Let’s Hear it for Sizzling Platters

Columns Ono, You Know

May 10, 2015

Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: Bodie Collins

Hisssssss … crackle … spark! If food could sing, without a doubt its theme song would be the loud sizzle that ignites from fiery hot plates served at our favorite restaurants. That’s right, we’ve all had those moments when we’re waiting for our food to arrive — and suddenly, heads turn and gasps are sounded as we witness a server bursting through the kitchen doors with a sizzling platter in hand, making a grand entrance to table No. 9 across the room. As steam rises and delectable fare sears golden, there’s enough excitement in the air to make us feel as though Beyonce herself just appeared in the doorway.

It’s certain that these pop stars of the dining world transform mere mealtimes into fully entertaining dining experiences. And while their theatrical delivery is what initially draws us in, it’s really the incomparable flavors of sizzling platters that sing to our hearts. These dishes are made with countless variations of ingredients and are part of dining traditions in multiple cultures, and yet they all share the same appeal: that drool-worthy, caramelized, charred flavor that only can come from cooking meats, seafood, veggies and what have you on piping-hot surfaces.

This week, I took on the role of a talent scouter in search of sizzling platters with the most star power. Let me tell you, these OYK finds already are topping the charts.

Seafood Village Chinese Cuisine

Just as appealing as the sweet sound of smoldering hot plates are the mesmerizing aromas they cast out into the air, hinting at the sumptuous flavors that are about to meet diners’ taste buds. At Seafood Village Chinese Cuisine in Waikiki, the classic sweet-and-savory scent permeating from Fresh Scallops with Black Bean Sauce ($22.95) is simply impossible to resist.

Specializing in Cantonese fare, the eatery is home to a number of sizzling platters, including Jumbo Prawns with Satay Sauce, and Sliced Tenderloin with Black Pepper Sauce. While each is tasty in its own right, for me, the scallop platter hums the tastiest melody, as it not only fulfills my cravings for fresh, tender seafood, but also comes with bell peppers and onions that harmoniously blend with aromatic black bean sauce.

These plush ingredients are stir-fried with the heavenly sauce first, and then placed onto a pre heated cast-iron plate upon serving, so customers can experience the fragrant sizzle right before their eyes. According to manager Yao Ming Guan, this thrilling way of presenting the dish often sparks interest in other patrons. “When other people see this, even though they haven’t seen the menu yet, they ask me, ‘What’s that? I want one, too!'” he says.

Guan notes that, in addition to sizzling platters, island residents will want to try Seafood Village’s unbeatable kamaaina lunch special as well as its private rooms ideal for smalland large-scale gatherings.

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa
2424 Kalakaua Ave. #103

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

If there’s one type of meat that calls for sizzling more than the rest, it’s juicy, succulent steak. And if there’s one place to get it, it has to be Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener.

With soon-to-be 13 locations internationally, this establishment utilizes USDA Prime Grade Black Angus beef that provides exceptional marbling, tenderness, flavor and texture. One of its smash hits, Porterhouse Steak for Two ($115.95, 32 ounces) is the epitome of hot-plate goodness, offering the best in both sirloin and filet cuts of meat.

“The sides of beef are dry-aged on-site for 28 days, carved by our own butcher and cooked to perfection — with the final step of cooking taking place in our 1,600-degree broiler,” says general manager Bill Nickerson. “The results are luxurious — meltingly tender and juicy steaks served sizzling hot with a perfectly caramelized crust.”

One bite of those crisp yet buttery-soft morsels and you’ll never look at steak the same. As for what to pair with this number, “Our classic recommendation is the ultimate New York steakhouse meal of our Porterhouse, mashed potatoes and our signature creamed spinach,” adds Nicker-son. “But really, any sides you want to pair with our Porterhouse work deliciously. You can even get really decadent and add our Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese as a side!”

Now that’s a sizzler that sings.

Royal Hawaiian Center
2301 Kalakaua Ave.

Ilima Awards
Hawaii's Best