3660 On The Rise

Digest Kitchen Insider

March 3, 2013

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at your favorite restaurant? Well, much credit goes to the many chefs, owners and managers who work diligently day in and day out to make sure Hawaii’s diners have a top-notch dining experience.

This week, Dining Out gets the inside scoops from 3660 on the Rise chef de cuisine Lydell Leong, who gives us a little taste of 3660 and shares just what fuels his culinary drive.

Photo: Leah Friel

Photo: Leah Friel

NAME Lydell Leong
TITLE Chef de Cuisine
TIME AT 3660 16 years

Who or what inspires you as a chef/manager/owner? Seasonal and readily available products inspire me to create certain dishes. The customers we serve also inspire me to create food they want to enjoy. We would like them to eat what they want, but we also want to expose them to things they haven’t had before or normally wouldn’t try.

What’s your most popular dish? Our most popular dish is our Ahi Katsu. This appetizer has been on our menu since day one. It is simply made starting with sashimi grade ahi, wrapped with fresh spinach and nori, then crusted with panko and quickly cooked rare. To complement the ahi katsu, we serve it with a pair of seasoned rice, thinly cut cucumber strings tossed in our soy sesame dressing, then finished with a wasabi ginger butter sauce. It is so popular that some guests order it as an appetizer, then finish their meal with another order.

Is there a dish that you create that’s not on your menu, but available upon request? We once made an amuse bouche for one our special diners — it was a Pan-Seared Masago Arare-crusted New Zealand Salmon. It was so well received that they requested it each time they dined with us. It is never a problem because we regularly have the ingredients on hand to accommodate them. Another instance is our Crispy Garlic Scallion Prawns. It was featured on our menu for a short time, and then when we changed our menu and tried a new preparation of prawns, our customers requested the crispy garlic scallion style, so we brought it back. Over the years we have learned to rotate our customers’ favorites, and with our frequent menu changes, we are able to accommodate our customers’ requests as much as possible.

Crispy Garlic Scallion Prawns. Photo: Lawrence Tabudlo

Crispy Garlic Scallion Prawns. Photo: Lawrence Tabudlo

What is the biggest compliment you’ve ever received as a chef/manager/owner? I appreciate every compliment no matter how big or small. I am humbled and grounded by each one. They help validate the fact that we are serving people what they want. Every “thank you” is an important compliment.

If you could serve food to a celebrity, who would it be and why? What dish would you serve? I would like to cook for Johnnie Walker because I love his scotch. I would cook our Certified Angus Beef New York Steak Alaea because I think it would pair wonderfully with Blue Label.

3660 On The Rise

3660 Waialae Ave.
Tuesday-Sunday, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96816

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best