New desserts at Nobu Waikiki
Coco Kinokos (left) and Butterscotch Banana Tobanyaki (right). Photos by Dawn Sakamoto.
Nobu Waikiki's new pastry chef, Jenny Sumpter, previously of Palme d'Or, continues the Nobu tradition of sophisticated desserts with a Japanese lilt. Nobu remains one of my favorite places for desserts, primarily because of the unexpected and whimsical pairings presented, and because its lounge is an easy, casual place to swing by for dessert and a drink (in contrast to tasting-menu only Vintage Cave, where Nobu's previous pastry chef, Rachel Murai, works now).
My favorite dessert on the new menu: the Butterscotch Banana Tobanyaki ($13), which comes in a clay pot, the lid lifted table side to reveal squares of chewy mochi sponge cake, warm bananas and butterscotch, lightened by crisp orange meringues and ginger strawberry ice cream.
Coco Kinokos arrive like little mushrooms, with dark-chocolate pound-cake stems and coconut-water sorbet caps ($12) and the Banana Cheesecake ($13) is for those who have always wanted a lighter cheesecake: This one is almost like a mousse, paired with pineapple sorbet and strawberry preserves.
Nobu Waikiki, 2233 Helumoa Road, 237-6999, noburestaurants.com/waikiki