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Diners can indulge in edible works of art

A La Carte

July 15, 2018

Story By: Elima Pangorang | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

New York Steak ($45)

Raise the curtains as Stage Restaurant at Honolulu Design Center on Kapiolani Boulevard is ready to put on a critically acclaimed encore, or as locals like to say it, “Hana hou!”

The contemporary restaurant and wine bar has quite the program set up for its audiences having just reopened in April after a short intermission for design renovations.

However, the real stars of the show, of course, are the creative, revamped menu items that really give diners and their taste buds a bang for their buck. The newly refreshed menu is led by Stage’s chef Ron de Guzman, who sources local products whenever possible and draws culinary inspiration from his travels.

Peaches and Cream ($14)

A nice opening act can be found with the dreamy Twice Cooked Braised Pork Belly ($32) served alongside Yukon potato puree as well as ume puree. The pork belly presents a thick, crisp outer layer, while the tender meat below makes for an indulgent offset.

Then, the show goes on with New Zealand King Salmon ($36) and New York Steak ($45) both of which offer savory bites cooked to perfection that are soft and easy to eat. The salmon swims in a vibrant pool of butternut squash puree, while the pan-fried steak is topped with a show-stopping bacon onion jam accompanied by roasted mushrooms, charred green onion cream and mashed potato.

New Zealand King Salmon ($36)

For the grand finale, any item on Stage’s dessert selection is a winner. Taking the Oscar, however, is Peaches and Cream ($14). While not officially on the menu quite yet, pastry chef Cainane Sabey, the genius creator of this treat, gave Dining Out an early and exclusive taste at the dessert and after giving it a try, it is certainly something to keep your eyes out for.

Full of pleasant texture and flavor, this dish comprises black sesame sponge cake, buckwheat crumbles and red kisses of cherry coulis surrounding a divinely smooth peach cream bowl that holds peach caviar. The topper to this meal is a light scoop of cool cherry blossom ice cream.

Twice Cooked Braised Pork Belly ($32)

Guests can find fun and artsy dishes like these and more at Stage Restaurant plus sip on beverages and spirits, as the Amuse Wine Bar is just a glass door away.

While general manager Michael Moore admits, the eatery’s location is “tricky” as it is tucked between two one-way streets (Piikoi and Pensacola) in the heart of town, he says the trip is worth it with the restaurant’s revamped look and menu items.

“We’re like a hidden gem,” shares Moore. “(We have a) gorgeous room, free parking, the wine bar is totally unique and has Enomatic wine machines. Our main goal is to let people know where we are and have them come and enjoy it all.”

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