Pizzeria adds island-inspired flair to menuA La Carte
December 31, 2017
Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
As its name suggests, Flour & Barley – Brick Oven Pizza is known for its original pizza pies and craft beer. Since opening about a year ago at International Market Place in Waikiki, the traditional pizzeria has become a favorite for locals and visitors for its Italian-American favorites, including brick oven pizzas, salads, antipasti and entrees, such as Braised Short Ribs Osso Buco.
During lunch, there is a selection of Italian sandwiches, and the menu also includes some local flavors, such as Ahi Poke ($17). Made with sesame oil, green onion, furikake, macadamia nuts, Kauai avocado and Calabrian chili, th pupu is served with taro and sweet potato chips.
“It’s one of my favorites by far,” shares chef de cuisine Royce Arakaki. “You have the different supermarkets and restaurants that claim they have the best poke, but
I think this is one of the best. The sauce we came up with, we put some of the chili oil in there, but it’s not just plain chili oil, we bring the chili in from Italy and they have just enough heat.
“There’s also a little bit of furikake and fried shallots,” he adds, “and we get the fish from the fish auction every day. It’s fresh, not frozen.
That’s our main focus, especially with ahi poke — local and fresh.”
Also unique is the Kalua Pork pizza ($20) consisting of mozzarella, slow-roasted pork, onion, fresh jalapenos, roasted tomatoes, sweet Thai chili sauce and cilantro. “Every Flour & Barley (location) has its own special pizza and dishes, and for us, this is one of the two local pizzas that we have (the other is the Aloha Pie),” explains Arakaki. “We slow roast the pork for a couple of hours, and the pizza sauce is different, it’s not a red sauce or white sauce. We make our own sweet chili sauce and put that on the bottom.
“Ironically,” he continues, “the unusual combination of kalua pork and sweet chili works so well. The pork is smoked and the sweet chili is sweet and sour, so it’s got a tanginess to it. I haven’t had a single bad response on the Kalua Pork (pizza), that’s how crazy (good) it is.”
Flour & Barley offers 15 types of handcrafted pizza, including gluten-free options. Among the most popular are Margherita (mozzarella and basil) and The Big Apple (pepperoni and mozzarella). All are made fresh using dough that goes through a three-stage proofing process.
“We proof it very slowly, and that allows the dough to grow and expand and it makes the pizza nice and chewy,” explains Arakaki. “It’s the same concept as when you age wine or dryage steak. We take a lot of effort and time to do that.
“Also, our pizza dough is sourdough-based. We use a sourdough starter from Italy and it’s 100 years old, so every dough you get has 100 years of heritage in it. We call it our “Mama,” and that’s the base of all our pizzas.”
For dessert, Arakaki suggests Fried Pizza Dough “Malasadas” ($9), a play on the local favorite and Italian zeppole (fried dough).
“We’re kind of melding that Italian and local flavor, local culture together,” he says. “It’s also a way to use our dough. We lightly fry the pizza dough, toss it in some li hing mui sugar and top it off with our house-made gelato and Maui pineapples.”
Stop in for happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m. daily and enjoy some of the restaurant’s “best of the best” items and drinks at discounted prices, such as the Margherita pizza for just $10 (regularly $15) and the FB Brew by Waikiki Brewing Co. for $4 (regularly $6).
There also is live music every Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m., and a special Football Menu during NFL and college football games.
Validated parking is available at International Market Place, and kamaaina get 15 percent off with a valid ID.