Foodie Alert: Celebrate the Winners at the 2018 Hale ‘Aina Party

Dine on dishes from 14 of Hawai‘i’s top restaurants in one night.
Arancino at The Kāhala will serve a smaller version of this chilled cappellini pasta with Moloka‘i ama ebi and caviar at the Hale ‘Aina Awards on Sept. 17.
Photo: Courtesy of Arancino at The Kāhala


We confess, we’re proud that HONOLULU Magazine’s annual Hale ‘Aina Awards gala offers a chance to eat, drink and mingle with our readers, other folks who talk about food almost as much as we do.


Sure, we show up a little earlier than the other guests each year to help get ready for an event this big, under the guidance of our events mastermind Jeff Alencastre. We’re getting excited because this year’s event is getting closer, Sept. 17, and it’s once again at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. This year, we get to try dishes from 13 of Hawai‘i’s top, award-winning restaurants and signature cocktails and beverages concocted by local liquor specialists.


The theme of this year’s event is Destination Delicious, with a focus on flavors from around the world. Passport not required!


SEE ALSO: 53 Ways to Eat Around the World Without Leaving Hawai‘i


We just got more of the details about what the chefs and their hard-working teams are bringing, so we are sharing the lineup: the angel hair pasta dish from Arancino, above; ‘ahi tartare with house-made harissa and avocado (Tiki’s Grill & Bar); toasted brioche with foie gras chawan mushi and berries compote (Chef Chai); wooenung gui, a vegetarian pumpkin-bean dish with a spicy sauce (Budnamujip); vegan pho (The Pig & The Lady); shabu shabu with prime rib eye and mushroom dashi (Stripsteak Waikīkī); tomato ramen (Agu Ramen); tako taco (Beachhouse at the Moana); garlic-cheddar shrimp and grits with jalapeño cornbread (Pīkake Terrace); grilled duck and shishito peppers with goat cheese (Búho Cantina y Cucina); apple vanilla choux with Calvados raisins (Yauatcha Waikīkī) and profiterole with Valrhona Caramélia ice cream, smoked bananas Foster purée (Stage Restaurant). See the entire list of dishes here.


Yauatcha Waikīkī is serving an apple-vanilla-raisin choux at this year’s Hale ʻAina party.
Photo: Christy Davis


Tickets for the event, which runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., start at $125 and can be purchased here, with discounts for those buying 10 or more tickets.


Entertainment this year includes Bobby Moderow from Maunalua, Micah Ganiron (who has a new CD), the dramatic performers of Iona Contemporary Dance Theatre and Hot Club of Hulaville.  


HONOLULU Magazine established the Hale ‘Aina Awards in 1984, becoming the first local restaurant awards program. The first event was a potluck celebration in a HONOLULU Magazine conference room and over the years it’s grown into a glamorous gala. Now, it’s Hawai‘i’s longest-running and most distinguished culinary awards program, voted on by the savvy readers of HONOLULU Magazine for the best restaurants in Hawai‘i in 38 categories. The winners are announced for the first time at a Hale ‘Aina gala and then published in the January issue of HONOLULU Magazine.