Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Alan Wong's Restaurant (Honolulu, HI)

As summer nears, I thought I should finish up my Hawaii posts, including one of my visit to Alan Wong's Restaurant in Honolulu. This particular restaurant of his is on the third floor of a nondescript office building in Honolulu and was rather hard to find. Make sure you're looking out for the street number!

Despite being hard to find, Alan Wong is quite famous, so the restaurant was full as expected. Some of the items here may seem passé coming from California, like the tuna tartar with wontons, but some are still rather unique to Alan Wong and the available/local fish is also quite different.

My favorite item was the “Mini Loco Moco”
Mochi Crusted Unagi Meat Loaf, Sunny Side Quail Egg, Wasabi Kabayaki Sauce

Alan Wong's Mini Loco Moco
It is certainly distinct from a standard loco moco, with the sweet flavors of the unagi and the kabayaki (sweet soy-based sauce). I loved the chewy and lightly crispy mochi crust and the quail egg which has deeper flavors than a chicken egg.

One of their signature dishes: "Poki-Pines": Crispy Won Ton Ahi Poke Balls on Avocado with Wasabi Sauce
OK, I just sort of like the name and the look of this dish. the poke was good though and it was a fun way of eating it.

"Da Bag": Steamed Clams with Kalua Pig, Shiitake Mushrooms in a Foil Bag.
I'm showing you what came out of the bag, since a picture of a foil bag is no fun.
"Da Bag"

I liked the combination of the light flavors of the steamed clams with the rich kalua pork.

Ginger Crusted Onaga, Long-Tail Red Snapper
Miso Sesame Vinaigrette, Organically Grown Hamakua Mushroom and Corn
Ginger Crusted Onaga, Long-Tail Red Snapper
Onaga, also known as long tail snapper or ruby snapper, is a Hawaiian fish caught in deep waters. The Hawaiian name is ula`ula. It's apparently fattiest when caught in the winter (makes sense, this is probably true for most fish). As served here, the fish is quite meaty, moist, with large flakes. The flavor was pretty delicate and worked well with the sweet miso and corn. For those concerned with sustainable seafood, all the onagas in Hawaii are line-caught. 

This restaurant is a little hard to get to for tourists staying on the beach, but I enjoyed my meal and I think it's worth a visit if you have the time, especially if you're looking for a higher end restaurant. I have not been to his other restaurants (the Pineapple Room is supposed to be more casual), and I look forward to trying them next time I'm in Hawaii, which is hopefully soon.

Alan Wong's Restaurant
1857 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 949-2526
Alan Wong's on Urbanspoon



Love Alan Wong's! The mini loco moco is one of my favorites too.

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