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Doubling Down On Flavor

Cover Story

February 2, 2020

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka

MW Restaurant, the namesake of husband-and-wife chef team Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka, opened its doors in 2013, and was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant.

The restaurant is located conveniently on Kapiolani Boulevard near Ala Moana Center and features a unique take on Hawaii regional cuisine as contemporary interpretations elevate local comfort food.

On Saturday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m., MW Restaurant will offer an exclusive dinner experience titled “HNL x MN,” which will feature culinary creations from Minneapolis-based chefs Gavin Kaysen (an award-winning chef who heads three nationally acclaimed restaurants in the Minneapolis area) and Diane Moua (executive pastry chef at the award-winning Spoon and Table, Bellecour, and Demi in Minneapolis). The seven-course menu will also incorporate the talents of Karr-Ueoka and Ueoka to forge a tasty partnership between the chefs that brings together iconic flavors from the Midwest and the 808 State.

Kona Kampachi Roulade Part of HNL x MN dinner

HNL x MN is the latest opportunity to share knowledge, tell stories and bring people together through collaboration — the aloha spirit will be present in each bite.

It will mark Kaysen and Moua’s first trip to Hawaii, and the chefs are excited to incorporate local ingredients throughout the menu.

MW Restaurant staff also benefits from the experience by learning about different techniques and approaches that could possibly be incorporated in future menu offerings.

“It’s about sharing different chefs’ food, not only for our guests who are eating, but for our staff as a way to showcase different styles of food,” says Ueoka, who has staged meals at heralded restaurants including The French Laundry (Napa Valley, California), but is able to deftly translate his world-class skills and culinary techniques to cuisine that is rooted in local cultures and tastes.

The meal starts off with appetizers of Uni-Giri, French Onion Soup, Oyster Shooter, Mentaiko Potato Rosti and Osetra Caviar “Crepe Cake.”

Glorious glaze Miso-Honey Glazed Golden Eagle Farm Butterfish (Part of Valentine’s four-course meal) Photo courtesy MW Restaurant

Next up is a Bison Tartare inspired by Kaysen, which precedes Ueoka’s third course of Kona Kampachi Roulade with Alaskan king crab stuffing and a wasabi negi sauce.

The fourth and fifth courses form a delectable surf‘n-turf as Tamarind Glazed Grilled Lobster with a citrus orange broth, buttered Brussels sprouts, crispy ginger and scallions are followed up with American Wagyu Beef Ribeye along with braised and stuffed morels, grilled baby leeks and beef jus.

The influences of Karr-Ueoka, one of Hawaii’s premier, award-winning pastry chefs, and Moua are apparent in the final two dessert courses as guests are treated to Pineapple Olive Oil Pudding with mandarin sorbet and vanilla meringue as well as a “Bean to Bar” concept that guides guests on a journey from cacao to chocolate.

The special dinner opportunity is available for $250 per person (a 20 percent service charge and tax will also apply). As a reminder, a deposit of $250 per guest is required to confirm reservations, and cancellations after reservations are confirmed will result in a complete forfeiture of the deposit.

Reservations are being accepted now, so be sure to get a spot at the table while they last! For more information and to make reservations, email director of sales and events Natalie Lee at nlee@ mwrestaurant.com.

Mochi Crusted Kona Kampachi Photo courtesy MW Restaurant

Valentine’s Day Meal

From Friday, Feb. 7 through Sunday, Feb. 16, MW Restaurant will off er a special Valentine’s Day four-course menu. The delicious dinner begins with a chef’s choice appetizer followed by one’s selection of soup or salad of the day. Up next is the entrée course with a choice of Mochi Crusted Kona Kampachi, Miso-Honey Glazed Golden Eagle Farm Butterfish, Bristol Bay Scallops, Ludovico Farm Chicken or Surf-N-Turf with Brandt Beef Tenderloin, Lobster Truffle Mashed Potato and Braised Ho Farms Kale ($15 more for this selection). For dessert, wrap up the memorable meal with one’s choice of Tropical Fruit Creamsicle “Brulee,” Frozen S’Mores, Strawberry Pop Tart, Ko Hana Rum Baba or Hibiki Mud Pie ($5 more for this choice).

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