New eatery features a fresh approach to island cuisineA La Carte
November 24, 2019
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: ANNE LEE
Halekulani Bakery and Restaurant is quickly gaining popularity by offering light, locally inspired Pacific Rim cuisine that highlights freshly baked breads made in house and locally sourced proteins and produce.
The eatery recently opened Oct. 25 on the ground level of Halepuna by Halekulani, and represents the first Halekulani Corporation-branded bakery.
Chef de cuisine Aaron Furuto was recently promoted to lead the heart of the house for the new venture, and has been part of the Halekulani team since 2005.
“We offer a contemporary boutique atmosphere,” says Furuto. “As the sister company of the Halekulani, we still carry that level of quality and service at a casual, approachable setting and environment. I try to implement more local items throughout the menu and we rotate intriguing options on our breakfast buffet, including mochi pancakes and mocha waffles.”
Start off the meal with Halekulani Bakery and Restaurant’s Hawaiian Yellow Fin Ahi Poke ($22), which features a secret poke sauce crafted in house that is sweet and savory at the same time.
Warabi and Opai Salad ($16) is built with Big Island fiddlehead ferns that are fast blanched to maintain crunch-iness along with a soy vinaigrette and Ho Farm tomatoes all tossed together. Furuto explains this refreshing dish was inspired by yearly visits to a macadamia nut farm in Kohala, Big Island with his mom and grandmother.
Cioppino ($28) is a fisherman’s stew that was featured recently during Restaurant Week. The seafood medley is composed of sauteed vegetables and spices with fresh fish stock, Kauai shrimp, mussels, clams and the catch of the day. The delicious soup is served with a slightly toasted baguette made fresh in the bakery.
Braised Short Rib ($36), also showcased during Restaurant Week, comprises local Kunoa Beef from Oahu’s Westside and is braised in a red wine sauce with veal demi, lemon juice, butter and fresh fennel salad.
Furuto encourages diners to stay tuned for Halekulani Bakery and Restaurant’s Thanksgiving Buffet, which will feature an array of fall-inspired salads with farro and quinoa along with succulent turkey and bacon brioche (the same bread used in the delicious lobster roll sandwich) stuffing that will be made in house at the bakery. And, don’t forget about all the fixings such as candied yams and sauteed sweet potatoes.