Basalt Celebrates One Year with New Dishes
You can now eat empanadas all night long at the restaurant at Dukes Lane Market & Eatery.
Editor’s Note: This is one of the restaurants participating in the 11th Annual Restaurant Week Hawai‘i. For seven days, you can take advantage of special dishes, menus, promotions and discounts to showcase local chefs, farms and more with proceeds supporting the Culinary Institute of the Pacific. This year, the event is dedicated to Conrad Nonaka, CIPʻs director who was the driving force behind the programʻs expansion and a key supporter of the local restaurant and food industry. Nonaka died in June at the age of 68.
Click here to read this restaurantʻs menu for the event and more information about Restaurant Week.
Spicy kampachi poke with a house-made sambal, avocado mash, ice lettuce, shrimp chips and sweet soy sauce.
PHOTOS: JENNIFER MENNELLA FIELDS
When Basalt executive chef Keith Kong was looking to point the Waikīkī restaurant in a new direction as it entered its second year, he didn’t look far for inspiration. He turned to his crew and chef de cuisine Gary Matsumoto to drum up new culinary creations—and they didn’t let him down. They came up with so many good ideas, in fact, that Kong scrapped the restaurant’s old dinner menu in favor of a new one.
One of those ideas: the spicy kampachi poke ($13). The appetizer is served on a shrimp chip (think high-end poke nachos) with a house-made sambal that gives it bite. Although spicy, the dish’s sweet soy sauce provides balance. The portion of poke is light, but the pūpū feels reasonably priced.
The rotisserie duck empanadas are a pau hana favorite.
Not all items on the updated menu are entirely new. The lobster bisque ($3 for a shot, $6 for a bowl) recipe has been refreshed. The rotisserie duck empanadas have been a pau hana staple since they debuted on the happy hour menu two months ago; I can see why this deep-fried appetizer ($10) is a fan favorite. Stuffed with rotisserie duck, goat cheese, brandied cherry and pickled jalapeño, the empanada’s crispy exterior immediately gives way to the richness of the duck and cheese. It comes with an avocado lime crema that adds brightness to the otherwise hearty ingredients.
The braised pork shoulder that is locally sourced from a farm in Wai‘anae.
Five new entrées round out the dinner options, including a braised pork shoulder from SK Natural Farms in Wai‘anae that’s served with roasted potatoes, asparagus and an IPA mustard jus ($25). The flavorful sauce allows the pork, which is tender after cooking sous vide for 24 hours, to take center stage.
BASALT’s new macadamia nut and panko-crusted fresh catch of the day; pictured here is monchong.
A Basalt menu wouldn’t be complete without a touch of charcoal. You’ll find it with the fresh catch ($29). The fish—monchong the day I tried it—is served with a nori tuile that incorporates the earthy charcoal. This crunchy garnish has a light seaweed flavor, but the star of the plate is the fish’s savory, vibrant macadamia-nut-and-panko crust.
Vegetable risotto with edamame, bok choy and baby carrots topped with a Parmesan crisp and fennel pollen.
Other new entrées include a vegetable risotto made with edamame, bok choy and baby carrots topped with a Parmesan crisp and fennel pollen ($21); a pappardelle pasta with pork ragu ($23); and prime rib that comes with mashed potatoes and vegetables ($29).
Dinner runs from 5 to 10 p.m. daily and entrées range from $19 to $45.
Dukes Lane Market & Eatery, 2255 Kūhiō Ave., (808) 923-5689, dukeslanehawaii.com/basalt-waikiki-restaurant