A perfect 10Cover Story
August 6, 2023
Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
Owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka, MW Restaurant (M for Michelle and W for Wade — get it?) is celebrating a major milestone this month. Its 10-year anniversary event takes place 6-8:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at Velocity Honolulu and will feature dishes from more than 20 esteemed chefs.Tickets range from $175 to $5,000, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.
In addition, MW Restaurant presents 10 for 10, a 10-week event that features 10 original appetizers, entrées and desserts from the last 10 years. The list was compiled by longtime staffers who know and love MW Restaurant and its delectable fare. It began July 17, which means there’s still seven weeks of specials ahead. (See breakout box for the menu.)
DO: How did the restaurant come about?
WU & MKU: It was always a dream of ours to one day open our own restaurant. It gave us the opportunity to create both savory and sweet inspired dishes from things we grew up eating and past experiences.
DO: How does it feel to celebrate 10 years in business?
WU & MKU: It has been an amazing journey. We are truly blessed with an amazing staff that have helped us get to where we are today. We are also thankful for all the wonderful support from many of our loyal guests, and it makes us so happy to cook for all of them each and every time they visit us.
DO: What are some of your favorite memories?
WU & MKU: One of many memories is to see our team members grow up. We laugh at it at times, as we have some that started with us when they were in their 20s and now in their 30s. To see them grow personally and professionally in and outside of the restaurant has been amazing.
DO: What are you looking forward to at the anniversary event?
WU & MKU: The anniversary event is always a fun event for us because it’s a reunion of friends cooking together again. We all grew up cooking together, so sometimes it gets a little competitive amongst each other. It’s always fun to see how we all have grown and the different things we all have learned through the years.
DO: Tell us about the 10 for 10 event.
WU & MKU: We wanted to feature popular specials from our past 10 years that have not been on the menu for a while.We asked our staff that have been with us for a while, “What was your favorite dish you remember?” and we collected a list of our favorite ones.
During the pandemic, we did things to simplify our menu for many different reasons — staffing issues, new cooks, product availability and rising costs. We got away from some of these special dishes that our guests returned for. It’s really nice to get back to see some of these specials back on our menu.
DO: What are your top three dishes you’ve served in the last 10 years?
WU: One of my favorites was always the Oxtail Roulade, a different take on oxtail soup. The oxtail is stuffed with pork hash and served over risotto with soup as the base with peanuts and shiitake mushrooms.
Our take on Spam Musubi is always a favorite as well especially amongst the team. We only used to run this during happy hour at our old location and it has not been on the menu since. It is a Smoked Pork Arabiki Meatloaf crusted with mochi and served with nori tsukudani and a quail egg.
Our Original Bento is also one of my favorites.We wanted to create something that could resemble a local bento. It features kalbi, housemade Spam, pork tonkatsu, kukui Portuguese sausage with rice, furikake and banchan vegetables.
DO: Is there anything you would like to add?
WU & MKU: We want to thank everybody for all the wonderful support over the years. It has been an amazing journey! We also want to thank our family and owners who believed in us and their support over the years, and also thank you to our staff past and present who have helped to create many of these memories for all of guests!
10 for 10 menu
Appetizer: Fried Calamari with black pepper sauce
Entrée: Hot Chinese Roast Duck Sandwich
Dessert: Li-Hing Strawberry Rare Cheesecake with
kiawe graham crackers
Appetizer: Housemade Duck Pastrami Sandwich
Entrée: Uni and Crab Pasta
Dessert: Floating Island
Appetizer: MW Pipikaula Burger Sliders
Entrée: North Shore-style Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Dessert: “Coconut Cake”
AUG. 28-SEPT. 2
Appetizer: Spam Musubi
Entrée: “Surf and Turf” with Beef Tenderloin and Lobster
Appetizer: Hot BLT Sandwich
Entrée: Grilled Kalbi with kimchi potato salad and banchan
Dessert: Original Banana Cream Pie
Appetizer: Kim Chee Portuguese Bean Soup
Entrée: Bristol Bay Scallops, Dried Scallop Fried Rice and Lemongrass Tea
Dessert: Old Fashioned Classic Mud Pie
Appetizer: Truffle Fries
Entrée: Teishoku with Miso Honey Glazed Butterfish, Truffle Braised Shortrib, Seared Scallop and Musubi
Dessert: “Nutter Butter”