My Newest Flame: Oysters RockefellerColumns Ono, You Know
June 12, 2016
Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
When the silky, creamy texture of oysters comes together with butter, herbs and sauces, we all have something to be thankful for — and that’s exactly why I’m all fired up about Oysters Rockefeller. This baked treasure certainly is the most posh way to enjoy the protein-rich seafood.
You may think the dish is called Oysters Rockefeller because it was a favorite of John D. Rockefeller — but, think again. This specialty actually surfaced down south in New Orleans toward the end of the 19th century, and its name points to the pioneering oil industrialist and richest man in the world in his day because, like Rockefeller, the sauce is very rich.
That’s reason enough for me to want to try it — so let’s grab our shuckers and get to it!
BAKERY & TABLE
For those experiencing the joys of oyster eating for the first time, it’s best to start with a baked oyster dish like Oysters Rockefeller to ease your way into the salty ocean charm of these molluscs, rather than diving right in to raw preparations. A most fabulous place to do that is Honolulu’s newest dining hotspot Bakery & Table, where classic dishes and European flavors are given a fanciful Asian twist.
The eatery’s Oysters Rockefeller offers five wonderful shells for only $18. The dish is impressive from the moment it hits the table, as it’s given a fun flash of flames upon serving, which only are accentuated by a splash of Spiced Rum on top.
The warm, luxurious oysters are baked to perfection with parsley compound butter, which hits you right away as you scoop the seafood into your mouth. Your palate is then hit by the sweet happiness of classic bechamel sauce spotted with miso.
“These oysters are perfect — they’re tender, and there’s a touch of brininess to them, which a lot of people like in oysters,” says general manager Brent Yamate.
The Saikyo miso used in the recipe stands out, as it hails from Kyoto, Japan, and is considered to be a sweet miso made with more rice than soybeans. “You’ll be able to taste the miso and it gives the dish a nice umami quality,” adds Yamate.
Bakery & Table usually uses either Fanny Bay or Goose Point oysters for this creation, both of which are widely acclaimed. Enjoy Oysters Rockefeller during dinner inside the restaurant or outside on the rooftop lanai, complete with a fun fire and water fountain wall feature.
Bakery & Table also serves lunch week-days and brunch on the weekend, not to mention happy hour starting tomorrow with food and drink specials daily. And let’s not forget about the Bakery portion of the eatery that serves up an array of fresh breads and pastries. Oh, and if you’re ready for those raw oysters, don’t forget to head to the raw bar outside.
Bakery & Table
938 Piikoi St., Honolulu
HY’S STEAK HOUSE
This November, Hy’s Steak House will be celebrating 40 years of serving up sizzling steak-house fare to Oahu’s patrons. Over the years, many menu items have become signature dishes that are here to stay, including the classic starter Hy’s Oysters Rockefeller ($22).
Following in the tradition the upscale restaurant has mastered for decades, executive chef Justin Inagaki plays up six voluptuous oysters with a sauteed mixture of bacon, spinach and onion, all made more lavish with butter and a drizzle of Pernod liqueur.
And for a finishing touch, these baked beauties are topped with tried-and-true hollandaise.
“Hy’s Oysters Rockefeller has been a mainstay on our menu for almost 40 years now,” explains general manager Marc Nezu, adding that the Goose Point oysters from the Pacific Northwest are perfect for the dish. “Because the oysters are baked, other types of oysters, if too lean, will just shrivel up, but the Goose Points are an ideal size for us and retain that nice, plump oyster,” he adds.
After starting your meal with this appetizer, you’ll want to dine on Hy’s 100 percent USDA Prime — meaning top-rated — steaks that, unlike at other steak houses, are grilled in the eatery’s kiawe-broiler, which guests can view from the dining room. “Lately we’ve seen a trend toward the larger bone-in cuts: bone-in ribeye (28 ounces), T-bone (28 ounces) and, of course, porterhouse steaks (34 ounces),” says Nezu, when commenting on the most popular steaks on the menu. The eatery also is serving Wagyu Tomahawk Ribeye at the moment, which has been consistently selling out.
As the summer months heat up, guests can look forward to more monthly wine dinners presented in collaboration with local boy and Master Sommelier Patrick Okubo, as well as fresh items reflective of the season — such as a 100 percent local, farm-to-table summer fruit platter highlighting exclusive items sourced locally, including honey cream pineapple from Frankie’s Nursery.
Hy’s Steak House
2440 Kuhio Ave., Waikiki