Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another Great Night at Alan Wong’s

I recently went to Honolulu for a 3 night mini-vacation, and top of the to-do list was to dine at Alan Wong’s, on King St. I have frequented the restaurant many times before and it is definitely on my list of top 5 restaurants (maybe even top 3!). I wanted to share with you some of the food that I enjoyed over the course of the evening, as well as touch on a slight mishap that happened with my Ginger-Crusted Onaga. The end result was great, and my compliments to our waiter Shawn and Kerry the Restaurant Manager who handled the situation impeccably.

As I mentioned, I would consider myself a ‘regular’ at Alan Wong's when I visit the Islands. So, I have tried almost everything on the menu, as it doesn’t tend to change dramatically, with exception of the specials. I actually ordered ala carte and my mom had the 5-course tasting menu,– hence to say there are a lot of pictures! I plan to do a separate post about the 5 course menu shortly.

My first course was an asparagus dish that was on the specials list, and, I didn’t get a full copy of the menu (I realized this after I had left the restaurant) so I don’t know the name of it. However, the asparagus was lightly cooked, with an amazing dressing that was nutty and salty at the same time. Delicious.

Second course was the Hamakua Springs Tomato, Beet and Avocado Salad, with Hilo hearts of palm and Li Hing Mui Ume Vinaigrette. This has to be my favorite dish on the menu, however they have changed up the presentation of this dish which I don’t particularly like, and the delicate flavors of the ingredients don’t mix as well as they used to. Still delicious though.

Third course was the Ginger Crusted Onaga, (Long-Tail Red Snapper), with miso sesame vinaigrette and organically grown Hamakua mushroom and corn. This fish is always amazing, so when I tried to cut into it and it was like rubber (it was a little overcooked), I was shocked! I told our waiter Shawn about it and the look of alarm on his face was terrible! Kerry, the Restaurant Manager came over to apologize and within minutes the entire kitchen staff (its an open kitchen) was analyzing my piece of fish with horror and dismay. I don’t think things are sent back to the kitchen very often, hence the fuss. So, I got a new piece of fish, and would you believe, the middle was raw. I didn’t want someone to be fired or chefs to start crying so I asked Shawn not to tell anyone, as I didn’t want to create a scene. Minutes later, he showed up with some more wine for us as an apologetic gesture. So, I didn’t get to eat all my fish, but the restaurant staff (including the kitchen) were amazing and I really appreciate that they took the time to try and fix the problem. So, despite my little fish mishap I would go back in a flash, as both the food and the service are always outstanding.

We had a Groth Vineyards 2008 Sauvignon Blanc from the Napa Valley with our meal that was lovely. The whole evening was just great, and my sincere thanks to Shawn, Kerry and their team who made it a memorable night. I will be back for Thanksgiving, and look forward to another enjoyable meal.

To make reservations, visit their website or call (808) 949-2526.


abraham said...

i had dinner at alan wong's on august 24th. they were training a new chef that night, so maybe someone did end up getting 86'd. had the 7 course tasting menu and it was an outstanding meal.

Natalie Surowiecki said...

Oh I hope not! They did such a great job despite the fish. I'm glad you enjoyed your 7 course meal - I am yet to try that but it might be next for thanksgiving!