dining and entertainment quite like the team at Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. Just off Kalakaua on Kaiulani Avenue, the hotel combines the classic five-star Sheraton style with an open-air, laid-back kamaaina vibe. This blend of extravagance and simplicity is best encapsulated in Splash Bar & Bento. Take a seat and enjoy casual poolside dining with all of the luxury and tasty, complex flavors that executive sous chef Chris Kirksey has to offer.

“We’re more family oriented and try to promote a real relaxed-in-Hawaii feel,” explains Esther Ng, online marketing and public relations coordinator. “You’re still in the center of Waikiki’s hustle and bustle, but once you step inside, you can take it easy.”

The best place to take it easy is at the bar and eatery, where Chef Chris recently unveiled a new menu, perfectly capturing the mixture of recipes and cooking styles of Hawaii. Because Sheraton doesn’t have a branded menu, Chef Chris has the freedom to create dishes with a unique fusion of flavors.


Jump right in to full-bodied recipes with the Fire Rock Ale Cheese Fondue ($12). Take grilled bread, sliced veggies and taro chips for a dip in creamy, cheesy, lusciousness topped with crispy Portuguese sausage. Order Pineapple Shrimp Skewers ($16) as an appetizer or hoard it for yourself — either way, your taste buds will thank you. Three grilled skewers of shrimp are layered with juicy Maui Gold Pineapple, glazed with a sweet, black pepper sauce, and topped with jalapenos and cilantro.

At Splash Bar & Bento, ribs don’t have to mean stretchy pants, bibs and skipping dessert. Chef Chris’ Baby Back Ribs in Black Bean Garlic Sauce ($17) are tossed in a mildly spicy black bean garlic sauce and served with refreshing green papaya slaw.

“I kept in mind local aspects and put a twist on traditional dishes,” says Chef Chris, who has been with Sheraton Princess Kaiulani since May. “For example, I made a lighter curry sauce, more like chutney, for the katsu. It’s all the same flavors, but taken in a new direction. My recipes are like Hawaii, a melting pot.”

Bite into the chef’s Chicken Katsu Sliders ($16), which quickly have become the most popular item on the menu. Three sweet rolls sandwich crispy chicken katsu topped with a pineapple curry sauce, cabbage slaw and served with a side of “sweet and fiery” pickles. Have your meal expertly complemented with Splash Bar’s Paired Menu, featuring eight plates matched with either local beers or Sheraton select wines.

At the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, being relaxed doesn’t mean being without entertainment. Enjoy the Te Moana Nui show Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays with buffet dining at Splash Bar’s neighboring restaurant, Pikake Terrace. Join the Sheraton in celebrating Princess Kaiulani’s birthday Oct. 16, with a special cake-cutting ceremony. During that same time, honor Hawaii at Culture Week. This weeklong celebration includes activities like lei making, hula performances, crafts, community activities, a royal procession and more.

Splash Bar & Bento

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel
120 Kaiulani Ave.
922-5811
Daily, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Happy hour, 4-6 p.m.; Late night happy hour, 9-11 p.m.