Sweets That Sing Songs of Sicily

Columns Jus' Desserts

June 30, 2013

Story By: Nicole Monton | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

Taormina Sicilian Cuisine in the heart of Waikiki serves up southern Sicilian dishes that are out of this world — specifically inspired by the village of Taormina in Sicily. The menu is inspired by executive chef Hiroyuki Mimura’s four-year culinary adventure in Sicily. While there, he studied under master chef Luca Pecorini, who taught Mimura how to make wonderful dishes such as Cannoli ($8), Marscapone Cheesecake ($8) and Hot Chocolate Cake ($9). In fact, Mimura learned and perfected these three desserts while under chef Pecorini.

Mimura started working at Taormina in 2007, and since then has been creating and serving up dishes that give people a small hint of dining in Sicily.

He says that the Cannoli (Sicilian sweet style) is one of Sicily’s famous desserts.

“We make a shell with fried fresh pasta and make a tube (cannoli translates to little tubes in the Sicilian language),” Mimura explains of the pastry dessert. “Inside is a ricotta cheese mousse.

“It’s a very simple dessert,” he continues, “and we serve it with pistachio and vanilla gelato.”

Hot Chocolate Cake is flourless and made with ingredients such as chocolate, egg, cocoa powder and sugar, and is served with a helping of gelato.

This heavy-hitting dish is a polar opposite to Marscapone Cheesecake (also served with gelato), which resembles a souffle cheesecake due to its light texture.

“When I was in Italy, my master chef taught me how to make this cheesecake,” Mimura says. “It’s very light and creamy.”

You might be wondering what the difference is between Sicilian cuisine and Italian cuisine. Chef Mimura explains that Sicilian cuisine is much lighter and uses more herbs and the perfect amount of seasoning, while at the same time not using heavy sauces that are so common in Italian cooking.

Dishes at Taormina, which marks its sixth anniversary in October, also features local fresh produce that is cooked (and baked) to perfection.

Taormina Sicilian Cuisine is the perfect place to have a light and delicious meal with friends and family while strolling along the streets of Waikiki. The seaside village of Taormina that inspired this restaurant mimics the bustling and enjoyable environment of Waikiki, so stop in and enjoy your own little taste of Sicily. And with sweet delicacies as reasonably priced and delicious as the ones Mimura serves up, be sure to save room for dessert!

Taormina Sicilian Cuisine

227 Lewers St., Waikiki
Happy Hour daily, 2-5 p.m.
Regular dining hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96815

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