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Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Restaurant Insider

June 16, 2019

Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Sous chef Alan Nguyen, left, Anne Lee, director of food and beverage Dan Reid and Kahala master sommelier in residence Roberto Viernes dine on bites from The Veranda’s new happy hour block.

ANNE LEE speaks with Kahala Resort’s food and beverage director DAN REID

The Kahala Hotel & Resort is a lovely destination for both kamaaina and visitors to enjoy. Perched along Oahu’s scenic southeast shores, the resort includes Dolphin Quest for fun-time with the playful mammals and beach access — just to name a few.

Also on the property is a grand selection of dining options. When looking for your next eating destination, stop in for The Veranda’s new happy hour as you soak in summer’s longer days and tropical nights.

Assorted Cheese Platter ($10)

From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Monday-Friday there will be mouth-watering specials on pupus and beverages that will really light up taste buds and moods. Plus, The Veranda’s awe-inspiring outdoor deck is comfortable and cool with lots of space to mingle in as well. It overlooks The Kahala’s lush courtyard that leads to the stunning shoreline and ocean, which reflects the vibrant colors of the sky as the sun sets.

The Kahala’s food and beverage director Dan Reid shares more details on why The Veranda is the “place to be” this summer and beyond.

Spicy Ahi Roll ($10)

AL: What can diners expect on the new happy hour menu?

DR: We are definitely taking our classics and putting a twist on it, but we’ll also have our popular dishes from Hoku’s on the menu, such as Fried Ahi Poke Musubi — $17 on the Happytizers Menu, regularly $22 on the Hoku’s nightly menu. As far as our sushi dishes, they are only available on the Veranda menu.

The Happytizer menu consists of other customer favorites, too, from an assorted cheese platter served with sesame lavash, pickled red onion and seasonal fruits ($10) to our spicy ahi rolls for ($10).

Calamari ($10)

AL: What are some other fun reasons to head down to The Veranda? DR: First off, the breathtaking view and the ambiance — we want this to be Honolulu’s social gathering spot. We also do have nightly entertainment, on Sundays and Mondays with contemporary Hawaiian artists, and David Swanson is here throughout the week.

AL: What are some stand-outs at The Veranda that keep people coming back for more?

DR: From our traditional famous afternoon tea, to live music and now offering our new happy hour, we offer a wide array of offerings to our guests.

Chicken Wings $10

The wines offered on this Happy-tails Menu are selected by Roberto Viernes, who is our master sommelier in residence for the Kahala Hotel. Stonestreet Cabernet on the regular menu is offered at $22 per glass, but for happy hour we offer it at $12 per glass. The Zaccagnini Pinot Grigio from Abruzzi, Italy is also $22 per glass on the regular menu, and offered at $12 per glass on the happy hour menu. In addition to the wines mentioned, we have domestic craft beer available for $5 and $6 import craft beer during happy hour.

AL: Any fun facts most people wouldn’t know about the restaurant? DR: We offer three of the most of sought-after wines — there are only seven bottles on the island; the chandeliers in the lobby feature 28,000 multi-colored pieces of Italian-fused glass; and every U.S. president from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush has stayed here, and President Barack Obama has dined at Hoku’s.

Ahi Poke Musubi with King Crab Namasu*

Ahi Poke Musubi ($17)

Plate composition:

1 piece ahi musubi

3 tablespoons crab namasu

• 2 ounces baby romaine leaves

• 1 tablespoon ponzu mayonnaise

To assemble:

Cut the ahi musubi in half or in four pieces. Place three baby romaine leaves equally spaced apart in a circle. Place the crab namasu in the center of the leaves. Using a squirt bottle, drizzle ponzu mayonnaise around plate. Place cut musubi pieces in between leaves. Serve.

Ingredients:

• 4 ounces cooked sushi rice

• 2 ounces ahi poke (mixed with preferred amount of green onion, Maui onion, ogo sesame oil, Hawaiian salt, chili water and kukui nut)

• 2 tablespoons furikake

• 2 cup vegetable oil (for frying)

Place plastic wrap on metal cups. Spread two ounces of sushi rice on bottom of plastic wrap and spread evenly, about two inches thick. Place two ounces of ahi poke in center of rice and cover poke with remaining rice. Form a ball using plastic wrap and bind rice to create a well-packed rice ball (musubi). Coat with furikake and deep fry just before serving.

Crab namasu:

2 tablespoons Japanese cucumber, seeds removed, sliced 1/4-inch cut, lightly salted for 1 hour, drained

1 tablespoon daikon, sliced 1/4-inch cut, almost the same size as the cucumber

1/2 tablespoon green onion

• 1 tablespoon king crab meat, picked through and squeeze of excessive liquid, keep chunky

2 tablespoons namasu marinade (see recipe below)

• Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients, mix well and serve.

Namasu marinade:

• 1 3/4 cups rice vinegar

• 3/4 cup sugar to taste

• 1 tablespoon ginger (finely chopped)

• Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Reserve until needed.

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