Fish & Rice is worth braving Pālama Supermarket’s parking lot.
Eating House 1849’s New Dinner Menu Is Reely Good
The star of the new items: a build-your-own option that lets you choose fish, preparation and sauces.
Roy Yamaguchi’s Eating House 1849 reopened at the end of the year with a new dinner menu. Among the new choices is a build-your-own catch option that I’ve fallen for—hook, line and sinker.
Build your own means you choose your fish (mahi mahi, Kona kampachi, monchong or salmon), preparation method (sautéed, grilled, tempura or jun), and one of seven sauces. These run the gamut from Portuguese bean stew (yes, for your fish) to something called “tri caviar shiso shallot infusion.” Nods to popular local tastes include a sauce of scallions, kochujang, sesame and soy; and a sizzling vinaigrette with serrano chiles and ginger. Ask your server for recommendations or go with your creative instinct.
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We sampled two fish at a recent media event, both prepared the way the restaurant recommends them: flame-grilled mahi mahi with Thai red curry, and pan-seared monchong with minty nam pla (fish sauce) and green papaya. Both are delicious: The mahi is light and flaky off the grill, and the coconutty curry packs the right amount of tang and heat with aromatics of makrut lime leaves, lemongrass and ginger.
The “minted nam pla green papaya” sauce option was a mystery until it appeared: a lettuce wrap of pan-seared monchong with glass noodles, green papaya, Thai basil, mint and sauces. The fish and its accompaniments are delivered in three tins stacked in an Indian-style dabba tiffin tower. This is great if you want something light. “The fish menu is something we’re really excited about,” says restaurant general manager Ikaika Sczymanski. “It showcases Hawai‘i’s fresh fish and the way different cultures like to cook fish and serve it with their favorite sauces and sides.”
I’m eager to go back to try the salmon. How will I build that catch? Pan-seared or grilled, with truffle garlic caper beurre blanc over risotto.
Other highlights of the new menu include the kampachi crudo with three types of roe and shiso; a spicy ‘ahi roll with takuan, yama gobo or mountain burdock and truffle kabayaki sauce; and flavor-packed ume-glazed pork belly bao buns.
And what’s dinner without a sweet ending? The newest addition is a cookies and cream cheesecake–if a Hershey’s bar and Oreo cookie had a baby, this is what it would taste like. The cheesecake is fluffy yet decadent, balanced by a whipped topping infused with a subtle matcha flavor; crunchy Rice Krispie-like puffs are the perfect juxtaposition to its smooth texture. I think this gives Yamaguchi’s signature molten chocolate soufflé a run for its money.
Open daily from 4:30 to 9 p.m., 2330 Kalakaua Ave. 3rd Floor, (808) 924-1849, @eatinghouse1849