Hale ‘Aina Happenings: What’s New with Hawai‘i Restaurants in June 2017

New mochi doughnuts at Liliha Bakery, Chef Mavro offers small plates and a new wine dinner at Azure features Twin Bridge Farms.
Move over, poi mochi doughnuts. This one is covered with maple.
Photo: Catherine Toth Fox


Liliha Bakery Unveils New Poi Mochi Doughnut Flavor

Thought nothing could top the poi mochi doughnut from Liliha Bakery?

Well, the iconic bakery has rolled out a new twist: a poi mochi doughnut that’s now glazed with maple. 


SEE ALSO: Move Over Coco Puffs, Liliha Bakery’s Poi Mochi Doughnuts are Taking Over


The bakery is also experimenting with two other flavors—strawberry and green tea—and invites customers to vote for their favorite on Instagram.


Seafood-Themed Event Kicks Off Seventh Annual Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival

Photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival


Founded by repeat Hale ‘Aina winners Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi, the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival will launch its seventh year with a seafood-focused evening with dishes created by 10 of the state’s top chefs.


Cuisines of the Sea runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at The Kāhala Hotel & Resort, with a fireworks finale. Participating chefs include MW Restaurant’s Michelle Karr-Ueoka, Pili Group’s Mark “Gooch” Noguchi (pictured), Koko Head Café’s Lee Anne Wong, Senia’s Chris Kajioka and Tin Roof Maui’s Sheldon Simeon. The event showcases Hawai‘i seafood—oysters, shrimp, ‘ahi—along with wines from Caymus, Insignia, Kosta Browne, Opus One and Silver Oak.


Event organizers will also announce the talent lineup for the 2017 Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, which runs from Oct. 20 to Nov. 5 on Maui, Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu.


Cost is $175. Visit here for tickets.


Hy’s Steakhouse Showcases Local Farms in June

Photo: Courtesy of Hy’s Steakhouse


Hy’s Steakhouse is offering a special chef’s table menu on June 7 that turns the spotlight on locally grown, seasonal ingredients.


SEE ALSO: Hy’s Steak House Celebrates 40th Anniversary with New Dinner Series


The starter salad features Aloun Farms Thai watermelon, Big Island goat cheese, Nalo Farms baby arugula and Thai basil, sliced Maui onions and tomatoes from Ho Farms. Even the vinaigrette is made with Hawaiian chili peppers and local limu kohu.


Other dishes include an ‘Ewa sweet corn chowder, fresh oysters from Kualoa Ranch and Makaweli Ranch rib-eye. For dessert, there’s a Kōloa coffee float with Hawaiian Crown apple banana mousse or a sampler of fresh, local fruits (pictured).


Cost is $100, $150 with cocktail pairings. Dinner starts at 7:30 p.m. Call (808) 922-5555 for reservations.


Agu Ramen Bistro in Waikīkī Offers Lunch Teishoku

Photo: Courtesy of Agu Ramen Bistro


Need to eat in a hurry?


Agu Ramen Bistro in Waikīkī is offering a $15 lunch teishoku with options for appetizers and entrées. For starters, choose from agedashi tofu, gyoza or Agu-cini (two panko-crusted rice balls sautéed with tonkotsu broth, garlic, char siu and Parmesan cheese). For your main dish, pick from six options, including tonkostu shoyu ramen, Jidori shio ramen (pictured) or pork curry.


Each lunch teishoku comes with a cabbage salad, garlic edamame and rice and is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.


Call (808) 797-2933 or visit aguramen.com.


New Sunset Menu at Roy’s Waikīkī 

Photo: Courtesy of Roy’s Waikīkī


Last month, Roy’s Waikīkī introduced a new sunset menu that highlights customer favorites. And, yes, that includes the chocolate soufflé.


The three-course dinner features a trio of poke (pictured), a petite steak with garlic shrimp, and the restaurant’s popular molten cake for $46 a person.


The menu is available from 5 to 6 p.m. daily. Reservations are recommended. Call (808) 923-7697.


Chef Mavro Introduces Small Plates

After 19 years of prix fixe dining, Chef Mavro has added casual meals and small plates to the menu.


On the recommendation of executive chef Jeremy Shigekane, the AAA Five Diamond restaurant has split into two: The upper area is reserved for Grand Tasting Menu diners, while the main dining room will offer small plates and à la carte dishes.


“It’s a revolution given our reputation for prix fixe course dining,” says chef/owner George Mavrothalassitis. “It’s also an evolution as many of our guests want to come more often at approachable prices, dine faster and choose how much they eat.”


Now, you can order whatever you want, share plates with friends, or build your own menu at your own pace.


The small plates include Big Island heart of palm with maitake mushrooms and jack fruit ($18), Keāhole lobster in a tamarind broth with long rice and pork belly ($36) and the pricey grade A5 Miyazaki wagyu with yuzu-kosho potato mochi ($80 for 2 ounces). Pastry chef Jose Calpito offers several desserts, too, including the popular halo halo ($16), with tapioca, coconut, sweet potato and azuki beans.


Call (808) 944-4714 or visit chefmavro.com.


Hōkū’s Serving New Dishes and Classics

Photo: Courtesy of The Kāhala Hotel & Resort


Along with the launch of new items on the spring/summer menu, Hōkū’s at The Kāhala Hotel & Resort is bringing back some of the restaurant’s classic dishes, including the soy-braised short rib with avocado tempura ($16), the ‘ahi poke musubi ($20), and Hōkū’s loco moco ($38) with sautéed foie gras and horseradish mash.


Executive chef Wayne Hirabayashi’s new seasonal menu includes Big Island abalone brick pastry and grilled Hokkaido scallops and braised Kurobuta pork loin with an herb crust and ocean salad. Or you can let the chef choose for you with the five-course prix fixe menu ($75 per person), seven-course tasting menu ($110) or a nine-course degustation menu ($150), with the option to pair dishes with wine selected by master sommelier in residence Roberto Viernes.


Call (808) 739-8760 for reservations.


Azure Partners with Twin Bridge Farms for Eclectic Dinner

Photo: Courtesy of Azure


The Misfits dinner at Azure at the Royal Hawaiian highlights imperfect and neglected produce, seafood, meats and fish as part of the hotel’s yearlong Epicurean Journeys program.


The dinner, which starts at 6 p.m. on June 30, features produce from Twin Bridge Farms on the North Shore, including potato brandade beignets with a tomato confit, and an asparagus trio (pictured) featuring spears and a cured local egg, pickled micro asparagus and shaved asparagus tops. Rounding out the intriguing menu is spiced breadfruit with chicken-liver mousse, braised Pono Farm pork cheeks with crispy pig ears and a liliko‘i-avocado cake topped with a macadamia nut and brown-butter streusel.


On Saturday, continue the experience with a hands-on cooking class and lunch with the hotel’s culinary team, led by executive chef Colin Hazama. This event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Cost is $150 for the dinner, $100 for the cooking class and luncheon, and $250 for both Friday and Saturday events. (It’s more for wine pairings.) Call (808) 921-4600.