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Charting a new course in fine dining in Honolulu


One of Hawaii’s top restaurants has just undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. It took seven weeks to complete the work at Hoku’s at The Kahala Hotel & Resort. The restaurant’s new concept is modern fine dining with a relaxed and fun approach.


Textural elements, including bronze marble inlay, coconut shells and black granite, offer vibrant stimulation for the senses. Custom-made light fixtures resemble the stars (hoku) and booths have been updated with curved partitions reminiscent of waves.


The menu has also been renewed, thanks to Eric Oto, Hoku’s Chef de Cuisine. Oto is a fisherman, craftsman, farmer, planter and cultivator of soil and food. The inspiration for his menu includes four distinct themes.




Lawai’a, ‘The Fisherman’

This first section in the new menu highlights seafood. The Kona Kampachi crudo with ajiamarillo, spicy pineapple, pear and crispy garlic is Lawai’a’s signature dish.

Holo Kahiki, ‘The Voyager’ World exploration and the desire for adventure in faraway places are Chef Oto’s inspirations for these dishes. Menu highlights are the charred spiced octopus, Schezuan oxtail ragu tagliatelle and tea smoked veal chop.


Mahi’ai, ‘The Farmer’

These dishes are a medley of Hoku’s most beloved farm-to-table entrees and feature a modern twist on home-style classics. Each dish utilises produce and ingredients from local farmers.


Hoku's Goat Cheese & Beet


Kilo Hoku, ‘The Steersman’

This highlights the chef’s favourite dishes that tell special stories about his life and experiences. The crispy Moi with long bean, hamakua alii mushroom, lemongrass soy vinaigrette and dried scallop-nameko mushroom rice is Hoku’s signature dish.

The dish is inspired by the history and significance of Moi, which is also Chef Oto’s favourite fish. Moi was a very sacred and prized fish for the Hawaiian people, only ali’i (rulers) were allowed to eat it and it was forbidden for commoners and women.


Written by: Jon Underwood
Published: 29 May 2018

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