Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: The Kahala Hotel & ResortRestaurant Insider
June 14, 2020
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: The Kahala Hotel & Resort
ANNE LEE speaks with The Kahala Hotel & Resort executive chef JONATHAN MIZUKAMI
The Kahala Hotel & Resort decided to close its doors during COVID-19 to ensure guest safety and the well-being of its employees. Now, with restaurants getting the go-ahead to resume dine-in services June 5, a number of the hotel’s eateries are opening up to serve guests — though in-room dining remains on hold for now.
This week, executive chef Jonathan Mizukami shares what’s new at the hotel’s three mainstay eateries and everything the staff has done to keep customers fed and safe.
AL: Congratulations on your reopening! What restaurants are now open and what modifications have you put in place?
JM: Seating has been reduced, so we are requesting advance reservations only. All tables and chairs have been arranged to ensure 6 feet of physical distance between guests. Tableside cooking has been suspended. All linens will be changed after each use and be washed at a high temperature and in accordance with CDC guidelines. Menus are single-use and will be disposed after each use. As we move forward, we hope to reopen Plumeria Beach House. Stay tuned!
AL: The Kahala is known for its famous buffet. Have the buffet options changed?
JM:We transformed our famous Hoku’s Sunday brunch to “Tei-Hoku,” a teishoku-style menu. We named it (by combining) teishoku and Hoku’s. It’s a three-course menu that comes with all of Hoku’s favorites and The Kahala’s signature items. It’s the best of both worlds to satisfy your cravings. Due to the limited seating, advance reservations are required.
AL: What has the resort done to ensure guest and employee safety?
JM: We have implemented new practices to ensure our guests and staff are safe. We take all colleagues’ temperatures before they enter the property. We also have a strict hourly cleaning schedules to sanitize all high-touch surfaces. We implemented contact tracing for guests and employees. At this time, some services are limited in some areas of the hotel as we follow the reopening health and safety guidelines. For example, we currently have validated self-parking only — no valet at this time.
Our website will have the most updated services, and health and safety procedures.
AL: What does The Kahala have planned for Father’s Day?
JM: Our TeiHoku Father’s Day brunch is already sold out, but we have our to-go Prime Rib, as well as our other party platters. We are requesting 48 hours advance notice for orders.
AL: What specials are you offering kamaaina?
JM: We are offering weekly specials, such as Ox Tail Soup, Sautéed Trout, Truffle Risotto and bentos to go. Please follow our weekly specials on our social media pages. We also have kamaaina room specials for the month of June. This includes rates starting at $279 for any Scenic, Dolphin or Ocean View room; 50 percent off ocean-front rooms and suites; early check-in guaranteed; complimentary late checkout; complimentary self-parking; each room cleaned and vacant 48 hours prior to your arrival; $150 pet fee waived for dogs 25 pounds and under; and 20 percent off Dolphin Quest. We are also honoring first responders and have a Hero Room special — rates starting at $259 for any Scenic, Dolphin or Ocean View room.
AL: What takeout options are you offering for families who want to celebrate something special, like graduation?
JM: To celebrate at home, we have our party platters that feed 10 people. This includes items such as sashimi, sushi, shrimp cocktail and our signature Kahala Chocolate Mousse Cake. We also have our to-go family feast daily specials that feed four people. The Wednesday special is our curry, Friday is prime rib, Saturday will be a seafood boil, and Sunday will be barbecue baby back ribs. All daily specials includes side dishes and fixings.
AL: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
JM: I am excited to relaunch my Grand Tasting eight-course prix fixe menu, as well as my eight-course Tasting of Vegetables, which are exclusively offered at Hoku’s restaurant. This is a collection of ideas inspired by my local upbringing and experience from Michelin star restaurants across the world. We source seasonal local ingredients to support our farmers and fishermen and create an exquisite meal you won’t soon forget. We are also planning to offer a Fourth of July BBQ special beachside from our Seaside Grill. For updates please visit our website at kahalaresort.com.