New menu items as far as the eye can ‘sea’A La Carte
May 13, 2018
Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: WAIOLU OCEAN CUISINE
Waiolu Ocean Cuisine at Trump International Hotel Waikiki has updated its dinner menu with a seafood focus featuring fresh Maine Lobster, Alaskan King Crab, Kona Abalone, Moi fish and more. There also is a new sushi bar offering traditional nigiri and new wave maki sushi, along with a nice selection of high-quality sake flights.
“In the Waikiki/Honolulu area, there aren’t many seafood restaurants,” notes executive chef Shoji Namatame. “In April 2017, we introduced our sushi bar and realized people really enjoy seafood, so we decided to change to a more seafood dinner (from the previous tapas-style menu), and I like to serve more local seafood, such as moi, onaga and opakapaka.”
The new seafood concept launched last November, and Namatame says the response from both locals and visitors has been very positive.
He lists Moi ($28), a tasty Pacific threadfin, as the most popular dish, available steamed (with cilantro, ginger, green onion and shoyu), grilled (with sauce vierge) or crispy (with ponzu and lemon). “Not a lot of restaurants have moi,” he adds. “Many people, especially local people, are surprised we have it.”
Also popular are Alaskan King Crab Legs ($24 for half pound) and Maine Lobster ($34 for 1 1/4 pounds); both can be ordered steamed (with drawn butter), grilled (with sauce vierge) or stir-fried (with black bean or oyster sauce).
“I like to introduce as many different styles as possible — from steamed to grilled to deep fried,” explains Namatame. “Our guests, especially those staying in the hotel, are multiple generations — from grandparents to kids, so there’s a good variety and something they can all enjoy.”
For starters, chef recommends local favorites Ahi Poke ($16) made with onion, shoyu and green onion oil; and Kona Abalone ($18 for one-fourth of a pound) prepared sauteed (with garlic shoyu and butter) or grilled (with shoyu and sake).
Its signature Heart of Palm & Shrimp Salad ($22) was carried over from the previous menu consisting of locally-sourced Maunawili greens, watermelon radish and poached Pacific tiger shrimp in a lime cilantro dressing.
Or if you’re not in the mood for seafood, don’t worry, the dinner menu also has some non-seafood options, such as New York Steak, Chermoula Marinated Lamb Chops, Chicken Breast and a Mini Loco Moco.
Located on the sixth floor of Trump International Hotel Waikiki, which opened in November 2009, Waiolu Ocean Cuisine offers a unique and memorable dining experience. Its casual-yet-sophisticated open-air dining room is inviting, family-friendly, and provides views of beautiful sunsets over Fort DeRussy and the Pacific Ocean, as well as a spectacular aerial fireworks display above Waikiki Beach every Friday evening.
The restaurant also is open for lunch serving assorted American classics, such as burgers and sandwiches, along with Japanese dishes and bento boxes.
Guests also can enjoy live entertainment every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night; and two happy hours (Sunset from 3 to 6 p.m. and Late Night from 9 to 11 p.m.) with 50 percent off sushi and various drink and menu item specials.
“People love it here,” adds Bernie Caalim, director of marketing and communications. “They can have a nice cocktail, watch the sunset and stay for dinner. It’s a welcoming, contemporary setting. Our customers really feel relaxed when they dine here.”