Soup’er Salad

Soup'er Salad


 

Hawaiian Pho Noodles

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Made with local pork and greens from a third-generation family operation in Hawai‘i Kai, Otsuji Farm, this Hawaiian-style pho noodle bowl makes for great, Island-inspired comfort food. Accompanied with fresh herbs, locally harvested basil and cilantro, and packed with wholesome goodness, this Asian dish is a hefty portion of hearty ingredients that will satiate your belly. A great thing about the restaurant is that it’s open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., so even if you’re not craving a warm bowl of noodles, there are plenty of other breakfast, lunch and dinner options to choose from.

 

House Salad With Quinoa

Besides a gorgeous view of the ocean and warm salty air to accompany your meal, Kai Market offers fresh, flavorful dishes like House Salad With Quinoa. Local greens are mixed with ingredients such as zesty watermelon radishes and locally grown Kamuela tomatoes, and paired with the sweet pop of papaya and salty punch of feta cheese. The quinoa adds an extra essence to this simple but flavorful salad that’s yummy even without any dressing.

 

Cobb Salad

This mountain of goodness is piled high with all the classic ingredients you’d expect in a hearty Cobb salad—tangy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, fresh mixed greens, shredded cheese and eggs, and the finest gourmet bacon and turkey breast. Choose a traditional blue cheese dressing to accompany your salad or any of the others offered at this New York style deli. In addition to its luxurious salads, this casual restaurant is perfect for families and has menu items for everyone, from pizzas to hamburgers, as well as plenty of local favorites.

 

Crab Ramen With Asian Truffle Broth

Save your appetite for this decadent dish. Served with a heaping portion of melt-in-your-mouth fresh crab, the ramen is perfectly seasoned with cilantro, Thai basil and mild jalapeños. The truffle flavor in the broth gives an extra kick to the combination of ingredients in this warming mixture that’s soothing for the soul. Also, this dish pairs well with the Seared Ahi Salad crafted with delicious locally caught fish and served over a bed of greens lightly drizzled with Sansei’s signature soy sesame vinaigrette.

 

1849 Spicy Ramen

Eating House 1849, located at the International Market Place, is noted for incorporating Hawai‘i’s many cultural flavors. For example, this Asian ramen dish is made in traditional fashion, served with a rich sesame broth, pork belly, dumplings and topped with a soft egg. The things that make eating in Hawai‘i so unique are dining establishments like this one where you can try a combination of Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and Filipino-style dishes. And if you have a hankering for warm soup during the “chilly” winter eves in Waikiki, then this is your spot for tasty authentic edibles.

Introducing Authentic Japanese Cuisine with Local Flair

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Dishes at ZIGU feature local ingredients, such as fresh seafood from Kaua‘i Shrimp.

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EXPERIENCE JAPANESE FOOD like never before at this brand-new contemporary eatery and sake bar in the heart of Waikiki. The restaurant’s fine cuisine alone is enough to warrant a visit but it’s the atmosphere that’s the delicious icing on this dining experience cake.

Nested inside a historic apartment building that was built in 1939 on land revered by ancient Hawaiians, ZIGU maintains a feeling of yesterday, accompanied with modern-day décor. Earthy wood tones dominate the quaint interior where patrons will find seating at the bar. Those who enjoy fresh air while they dine will be delighted that the majority of seating is offered on the outdoor patio, streamlined with sleek tables in a simple, sophisticated setting.

The interior space at ZIGU is small but comfortable.
The interior space at ZIGU is small but comfortable.

 

Most of the seating at this trendy Waikiki restaurant is located outside.
Most of the seating at this trendy Waikiki restaurant is located outside.

 

Topnotch service can also be expected at this lovely nook, with servers who are highly knowledgeable about the dishes served, and the comfort of their guests. What’s more, at the kitchen’s helm is chef Masaki Nakayama, a culinary expert from Yaizu City, in Japan’s Shizuoka prefecture.

ZIGU almost didn’t have such an accomplished chef as Nakayama’s original intention was to become a jazz musician in America. His family ties to food are what ultimately caused him to gravitate toward making delectable cuisine. Aside from growing up in a commercial fishing port, his grandfather made katsuobushi (the dried, fermented and smoked tuna used to make edibles such as soup bases) for a living. Nakayama learned to craft his own food after graduating high school and was especially drawn to seafood after working at Tsukiji Market, which recently ceased operations after serving as a wholesale fish market for more than eight decades.

Chef Masaki Nakayama runs the show at ZIGU and brings his professional experience to the table with many sensational dishes, such as the Apple Wood Smoked Local Egg Potato Salad (below)
Chef Masaki Nakayama runs the show at ZIGU and brings his professional experience to the table with many sensational dishes, such as the Apple Wood Smoked Local Egg Potato Salad (below)

 

Apple Wood Smoked Local Egg Potato Salad
Apple Wood Smoked Local Egg Potato Salad

 

Nakayama has been a noteworthy presence in the restaurant industry, including working with Michelin-starred chefs. He held positions at several esteemed dining establishments in Japan, where he continued to gain knowledge in its traditional culinary methods. He eventually opened his own restaurant in New York City, Mr. Robata.

Luckily, Nakayama has since brought his seafood and culinary expertise, as well as his passion for fine dining, to the south shore of O‘ahu. ZIGU’s menu is filled with items that will have your mouth ablaze with anticipation. No matter what is ordered, every dish has such an artistic presentation that makes it obvious the staff takes great pride in what they do.

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One of the many outstanding aspects of this restaurant is that every meal is prepared with as many fresh, Hawai‘i-made ingredients as possible. So besides placing an emphasis on Japanese cuisine, the dishes have a tropical flair. For example, a delicious mango cream accompanies the appetizer, Macadamia Nuts\ With Sweet-Soy Sautéed Burdock.

Other dishes at ZIGU that beautifully blend Japanese and Hawaiian fare include the Local Tuna and Kona Amberjack Poke Sushi served with fresh fish sculpturally wrapped with ingredients such as sea asparagus, seaweed and yuzu pepper. Also, Deep-Fried Kaua‘i Shrimp is made with locally grown and harvested crustaceans and paired perfectly with wasabi-basil aioli sauce.

Additionally, you’re unlikely to find dishes from ZIGU anywhere else in Waikiki, including the Apple Wood Smoked Local Egg Potato Salad with crispy potato sticks and Cold Kale Udon with Fried Kale Chips which comes with an exceptional sesame dipping sauce.

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Cocktails also do not disappoint at this one-of-a-kind restaurant and are crafted with as much care as the edibles. Mari’s Garden Shiso and Fresh Berry Shochu Mojito, for instance, is made with fresh strawberries, blueberries and lime, and combined with a smooth shochu, a distilled Japanese beverage made from sweet potatoes, rice or barley. Big Island Ginger Moscow Mule is another drink at ZIGU handmade with the finest homegrown ingredients such as ginger from Hawai‘i Island and locally made vodka.

From vegetables grown on O‘ahu farms, macadamia nuts plucked from Big Island orchards to deep-water fish caught in the Pacific Ocean, the list of local ingredients is impressive. Add to it the exquisite taste of authentic Japanese cuisine and you’ve got a match made in culinary heaven.

ZIGU is located at 413 Seaside Ave. and is open daily for dinner from 4 to 10:30 p.m. The bar remains open from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Validated parking is available at Hyatt Centric with a purchase of $30 or more. Call 808-212-9252 or visit waikiki.zigu.us for more information.
ZIGU is located at 413 Seaside Ave. and is open daily for dinner from 4 to 10:30 p.m. The bar remains open from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Validated parking is available at Hyatt Centric with a purchase of $30 or more. Call 808-212-9252 or visit waikiki.zigu.us for more information.

 

Locally Grown KAUA’I SHRIMP

KAUA‘I SHRIMP Global demand for Hawai‘i-grown crustaceans on the rise

Thousands of recently harvested shrimp make their way down a conveyer belt at Kaua‘i Shrimp’s processing facility. The journey eventually lands the crustaceans into the hands of some of the busiest people in Hanapepe, “Kaua‘i’s biggest little town.” The employees sort the robust sea creatures, which are raised at a farm in Kekaha where 20 tons of shrimp reside within 44 1-acre ponds, bound for destinations around the globe, including many restaurants in Waikiki.

“These are our babies,” says processing manager Andy Althouse, as he provides a tour of the refrigerated area of the processing facility where shrimp are plentiful and there is a noticeable method to the hustling and bustling madness.

The shrimp farm in Kekaha. Photo courtesy Kauai Shrimp
The shrimp farm in Kekaha. Photo courtesy Kauai Shrimp

 

There’s been a sharp up-tick in local shellfish sales of late, which keeps the staff at Kaua‘i Shrimp busy meeting the demand.

The business, which is conducted entirely on Kaua‘i, shrimp that are as natural as if you plucked them right out of the ocean. The so called “fruits of the sea” aren’t adulterated with sulfites (what makes people allergic to shrimp), chemicals or processing aids.

Harvest is at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays, after which the shrimp are put through a “chill kill” procedure before being sent to the processing plant a few hours later. There they are graded by size and cuticle hardness, and destined for distribution.

Kaua‘i Shrimp harvests and processes thousands of shrimp each day of operation.
Kaua‘i Shrimp harvests and processes thousands of shrimp each day of operation.

 

The plant can process more than 5,000 shrimp before noon, and by 2 p.m. have them frozen and bound for their eventual destination on someone’s dinner plate. Each week, roughly 16,000 to 17,000 pounds are delivered throughout the state and the Mainland, as well as other countries like Japan. Last month, however, the enterprise reached a new record by distributing more than 20,000 pounds of shrimp in one week.

“Things are really progressing well,” says Althouse. “Everything we make is already sold. As long as we get shrimp into people’s hands, once they try our product, all they want is more.”

According to Althouse, the magic starts at the nearby farming facility, which reopened its doors about a decade ago. Here, the shrimp are raised in salt water sourced from a well that has percolated through the volcanic substrata of Kaua‘i for eons. Kaua‘i Shrimp also cultivates its own algae to make a hospitable environment to sustain life for the shrimp. This domain, coupled with special anchovy-based food products, lends each Kaua‘i Shrimp crustacean its unique, snappy texture.

Restaurants throughout Waikiki serve dishes that feature Kaua‘i Shrimp, including Buho Cantina.
Restaurants throughout Waikiki serve dishes that feature Kaua‘i Shrimp, including Buho Cantina.

 

“Almost like lobster or a rock shrimp,” says Althouse.

The former executive chef prides himself for having used whole animals “tail to snout” when he professionally prepared food. That’s one reason he enjoys working for Kaua‘i Shrimp: the shrimp are sold with heads, shells and tails still intact. This business strategy contributes to sustainable farming and foregoing waste, allowing chefs to use as much of the product as possible.

Leaving the heads on the shrimp also gives buyers a way to determine freshness and whether the shrimp have been mishandled or if the “cold chain” — being frozen and then re-frozen — has been disrupted. Because if any of these things happen, the head turns red. And just like you wouldn’t want to purchase a fish at the market with cloudy eyes and slimy gills, you wouldn’t want to buy shrimp in this condition.

Providing this kind of superior product is another reason why Althouse continues to remain in charge at the processing facility — that, and the business’ focus on aspects like selective breeding and sustainability.

“It was a perfect match for me,” he says.

The employees at Kaua‘i Shrimp’s processing facility in Hanapepe, including Andy Althouse pictured in the middle
The employees at Kaua‘i Shrimp’s processing facility in Hanapepe, including Andy Althouse pictured in the middle

 

Now he gets to work on new projects that include raising and distributing clams and oysters, as well as implementing new traceability and inventory systems. He’s also instrumental in helping the business become one of the top broodstock suppliers on the planet, which means sending “mamas” and “papas” to countries like India, China and Vietnam.

“Aquaculture is going to become more and more important in feeding people on this planet,” says Althouse.

A movement, he adds, that wouldn’t be possible without a team effort.

Visit kauaishrimp.com for more information.