The Tastiest Way To Start Your DayCover Story Features
April 2, 2017
Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: CAFE LANI
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and at Café Lani Hawaii, this old adage rings true as the kitchen team puts the finishing touches on a revamped morning menu set to debut toward the end of the month.
Of course, all meals throughout the day have proven to be important at the first-come-first-served eatery, which has been met with lines out the door from the moment it opened on Jan. 15 of last year. Kamaaina, in particular, can’t seem to get enough of the all-you-can-eat bread, flavorful parfait desserts and Italian-inspired cuisine offered up at the all-day dining café.
For the past year, Café Lani’s menu has been prepared with the magic touch of chef Masayuki Ohara, whose expertise in Italian flavors stems from training under Italian chefs in Japan and working at the Ritz Carlton in Osaka. Now, he’s ready to showcase his culinary talents on the upcoming breakfast menu, and he’s agreed to tickle Dining Out‘s taste buds with a sneak peek of the new menu items.
“My background is in Italian cooking, but because we have a café concept here at Café Lani, I wanted to create a breakfast menu that fits the atmosphere of the restaurant,” he says.
In addition to his culinary finesse, Ohara is known for his stylish dish presentations, which will be on display with the new menu. “We have a lot of ladies who dine with us in the morning, so I wanted to create something especially pretty for them,” he adds.
Café Lani’s breakfast bonanza will offer the eatery’s take on a number of classics, including French toast. Look forward to devouring Soy Milk French Toast with Berries and Vanilla ($18.25), complete with dramatic pieces of fluffy bread made from scratch in-house. The bread is perfect for sopping up creamy Anglaise and syrupy strawberry sauces, while raspberries, blueberries and other fresh berries brighten up the dish. Last, but not least, a scoop of vanilla ice cream adds that taste of indulgence many restaurant-goers are seeking when dining out for breakfast.
Benedict-lovers are sure to fall head over heels for the bacon chip-sprinkled Eggs Benedict Set ($19.80), which replaces the typical English muffin with thick slices of bread topped off with hollandaise-drenched poached eggs, prosciutto, as well as tomato and arugula. There’s also an Open Sandwich Set ($19.80) with sliced bread as its base, creating two open-faced sandwiches: one with prosciutto, fried egg, Jack and Parmesan cheeses and creamy béchamel; and the other with smoked salmon, onion, ikura and tartar sauce.
While those dishes make breakfast fantasies a reality, Ohara points out that his new menu also caters to diners seeking a healthy start to the day. In addition to Fruit and Yogurt Set, Morning Salad Set and fresh juices made with real fruit, you’ll be eager to try the lemon-zested Acai Bowl Set ($18.25), which pairs the popular Brazilian superfruit with strawberries, blueberries, granola, banana, tofu and honey. The Italian Omelet Sets also offer a nutritious meal in Vegetable & Quinoa, Italian Sausage & Bacon, or Shrimp & Clam ($24.50) varieties. The latter, for instance, highlights the seafood with a well-rounded mix of potatoes, cherry tomato, broccoli, mushroom and asparagus, as well as Jack cheese.
All of the new breakfast menu items come with Café Lani’s signature all-you-caneat bread, and a handful of them also come with a choice of coffee or juice.
“We also have Siphon Coffee, which is very rare in Hawaii,” says Ohara, adding that the special brews are made individually with skill and precision for a superlative cup-of-Joe experience.
Sure to complete any breakfast is Café Lani’s fresh, modern and award-winning design scheme, which comprises three spaces that resemble a sunny picnic, green forest and cozy living room — all perfect spots to wake up and smell the roses.
A Taste Of The Season
Spring has certainly sprung at Café Lani, where a spry seasonal menu is devourable until May 31. The limited-time menu allows seafood to blossom, as you may gobble up clams, oysters and mussels in your choice of pasta or gratin. Additionally, enjoy salad, soup, a mini pizza and al-you-caneat bread with the meal, which is priced at $22.50. Also on special are seasonal breads, including such flavors as Orange & White Chocolate, and Walnut Cranberry Raisin Wheat.
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
Breakfast Daily, 7:30-10:15 A.M.; Lunch And Dinner Daily, 11 A.M.-10 P.M.