Prime pupus for your steak dinner

Columns Lite Bites

August 25, 2015

Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

It’s no secret that Ruth’s Chris Steak House serves the finest USDA Prime steaks and fresh seafood, complemented with an award-winning wine list.

But the renowned restaurant also has impressive appetizers and side dishes, including some that are on the “lighter” side.

Chef’s Poke ($12) — which is not on the menu but is an ongoing special available nightly — features high-quality 2-plus grade tuna seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, a hint of Sambal, as well as toasted sesame seeds, garlic, ginger, green onions and round onions.

“It’s a typical poke recipe, but it’s the quality of the fish that is so special,” says executive chef Eser Domingo. “We’re using the top-of-the-line fish, that’s why it’s nice, bright and red. It’s very lean, and has a clean, crisp and light taste. People say, ‘What, you use that for your poke?’ People usually use No. 3 grade for poke, that’s very stringy. Ours is sashimi grade. Our poke just melts in your mouth.”

A popular, classical Italian dish is Beef Carpaccio ($21), consisting of thinly sliced rare filet served with Caesar dressing, Parmesan cheese and fresh pepper, and garnished with mixed greens and six garlic crostini “toast points,” or thin slices of toast.

“You cut a little meat and scrape it on a toast point with some dressing, add a little bit of greens and Parmesan cheese, and eat it as an open-face cracker,” notes Domingo. “It’s a nice mixture of textures and flavors.”

Domingo also recommends trying Vine Ripened Tomato & Mozzarella Salad ($17), which is another classic Italian dish, but here, guests will immediately notice the exceptional size of the mozzarella and beefsteak tomato. “They’re the really big ones,” he says. “It’s a four-by-four size Hamakua tomato. Most other places, it’s thin slices of tomato and cheese. It also comes with a mesclun mix that is lightly tossed with our house vinaigrette dressing.”

The appetizer also is inspired by Sliced Tomato & Onion, an original menu item and favorite of Ruth Fertel, who founded Ruth’s Chris 50 years ago. Locally, Ruth’s Chris is celebrating this milestone anniversary with on-going dinner events.

On Oahu, Ruth’s Chris Steak House is located at Waikiki Beach Walk (226 Lewers St.) and in Water-front Plaza (500 Ala Moana Blvd.). The Waterfront Plaza location, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year and signed a new lease for another 25 years, recently underwent major renovations, including new chairs, lighting and furnishings; a brand new kitchen with top-of-the-line equipment, such as ovens, stoves and three walk-in freezers; improvements to its outdoor lanai; new artwork throughout the restaurant; and more. There also are three private dining rooms that have been upgraded with new state-of-the-art audio and visual systems.

“We’re a family-friendly fine dining restaurant and we serve the best steaks — it’s all USDA Prime, wet-aged, and served on a 500 degree plate to keep it hot all the way until you’re finished,” adds Domingo. “What we’ve been selling a lot lately is our Tomahawk steak. It’s a special that’s not on the menu. I’ve been bringing it in every week and we’ve been selling out. (You can call ahead to reserve one.) It’s just a massive, brontosaurus-size bone that hangs over your plate. People will come just for that to get their beef fix.”

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

500 Ala Moana Blvd.
Dinner: 5-10 p.m. daily

226 Lewers St.
Dinner: 5-10 p.m. daily

Honolulu, HI 96815

Honolulu, HI 96813

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best