Step Up to the Plate

December 24, 2017

Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa |


Like a bright star for which Hoku’s at The Kahala Hotel & Resort is named after, the eatery shines brighter than ever leading into the new year with a bunch of exciting news.

In January, chef de cuisine Eric Oto and his culinary team will present Hoku’s winter menu, which features carefully created dishes inspired by the newly appointed chef’s local roots.

“Being born and raised here, there’s so much influence,” says Oto, who has more than a decade of experience in the kitchen. “The menu doesn’t have just one (type of) cuisine — it’s all meshed.”

Take, for instance, Seafood Linguini, which fuses Japanese, Italian and French cooking — with a touch of island flare, of course.

Oto says he took inspiration from three of his favorite dishes and flavors — including mentaiko (Alaska pollock roe)-style pasta, uni pasta and lobster sauce — and fused them together to create this noodle masterpiece.

There also is Five Spiced Maple Leaf Duck Breast, which features a prune mui compote, bursting with hints of li hing and preserved lemon.

The rest of the winter menu highlights other seasonal ingredients, and will run from Jan. 4 to Feb. 15. However, Seafood Linguini can be ordered upon request starting today, and is available on the restaurant’s current special menus.

Also be on the lookout for Wine Wednesdays at The Veranda next door, and other celebratory events at the hotel coming up in 2018.

An ocean fest

The linguini is topped with pan-seared seafood, including two shrimp and one giant scallop, as well as lumps of King crab meat.

To top it all off

Peppery Kauai radish sprouts and kizami nori (shredded seaweed) adorn the seafood masterpiece, while sprinkles of micro shiso and shiso oil add the finishing touches.

Like ‘buttah’

Uni, or sea urchin, adds richness to the dish with its distinct, creamy texture and refreshing ocean taste.

Swimmingly satisfying

The lobster sauce is a European classic made from white wine, fennel, seafood stock, cognac, cayenne pepper and a hint of lemon.

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best