You Don’t Need to Travel to Vegas to Try Celebrity Chef Michael Mina’s Food
With Stripsteak Waikīkī opening next month, the celebrity chef is offering free bites of his cuisine from a food truck today and tomorrow.
Celebrity chef Michael Mina is opening his third Stripsteak restaurant in the International Market Place on Aug. 25. But you can try his food for free today and tomorrow at four Honolulu locations.
Photo: Courtesy of the Mina Group
You don’t have to travel to the Mainland to sample celebrity chef Michael Mina’s food, or even spend any money.
The award-winning chef and owner 27 restaurants in the Mina Group—with a Stripsteak opening at the newly renovated International Market Place in Waikīkī on Aug. 25—is offering a free preview of his cuisine from a food truck today and tomorrow at four Honolulu locations.
Today, the food truck will serve between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Bishop Square on Alakea and Beretania streets and from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Honolulu Farmers Market at the Blaisdell Concert Hall lawn. Tomorrow, it will be back in downtown, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the corner of King and Punchbowl streets, then from 4:30 to 9 p.m. at Makers and Tasters, 1011 Ala Moana Blvd.
On the menu are bite-size versions—all for free—of cheeseburger sliders with Maui onions, barbecue pork spare ribs with spicy pineapple relish and charred Mexican corn, and chilled shrimp and onaga bowls. You can also sample Mina’s version of a Hawaiian Punch with guava, orange, papaya, pineapple and liliko‘i juices and coconut milk horchata.
Last summer Mina participated in the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival. Here’s what he served: a tomato- and cocoa-dusted seared bigeye tuna.
Photo: COURTESY OF Melissa Chang
The 8,600-square-foot Waikīkī location on the third-level of the International Market Place will be the third of Mina’s award-winning Stripsteak restaurants to open. A modern American steakhouse, it will serve contemporary American fare with a focus on all-natural certified Angus beef and American Kobe cuts of beef cooked over mesquite wood. Other specialty entrées and small plates include citrus-steamed fish served with yard-long beans and scallions; five-spice pork belly with tempura oysters and a black-pepper soy glaze; the Lūʻau Feast Seafood Tower with king crab, whole lobster, oysters, clams, shrimp, sashimi, nigiri and poke that can feed up to six people; the Robata Skewer Plate with tomorokoshi (grilled corn on the cob), butabara (pork belly) and tsukune; and Michael’s lobster pot pie with brandied lobster cream, veggies and black truffle.
The Waikīkī restaurant will be helmed by executive chef Benjamin Jenkins, a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute who has spent more than 15 years on Mina’s team. His last post was executive chef of Michael Mina restaurant at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Mina isn’t new to Hawai‘i. Last year he participated in both the annual Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival and the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival on Maui.
Mina, who honeymooned in the Islands, says he visits Hawai‘i an average of three times each year, twice with family. He says the Stripsteak restaurant here will be different from the two other locations. Expect some locally sourced meat, “sashimi, poke and nigiri sushi” alongside small sharable plates.
Mina says the menu reflects the clean eating trend so it’s possible to focus on greens and top-quality protein but also get a traditional steak and salt-baked potato. As for local dining trends, he’s excited to see the continuing evolution of menus, first from the iconic chefs Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi and Sam Choy, and now from others branching out including Wong alumni Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka. “They’re not standing still,” he says.
When he’s not cooking, he’s got a few Island favorites: “I love the concept of plate lunch.”
And he’s happy to start the day with mangoes: “I just sit down and eat mangoes for an hour. I love tropical fruit. I love the balance of acid and sweet.”