Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: G.Lion Hawaii

Restaurant Insider

November 19, 2023

Story By: Anne Lee |

La Vie’s White Truffles (contact for cost)

G.LION HAWAII made its way to the state in 2011 when it acquired Hy’s Steak House in partnership with T. Brothers International. Part of GLION GROUP’s Osaka-based Hospitality and Branding division, G.LION HAWAII operates two catering companies, Catering by Hy’s and Divinitive Occasions, and manages two restaurants, La Vie, a modern French cuisine restaurant, and Quiora, an Italian eatery, in The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach.

La Vie’s Chicken and Champange $59

G.LION HAWAII’s corporate executive chef Shaymus Alwin’s mission is to provide the ultimate dining experience, whether diners are sitting poolside or enjoying a dry-aged, bone-in rib-eye steak grilled over Hawaiian kiawe wood.

I met with the chef to talk about the unique offerings that are in store this holiday season.

AL: What’s new at La Vie?

SA: La Vie has an ever-changing menu, led by chef de cuisine Patrick Collins. He curates a living canvas that celebrates the beauty of local and seasonal ingredients. It is a journey of taste and culture, with an homage to French cuisine.

The interior of La Vie offers spectacular views.

On Wednesdays we offer a concept inspired by chef Patrick and his wife, Emily, who’s a chef at Fête in Chinatown, for their annual anniversary celebration called Chicken and Champange. Every year they get a bomb bottle of Champagne, like Krug, a bucket of puff ice and fried chicken, and they have fried chicken and Champagne on the beach. It’s $59 and is only available in the bar area with limited seating.

AL: What’s new at Quiora?

SA: We have the Cena per Due ($150), which means dinner for two. It’s a prix-fixe menu featuring two exclusive off-the-menu delights. The first course is housemade focaccia and hara bhara greens insalata; the second course is baked rigatoni with a choice of Jidori chicken, catch of the day or Snake River Farms rib-eye; and the third course is blood orange mousse cake.

La Vie’s Dry-aged Kanpachi (contact for cost)

Stay tuned for Christmas buffets.

AL: Can you tell me more about the upcoming wine dinners?

SA: Ariana Tsuchiya is our sommelier and manager. With Ariana on the team, we have access to some of the best sommeliers in the world.

From 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4, we will have the Uncorked ($190) wine dinner with master sommelier Chuck Furuya at La Vie. Ariana’s goal is to share his knowledge of hospitality industry beyond just being a wine mentor. They both just got back from France and Italy and want to make wine less intimidating and more approachable for the next generation.

AL: Do you offer vegan options at Hy’s Steak House?

SA: We have two new vegetarian dishes: Hamakua Macnut Romesco Lasagna ($45) and Agave-glazed Harissa Carrots ($42). The lasagna is delicious. It’s made with nuts, so it has this really nice creaminess to it, and you almost don’t even realize you’re eating vegan.

At Hy’s Steak House, don’t forget about our Christmas Ohana Feast ($450; serves six people). Orders close Dec. 17, and pick up is Dec. 24-25.

AL: Your role here is unique. Tell me more about how you lead a culinary team.

SA: My role is to make sure that the teams are supported in a sense of leadership; staffing; finding the best, better or more efficient way of doing things; and to get the best version of themselves in their cuisine. Sometimes that may mean believing in them more than they do themselves and pumping them up for that — being the cheerleader as well as the coach.

Our chefs come up with ideas every Friday. We meet and do a tasting. We talk, collaborate and offer constructive criticisms as we all have a different arsenal of knowledge and bring something to the table.

It’s like a melting pot and boiler room, and we figured it out. The dishes are their dishes. My input is the support factor and just what might work better. I’m not a dictator in any sense; I make a lot of suggestions. They can take them or leave them.

AL: Anything else you want to share?

SA: I think the best part of this profession is the fact that you’re going to meet lifetime friends. You’re going to make lifetime connections with people. In an environment that is high pace and high stress is where you can find the best people as well as open so many doors of opportunities that you never could have considered if you were to do something else.

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best