Families can enjoy good food, big portionsA La Carte Columns
June 12, 2016
Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
When you hear that meatloaf is on the menu, an image of dense, compacted squares of meat usually come to mind. However, upon feasting your eyes on MAC 24/7 Bar & Restaurant’s version — crafted under the expert hands of executive chef James Aptakin — all previous bouts with the classic dish go out the window.
Aptakin presents his Meatloaf ($18) with sophisticated and delicious flair, using an all-beef recipe, complemented with a sofrito-based sauce. The addition of gelatin to the meatloaf creates a light, airy texture, while the house-made spicy ketchup (not too spicy) provides the right amount of acidity. This “sexier version of what Mom makes” is accompanied by a large heap of garlic mashed potatoes and steamed local vegetables.
Just when you thought Aptakin couldn’t possibly perfect another traditional recipe, think again. Beef stew is somewhat of a sacred meal in the Islands, and MAC 24/7’s Beef Stew ($18) holds its own with fork-tender pieces of meat and a thick red-wine mushroom demi glace. The ends of the restaurant’s Prime Rib are added, as well as the shor ribs used in its famous Hawaiian Boneless Short Ribs ($23). Served with two scoops of rice (of course), this dish takes the beef stew you know and elevates it.
Now, about those shor ribs … this recipe has been with Aptakin for 15 years. Upon coming to Hawaii, Aptakin made a “Hawaiian version” of the dish, in which he specially created an irresistible demiyaki sauce for — a combination of teriyaki sauce and demi glace. The short ribs are braised for 12 hours, making the dish a no-knife meal and a no-brainer choice for meat lovers. This dish is served with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed local vegetables.
Another thing to note, besides the mouthwatering flavors, is the portion sizes, as all MAC 24/7 entrees are more than substantial.
“The drive behind our large portions is that we want families to come in here,” Aptakin explains. “Also, when you go home with our leftovers, there’s something to eat the next day to remember us by.” And there are no complaints about that.
Mac 24/7 Bar & Restaurant
Hilton Waikiki Beach
2500 Kuhio Ave., Waikiki
Open 24 hours daily