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Pupus That Will Put You on Top of the World

Columns Pupu Picks

July 22, 2012

Story By: Steve Murray |

A room with a view is nice, but an entire eatery with a 360-degree snapshot of the Pacific is even better. Add to that good service and some great pupus, and you’ve got a restaurant worth visiting again and again.

Seared Scallops and Fois Gras ($19) is fancy food gone good, local style. A menu item signature dish, this appetizer features li hing blackened scallops, seared Spam (yep, Spam), Hudson Valley Fois Gras and a pineapple gastrique. If you want to swap the Spam for braised pancetta, then Day Boat Scallops ($17) is the preferred way to go. The pan-seared scallops are served with an Ewa sweet corn pudding, braised pancetta, and a Kamuela tomato and Maui onion relish. Delicious. The pancetta is slight salty and provides a nice counter balance to the naturally sweet scallops. A swipe through the corn pudding completes the tour.

Continuing with the mix of East meets West is Anise Braised Pork Belly ($14). Served with Fuji apple and parsnip puree, jalapeno cumquat chutney and topped with a balsamic sweet chili gastrique, the dish is a fine example of the eclectic, but approachable menu created by executive chef John Neff.

Not enough? Try Nachos ($10). Cheese, heavy beans and boring chips you say? Not hardly. Neff’s nachos are made from hand-cut tortilla chips, Ewa sweet corn, Kukui Sausage Company chorizo, asia-go-sweet corn bechamel, diced tomatoes and scallions.

More cheese, please? Camembert En Croute ($15) is wrapped in a puff pastry and served with a side of candied cajun walnuts, Granny Smith apples, greens and grapes tossed in a pomegranate balsamic reduction. A little bit of each creates a creamy, sweet, sour, salty bite that will make the most sharing dinner guest a self-satisfying diner focused more on the delec-table in front of them than engaging in quality conversation. However, the added quiet isn’t a bad thing as your engrossed companion will be too busy to notice your Grilled NY Strip Steak ($19) with papaya and Maui onion poke, and lomi lomi grape tomatoes.

Top of Waikiki

Top of Waikiki Business Plaza
2270 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu
Open daily, 5-9:30 p.m.

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