HONOLULU Small Bites: 9 Happenings Worth Buzzing About in December 2017

Here’s a quick-bite guide to the latest foodie news around the Islands.


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Outstanding in the Field returns to Kualoa Ranch in January 2018 with dinner prepared by Andrew Le of The Pig & The Lady.
Photo: Courtesy of The Pig & The Lady

 

A new speakeasy by Dave Newman opens, Outstanding in the Field returns in January and Bite Squad expands its offerings. Here is some of the buzziest food news this week:

 

1. Harry’s Hardware (Finally) Opens

Dave Newman, co-owner of Pint + Jigger, opened a speakeasy next door on Thursday.
Photo: Olivier Koning

 

This speakeasy has been months in the making.

 

On Thursday Harry’s Hardware Emporium, a cocktail lounge adjacent to Pint + Jigger, opened, with Prohibition-themed décor and classic libations elevated with quality spirits and local ingredients. The speakeasy is the brainchild of co-owner Dave Newman, credited for making craft cocktails part of the local bar vernacular.

 

Everything about this bar is classy and fitting, from the 1930s poker table Newman found on Craigslist to the dapper bartenders in slacks and collared shirts. The details are impressive, and you almost wish the lights were brighter in here. There are real hardcover books on the shelves, old sweet vermouth tins wrapped around a pillar, an old cash register that still works, hand-drawn department store ads from the 1930s hanging on the wall, a Beefeater gnome hiding in a storage area. Harry’s seats about 36 and reservations are highly recommended. There might even be a password to get in.

 

It took Newman and his partners, including Hideo Simon of Square Barrels, five months to renovate this space. Pint + Jigger expanded its kitchen when Newman took over this spot next door, and the menu at both locations will be different. (Meaning you won’t be able to get the P+J stout burger at Harry’s.) Dishes include whiskey-flambéed mushrooms ($8), bone marrow ($12), oysters ($13) and Brazilian cheese bread ($8).

 

The drinks are exciting, with a rotating selection of barrel-aged cocktails and signature creations. Right now, there are 12 cocktails on the menu, ranging in price from $10 for spiked eggnog to $20 for a drink Newman calls Three Weeks, a nod to how long he kept saying it would take until he opened Harry’s. (He said this for almost a year.) You can order Montenegro or Makers Mark Greenpoint on tap, flights of whiskeys and rums, and two kinds of slushies that are dangerously delicious. Newman serves the Oaxaca Old Fashioned ($14) at room temperature and undiluted. It’s sweet and smoky and smooth. “It’s ridiculous,” he says. “There’s so much flavor.”

 

In true speakeasy fashion, the entrance to Harry’s is through Pint + Jigger, with a well-dressed host waiting at the end of a short hallway to let you in. From the outside, it looks like an old hardware store.

 

About the name: Newman says for generations on his dad’s side, his relatives have always owned bars or liquor stores. Harry is the name of the furthest relative he can trace back to owning a liquor store.

 

 1936 S. King St., (808) 744-9593

 

2. Learn to Master Fancy Hors D’oeuvres at BLT Steak Waikīkī

The second of two cooking classes offered by BLT Steak Waikīkī focuses on ways to impress guests at your next holiday party. The class, which is held from noon to 3 p.m. on Dec. 16, is taught by chef de cuisine Fred DeAngelo. Learn how to whip up exciting pūpū, platters and party favorites, complete with Champagne and caviar. Cost is $110 per person and includes a 1.5-hour cooking demonstration and a three-course lunch. Buy tickets here

 

223 Saratoga Road, (808) 683-7440, bltrestaurants.com/blt-steak/waikiki

 

3. Marvel at the Royal Hawaiian’s Gingerbread Tower

The Royal Bell Tower made entirely out of gingerbread.
Photo: Courtesy of The Royal Hawaiian

 

Executive pastry chef Carolyn Tada Portuondo has created a replica of the bell tower at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel entirely out of gingerbread.

 

SEE ALSO: How Carolyn Tada Portuondo Went From Toxicologist to Cake Master

 

The piece is 10 feet tall and is constructed from more than 80 full sheets of gingerbread baked at the hotel, 200 pounds of royal icing and 50 pounds of chocolate.

 

Portuondo has a knack for massive creations like this. She has sculpted highly detailed creations including Champagne bottles, NFL helmets, Tiffany & Co. boxes, even a porterhouse steak that looked a bit too real.

 

The pastry team at the Moana Surfrider has also created an impressive—and entirely edible—Christmas display. Pastry chef Nanako Perez-Nava and assistant pastry chef Carmen Montejo spent about 60 hours creating this tasty replica of the 1901 hotel with Santa welcoming guests with a surfboard.

 

The edible replica of the Moana Surfrider.
Photo: Courtesy of the Moana Surfrider

 

This display uses 20 pounds of gingerbread dough, 300 French macaron shells, 5 pounds of dark chocolate, 25 pounds of royal icing for the ocean, a pound of rolled fondant and 8 pounds of assorted candies.

 

Both creations are on display now at the hotels.

 

4. Banán Opens at Kāhala Mall

Banán opens its fourth location at Kāhala Mall this month.
Photo: Courtesy of Banán

 

The popular banana soft serve shop Banán opened its third location—fourth if you include its food truck—in Kāhala Mall this month.

 

SEE ALSO: It’s Bananas at Banán, Now in Mānoa, Too

 

The kiosk is located in front of the new SoHa and Island Sole, right in the mall corridor. The menu features its popular dairy-free soft serve in compostable papaya bowls. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

 

Kāhala Mall, 4211 Wai‘alae Ave., bananbowls.com

 

5. The Boiling Crab Brings Lousiana-Style Cajun Cuisine to Kaka‘ako

The Boiling Crab opened in Salt this month.
Photo: Courtesy of The Boiling Crab

 

The Boiling Crab, known for its Louisiana-style Cajun cuisine, opened last week at Salt in Kaka‘ako.

 

This is the first Hawai‘i location and the 18th restaurant for the California-based company, which is credited for popularizing Cajun-spiced seafood boil culture on the West Coast. 

 

The menu features crawfish, shrimp, crab, fried catfish, gumbo, Cajun fries and margaritas.

 

330 Coral St., theboilingcrab.com

 

6. Outstanding in the Field Returns to O‘ahu and the Big Island

Kualoa Ranch is the site of one of the Outstanding in the Field events slated for January 2018.
Photo: Courtesy of The Pig & The Lady

 

Kualoa Ranch on O‘ahu and North Kohala Ranch on Hawai‘i Island are the sites of Outstanding in the Field’s farm-to-table dinners on Jan. 6 and 7, 2018 respectively.

 

Chef Andrew Le of The Pig & The Lady and Piggy Smalls returns to cook at Kualoa Ranch. (This dinner is already sold out.) Chef Noah Hester of Kamuela’s Puako Provisions & Catering will prepare dinner at North Kohala Ranch, which specializes in grass-fed sheep and beef cattle. The ranch also farms tropical crops including ‘ulu, coconut, papaya, banana and hot peppers. This will be the first time North Kohala Ranch will host this traveling pop-up restaurant.

 

Meals are family style and served on long communal tables set in the places where the food on the plate is grown and harvested. Cost is $225 per person.

 

outstandinginthefield.com

 

7. Bite Squad Adds 35 New Restaurants

Bite Squad now delivers food, including poke, from Young’s Fish Market and 34 other restaurants.
Photo: Courtesy of Bite Squad

 

Now you can order from Young’s Fish Market, 9Bar HNL, Jamba Juice, Peace Café, Jack in the Box and The Street, a Michael Mina Social Hall through Bite Squad, a food delivery service that’s now in 30 U.S. cities. Customers within the delivery zone now have more than 200 restaurants to choose from.

 

bitesquad.com

 

8. Baku Pairs Signature Dishes with Craft Drinks for Lunch

Baku, the modern robatayaki restaurant in the International Market Place, has launched a weekday lunch special with each dish paired with a signature cocktail or spirit—all for $18.

 

SEE ALSO: First Look: Baku Waikīkī

 

Every day of the week there’s a new dish and pairing. Monday features the Baku Burger, a robata-grilled burger with soy-glazed onions and yuzu pickles, paired with a craft beer. Tako Taco Tuesday combines grilled octopus with house-made salsa in a corn tortilla with a tequila or mezcal cocktail. Get sushi on Wednesday with a premium sake. On Thursday choose three different robata skewers from the restaurant’s menu, with an artisanal shochu. Tempura-style fish and chips are on special on Friday, with furikake fries and yuzu aioli, paired with a glass of wine.

 

2330 Kalākaua Ave., Suite 396, (808) 800-3571, baku-waikiki.com

 

9. Jollibee Opens at Ka Makana Ali‘i

Jollibee opened its fifth Hawai‘i location in Kapolei this month.
Photo: Courtesy of Jollibee

 

Jollibee, the largest fast-food restaurant chain in the Philippines, opened its fifth location in Hawai‘i at Ka Makana Ali‘i in Kapolei this month. Jollibee is known for its Chickenjoy, the chain’s brand of fried chicken, and Jolly Spaghetti. Soon, the chain will launch breakfast service.

 

91-5431 Kapolei Parkway, Kapolei, jollibeeusa.com

 

READ MORE STORIES BY CATHERINE TOTH FOX

 

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