Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Hau Tree Lanai

Restaurant Insider

April 14, 2019

Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Anne Lee is ready to dive in to Hau Tree Lanai’s Island Beef Sampler ($46) and Island “Opakapaka” Steamed “Chinese Style” (market price) dishes, presented by executive chef Rene Caba.

ANNE LEE Speaks with executive chef RENE CABA

Breathtaking views and exquisite eats steal the show at Hau Tree Lanai, a charming oceanfront restaurant located on the lobby level at The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel.

The head chef of the restaurant, Rene Caba shares that Hau Tree Lanai is one of the oldest restaurants in the area, with more than five decades of continuous service. And, the count rises with Caba at the helm as he and his team churn out undeniable flavors.

Whatever the time of day, pay a visit to Hau Tree Lanai for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. The twinkling Pacific, cool sea breezes and romantic night sky make for ideal settings when sitting down for a meal in Waikiki. Dine on dishes like Crab Benedict, Hawaiian Breakfast Platter, Spicy Ahi Poke Bowl, Tomahawk Steak for Two and more. Plus, delight in desserts and beverages that are sure to please.

Island Beef Sampler

Caba shares other fun facts about the restaurant to give customers the inside scoops.

AL: What is Hau Tree Lanai’s goal to customers?

RC: To present the freshest farm to table ingredients. Much of our menu is made up of locally sourced products, such as in our Seafood Calypso that uses Kauai Shrimp, and our Ahi Sashimi is cut from fresh island tuna.

Also, the “Kona” Kampachi is farm-raised yellowtail fish from Big Island, and Vegetable Rice Pilaf is grilled with seasonal farm-grown veggies right in the islands.

AL: What type of cuisine does Hau Tree Lanai specialize in?

RC: Steak and seafood. We have one of the best selections of fresh fish and meat in Hawaii. For example, try our Island Beef Sampler ($46) featuring bone-in rib steak or beef shank in vegetable au jus, petite filet with port wine glaze and bearnaise sauce, and strip loin with maitre’d butter. Also, the Island “Opakapaka” Steamed “Chinese Style” is our most popular dish that diners absolutely love.

AL: Are there any special events coming up?

RC: We are holding an Easter Sunday Brunch on April 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be an omelet station, fresh fruit and juice, a carving station, cold seafood selections, desserts and much more. We also have happy hour on the Sunset Lanai daily from 2 to 5 p.m.

AL: What’s an interesting fact about this historic area?

RC: The beach here was the favorite surfing spot for King Kamehameha’s wife Kaahumanu.

Island “Opakapaka” Steamed “Chinese Style”

Step 1:

• Two 6 ounce fresh opakapaka fillets (pink snapper)
• 2 tablespoons sesame oil
• 1 ounce young ginger, julienned thin
• Steam for 5 minutes; set aside until ready to serve.

Step 2:

• Two pieces peeled baby carrots, parboiled
• 2 ounces broccoli florets, parboiled
• 2 ounces green beans, parboiled
• 2 ounces won bok cabbage
• 4 ounces firm tofu
• 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
• 1/4 cup green onions, julienned
• Steam for 3 minutes along with the steamed fish, topped with cilantro and green onion.

Step 3:

• Oriental sauce
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 tablespoon sake
• Blend together; add to final plated steamed fish with vegetables.

Step 4:

• 1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 1/2 cup peanut oil
• Mix together and heat oil until it begins to smoke slightly.
• Pour hot oil over steamed fish with vegetables.
• Add final garnishes and serve hot.


• Toasted sesame seeds
• Green onion
• Cilantro
• Lemon wheel

Honolulu, HI 96815

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best