Hawaiian Regional Cuisine Restaurant in Honolulu, United States: Alan Wong's Restaurant

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Review
 
Alan Wong's Restaurant
Restaurants and bars
Honolulu
Open: Dinner daily from 5pm
Price: Expensive
Score (/20): 16

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +1 808 949 2526
Address: 1857 South King St
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96826
Country: United States
Food Style: Hawaiian Regional Cuisine

Alan Wong's Restaurant is certainly worth a visit to try the creative food being turned out of the high-energy kitchen.
The food isn't cheap but it is priced fairly for what you are given. It is important to approach the food here with the right expectations. The price point of the dishes puts it somewhat below mainland food temples such as The French Laundry, Per Se, Alinea or Alain Ducasse. It does not try to compete at that level. Rather, it has found a comfortable niche above the ordinary and below the extraordinary.
Our advice is to order the 5 or 7 course menu sampling (5 courses were plenty) so that you get a feeling for the range of dishes available here.
Our meal started with the famous Appetizer Duo which saw two courses served on a large rectangular plate. On the left was the humorously-named Poki-Pine which was a ball of Ahi that had been wrapped like a won ton. When deep-fried, the dough stuck out like the needles on a porcupine. This was a visual treat rather than a sensational flavour. However the soup and sandwich at the other end of the plate was a serious delight for any dedicated food enthusiast. A tall glass was filled with a multi-coloured tomato soup/essence which was topped with a thin parmesan crisp which had a small grilled sandwich of foie gras and local pig meat. This worked beautifully as a dish and combination of flavours.
The second dish was ginger crusted onaga (red snapper) with miso sesame vinaigrette, hamakua mushrooms and corn. This was a pleasant dish with long, lingering flavours and very fresh corn and nicely flavoured mushrooms balanced against the sweetness of the fish and the crunch of the breadcrumb coating.
The third dish was butter poached lobster which was served with a shrimp potato cake and a 'Jalapeno Tokyo Negi Sauce'. Accompanying this dish was a very good Babcock 2005 Chardonnay from the Santa Ynez Valley in California which was able to compete with the chilli and onion sauce.
The next dish switched to meat with a piece of striploin teamed with a chevre lasagne served with a robust, dense, nicely structured Seghesio Zinfandel from Sonoma County.
And finally two small desserts namely a coconut tapioca and a chocolate 'crunch bar'. Both of these were very good without rising to great heights.
So, overall it was a pleasant meal with some very good dishes. The experience was enhanced by sitting at the kitchen bar watching the chefs in action right in front of us.
 
     
     
     


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