MW Makes Mom Feel SpecialRestaurant Insider
May 3, 2020
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: MW RESTAURANT
ANNE LEE speaks with MW Restaurant owners MICHELLE KARR~UEOKA & WADE UEOKA
The landscape of Hawaii’s restaurant industry has evolved quite a bit since the start of COVID-19, but local eating houses have adapted to keep customers safe, happy and fed. I had a chance to catch up with Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka from the popular MW Restaurant to chat about how this pandemic has affected their business.
The husband-and-wife team has converted their restaurant into a takeout haven, offering pickup, drive-thru and delivery services to those craving Asian fusion cuisine. What’s more, MW Restaurant launched an array of market items that include fresh produce, “Save it for Later” prepared products and local veggies sides — think Spicy Ho Farms Grilled Eggplant, yum!
The eatery also shares updates on its Mother’s Day specials, but order soon because the deadline to do so is coming up!
AL: How has COVID-19 impacted your business? What about your staff?
MW: We have adapted to the challenges by changing the structure and flow of the restaurant to be able to produce large quantities of food, and provide the new services of the market and drive-thru. Our front-of-house staff has been adapting by learning more about food sanitation as we prepare market items, and the back-of-house team has adapted by learning how to produce meals in bulk.
AL: What do you two see for the future of your restaurant?
MW: Currently, we see MW Restaurant returning to normal operations but also keeping the offerings of the market items for guests to have access to local products. At the moment, every day is changing, and we need to adjust to the times while keeping to our safety standards to keep both our staff and guests safe.
AL: Can you tell me a bit more about your takeout offerings and how you decide on what to serve on the menu? MW: We collaborate with our team every week to decide a theme for our specials. Then, we create the menu based on everyone’s inspirations. The staff gets very excited when they are a part of menu development, and it brings joy to be able to provide a creative outlet for our staff.
AL: What has been the most requested item that is being ordered? What is in the dish?
MW: The most requested item by far is the Oxtail Soup, which is a “Save it for Later” item that guests can take home. It has oxtail, corned beef, pork belly, peanuts, shiitake mushrooms, Chinese vegetables and ginger scallion peanut oil.
AL: Now for Mother’s Day. What type of specials will you be offering for the holiday?
MW: The theme is “Inspirations by Our Moms.” We have a variety of offerings for Mother’s Day, including an okazuya-inspired bento and dessert platter with eight different choices. You can order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The
dessert platters must be preordered by 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 6. There are no other deadlines for regular orders. You can also call the restaurant at 955-6505, ext. 2. We will answer phones from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., except Mondays and Tuesdays. Although, Tuesday, May 5, we will answer phones from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in preparation for Mother’s Day.
AL: How can the community support MW Restaurant?
MW: We have been grateful to our community for all their support. We ask that you continue to support our market items and menu items featuring our local farmers and purveyors so we can continue to support them.
AL: Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?
MW: Thank you to our community members, farmers, purveyors, staff and ohana for supporting us. We also want to thank all of our hardworking frontline workers for keeping our communities safe through these challenging times.