Feast with your entire ohana at Paina NightsA La Carte
October 7, 2018
Story By: Don Robbins | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
Chef Simeon Hall Jr. explains that he feels extremely comfortable in his role at La Hiki Kitchen located at Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, as Hall grew up in the Bahamas and feels a similar happy vibe in Hawaii.
“I’m an island boy living and working on an island,” he shares. “You can’t go wrong with that.”
Hall has 24 years of experience working in the culinary industry and will celebrate his first-year anniversary at La Hiki Kitchen next month.
La Hiki Kitchen draws its inspiration from the Hawaiian phrase Mai Ka La Hiki A Ka La Kau, meaning “from sunrise to sunset,” and this restaurant serves up delectable breakfasts, dinners and weekend brunches.
With many dishes flowing out of the kitchen, Hall always makes sure locally sourced, seasonal fresh ingredients are highlighted throughout his creations. He says his intention is to “Cook as Mother Nature intended and as his grandmothers Nola and Nay would have wanted.”
He prefers to use time-tested techniques of preparing food such as smoking, curing, aging, pickling, preserving and slow cooking to ensure the best tastes and textures.
Hall notes besides the juicy meats offered at La Hiki’s Steak Night Sizzle events on Monday nights and on its regular menu, a popular vegetable dish that guests can enjoy is G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) Corn. This Caribbean influenced creation consists of fresh corn, a special sauce, cheese and 14 kinds of seeds and grains.
Another one of La Hiki Kitchen’s special themed events is Paina Night, which is held every Friday evening from 5 to 9 p.m. This event celebrates island life with a Hawaii-style party providing food, live music and hula. It also features family-style dishes with plentiful food stations.
Paina Night meals include a Manini Feast at a price of $50 for adults or $35 for keiki; and a larger Ohana Feast at a price of $95 for adults or $45 for children. In addition, menu items such as poke and roasted pig can be purchased individually.
An example of one of the scrumptious foods available during Paina Night is House Pipikaula with green onion and Hawaiian salt. Hall explains this item is his take on a traditional Hawaiian dish. He uses Angus beef which is prepared using a seven-day process of carefully trimming the cut of meat, curing it, air-drying it and readying it for hungry diners to sink their teeth into. Chef Hall says he is working with local farmers to offer locally sourced beef in the near future at La Hiki Kitchen.
A second Paina Night crowd pleaser is Lava Ash Roasted Root Vegetable. Hall shares this item reflects the Hawaiian way of doing things. Although it is prepared in the kitchen instead of an underground pit, this dish is created using fire, coals and burning ash to roast whole seasonable vegetables in their skin. “This is where our restaurant gets to connect with farmers. The seasons dictate what we will use,” shares Hall.
North Shore Garlic Shrimp with Taro Dunking Bread is another option up for grabs at Paina Night (on Ohana Feast menu). Hall says the luscious garlic covered shrimp are served with purple taro bread so eaters have the option of soaking up all those amazing juices and garlic with the bread. Hall explains that his aim is to never be restrained by the restaurant’s location in the resort, but to bring everyone attending the party a taste of the Hawaii experience. He says he would love for guests to learn, explore and look deeper into things such as North Shore shrimp and how pigs are prepared for cooking in Hawaii.
In addition, Hall shares that another of his goals is to have the restaurant be the most “admired, visited and talked about by local residents.”
On the horizon at La Hiki Kitchen, the restaurant will be offering Thanksgiving-To-Go. Customers can enjoy a holiday feast personally created from the restaurant’s kitchen to take home. The traditional Thanksgiving feast will include oven-roasted turkey, braised thighs, giblet gravy, traditional hearty trimmings and a warm home-made pie ready to serve. Call 679-3059 to order your Thanksgiving dinner (must be ordered by Nov. 19).