Located in Honolulu, Hawaii Alan Wong’s offers an intriguing fusion of Asian influenced cuisine with native Hawaiin ingredients, all inspired by French technique. The incredibly creative dishes and stellar service make Alan Wong’s one of the most sought after restaurants in Honolulu. Notable dishes include the Ginger Crusted Onaga and the Red Wine Braised Short Rib of kalua pig. We were so impressed by Alan Wong’s that we visited twice during our week-long vacation!
In order to sample a wide variety of dishes about which we’d heard so many rave reviews, we ordered the 5-course Menu Sampling ($65 per person) and were basically blown away at each stage. The flavors were so vivid and appealing, and the presentation absolutely extraordinary!
To begin, we had the “Soup and Sandwich” appetizer. The smooth soup consisted of chilled vine ripened red and yellow tomatoes and was creatively presented in a martini glass, which we were told to boldly sip from if we wished. The soup was accompanied by a thin slice of fried parmesan meant for dipping. The flavor of the soup, as well as the parmesan strip, was simply wonderful. It paired perfectly with the other creations of this appertizer, namely a mouth-watering, tiny grilled sandwich stuffed with kalua pork and truflles. The soup and sandwich also came with three delicate pieces of Nori Wrapped Tempura Ahi served with a delightful Tomato Ginger Relish. This was just the start, and we were already won over.
The next course was the much talked about Ginger Crusted Onaga with Miso Sesame Vinaigrette, and Shiitake Enoki Mushroom Corn. This was very good, although not our favorite dish of the evening. However, many native Hawaiins we spoke with about Alan Wong’s absolutely raved about the Onaga. We found ourselves in raptures over the next course, Pan Roasted Day Boat Scallops with Sauteed Spinach and Mushroom, with a Truffled Foie Gras Coulis. With every bite, you were keenly aware of the freshness and quality of the ingredients. And what a decadent combination!
Just when you thought the menu could not possibly surpass itself, The Red Wine Braised Short Rib with Sauteed Mushrooms and Macaire Potatoes was served. The meat, kalua pig, was prepared to absolute perfection. It was a most tender morsel that melted in the mouth, infused with the red wine sauce and bursting with its own rich flavor.
As you read, you’re likely thinking – what wine on earth do you pair with this variety of dishes and flavors? We couldn’t think of the perfect partner, so we just chose a great wine for its own sake – a rich, deep-colored, and very impressive 2001 Shirvington. It was fantastic and did in fact complement our meal to our satisfaction.
All things must come to an end, but Alan Wong knows how to do this with panache as well. For dessert, we sampled the rightfully famous Chocolate “Crunch Bars”, made of layers of Macadamia Nut Crunch and Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse. Also, a mouthwatering, rich and creamy Lilikoi (Passionfruit) Cheesecake graced our dessert plate. We paired our desserts with cups of 100% Kona Coffee, and may just move to Hawaii for the java. Served in individual French presses, this coffee was paradisiacal.
The Sampling Menu allowed us to taste a variety of his creations, but it also demonstrated that there is little if anything that this chef can’t do. No matter what you choose to eat, your visit to Alan Wong’s is sure to be a memorable one.
Now, a few important notes on logistics: First, reservations are highly recommended. Though we were seated at our reservation time, we have heard from reliable sources that a considerable wait (half hour) may even be experienced even with reservations. If this happens to you, BE PATIENT. It’s worth it! For reservations or for more information, call 808-949-2526.
Second, Alan Wong’s is located on the third floor of a small building on South King street. Parking is tight in Honolulu in general, and the myriad of one-way streets are a challenge to navigate. You may consider taking a cab, or making use of the valet parking for the parkade below the building.
However you get there, get there! An awesome experience.
Overall Dining Experience
We give Alan Wong’s Five Stars – Outstanding!
Alan Wong’s is located at 1857 S.King St., Third Floor, Honolulu, Hawaii. For reservations or for more information, call 808-949-2526 or visit www.alanwongs.com