Service with a smileCover Story
September 4, 2022
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
By offering an incredible ambiance coupled with alluring dishes incorporating local ingredients and flavors, Quiora appeals to all the senses.
Quiora opened in 2019 and is part of G.LION Hawaii, which also operates sister restaurants Hy’s Steak House and La Vie. Quiora is conveniently located just off Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues at the Ritz Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach. The restaurant offers complimentary valet parking for guests and has introduced a daily business lunch special, which features a three-course meal for just $25.
“The name of our restaurant is a play on the Italian phrase ‘qui e ora,’ which means ‘here and now,’” says Quiora manager Jimmy Otake. “Our menu is inspired by Italian and Mediterranean cuisines, featuring thoughtfully sourced ingredients from local farmers, fishermen and purveyors throughout Hawaii.”
Roasted Kahumana Beets and Avocado Salad ($19) has quickly become a dinner menu favorite of guests after first being served earlier this year at the G.LION Hawaii brunch buffet on Mother’s Day. Quiora executive chef Eric Oto explains that the refreshing vegan-friendly option features slow-roasted Kahumana Farms beets marinated in balsamic vinegar with a touch of maple syrup. The beets rest upon a Hamakua macadamia nut purée and are topped with fresh seasonal citrus segments and avocado, as well as a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Local micro greens, edible flowers and chopped toasted macadamia nuts are sprinkled for garnish and texture.
Oto also recommends Wood-Grilled Fish ($49), as the catch of the day is provided by local fishermen. The fish is paired with Kalaeloa green beans and Kahumana Farms marinated zucchini and is topped with baby arugula and salsa giallo.
All pastas are made inhouse daily at Quiora, and Rigatoni Al Sugo ($34) features rigatoni pasta coupled with Mountain View Farms pork sausage made with fennel pollen, fennel seeds, Aleppo pepper, herbs and spices. The pasta and sausage are simmered in made-from-scratch tomato sauce and finished with Castelvetrano olives and ricotta salata cheese.
Sous chef Casey Kusaka recommends Kauai Prawn and Lobster Ravioli ($39), one of Quiora’s most popular menu items. The ravioli, which is made with handmade pasta dough using TKG Waimanalo farm eggs, features a Kauai prawn and lobster filling. The pasta is accompanied by an Okolehao limoncello butter sauce, which is unique as it includes local Hawaiian moonshine made from the root of the ti leaf plant. “The Quiora team ages the liquor, steeping Buddha’s hand (a citrus fruit) from Mountain View Farms as it ages, helping to mellow the alcohol while adding refreshing citrus notes,” Kusaka says. “The ravioli is finished with marinated local tomatoes, Kahuku sea asparagus and saba — a sweet syrup made from reduced grapes.”
Pastry chef Miki Iwai recommends trying the newest addition to Quiora’s menu: Honokaa Chocolate Decadence ($12). The flourless cake is made with chocolate from the Honokaa Chocolate Company on Hawaii Island and accompanied by a fluffy crema made from light coconut. It’s finished with a gluten-free cacao crisp wafer for a slight bitterness to balance the decadent dessert.
“Whether you’re dining with family or friends, celebrating a special occasion, or enjoying a romantic meal with your loved one, our restaurant has something for everyone,” Otake says. “Our open-air dining room offers beautiful views of the Waikiki skyline and the Pacific Ocean, complemented by live music in the evenings, Monday through Thursday. You can even catch the Hilton Hawaiian Village fireworks show Friday evenings from any table in the restaurant and stunning sunset views any day of the week.”