New: Afternoon Tea at MW Restaurant
From left: coconut cake, milk and honey, lemon meringue, mango cheesecake, coffee pudding, strawberry and azuki bean shortcake.
For the longest time, the Halekūlani and the Kāhala’s afternoon tea services reigned over Honolulu. It’s been a while since any other afternoon tea, whether at hotels or small, independent spots, could compete against Orchid’s dainty and delightful spread or the Veranda’s luxurious ambiance.
Enter MW restaurant, which debuted its afternoon tea last month. It’s distinctly different from the tea sandwich tiers that float through afternoon tea at other places, replaced with amuse-bouche style one-bites such as fried yuba perched on tea-smoked duck and nori jam and a delicate beignet that’s like a puff of truffle in your mouth.
From left: Virginia ham and white cheddar, tea smoked duck with nori jam, truffle beignet
The only thing you might recognize are the scones, served with housemade lemon curd and strawberry jam, and the tea, of course, which ranges from a fruity mango peach to lemon mamaki to Earl Grey.
But afternoon tea is really about the sweets, right? Here, they are pretty little things—among them, lemon meringue tarts, mango cheesecake and coffee pudding. If you’ve ever wished you could try eight of pastry chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka’s desserts in one sitting (me!), you’ll love this. You could hear the squeals of delight as dessert landed on each table; this being afternoon tea, the room was filled with women. “This is not the place to pick up men,” said a friend, counting two men and one boy in the entire dining room.
That is, until MW’s private dining room opens—sometime in November—because then, Wade Ueoka, the husband of the MW duo, plans on showing NFL games with football-friendly food. It’ll be MW’s man cave, the antidote to the dainty, pinkies-up fare of its afternoon tea.
Afternoon tea ($35/person) is offered every third Sunday of the month, with the menu changing each time. Reserve now if you want to snag a table for October—the last two afternoons were booked up three weeks in advance.
1538 Kapi‘olani Blvd., 955-6505, mwrestaurant.com