It just so happened that my last visit to Hawaii coincided with UK mother’s day. It’s been a long since we’ve been in the same country together for it, and I wanted to treat her to a special meal while I was out there.
We are both big fans of a good tasting menu, and so I decided to try the 5-course menu at MW Restaurant, near Ala Moana. The venue is conveniently located – light and spacious, but nothing to write home about. The food is what we are all here for, after all.
We kicked off the meal with a chef’s selection of appetisers.
A crab cake with garlic and black pepper sauce, unagi and butterfish arancini, kushi oyster with shiso yukari mignonette, jizori fried chicken with a kimchi garlic soy sauce and a mushroom gelee with truffle coulis.
My favourite was the arancini, closely followed by the crispy chicken and kimchi. My mom loved the umami flavours from the mushroom gelee, and raved about it for ages afterwards.
Our second course was a mochi crusted kona kampachi, and one of my favourites. I loved the combination of flavours and textures, and it was all presented beautifully.
Upon checking out the menu ahead of time, I had been most excited about the Hokkaido scallop with kona abalaone fried rice, but found the yuzu flavours slightly too overpowering for my liking.
The red wine braised short rib with Eryngi mushroom was delicious – meltingly tender. One of the things MW Restaurant does so well is to include Japanese ingredients and elements so beautifully throughout, and this course was a perfect example.
Neither my mom or I are big dessert fans, but we were both blown away by the lilikoi creme brulee. The warm custard, combined with tropical fruits and tapioca pearls really pleasantly surprised us, and we both ended up polishing them all off (despite having convinced ourselves we were full up until that point).
My only regret was not getting the wine pairing with our meal, which was only $35 extra. We had convinced ourselves we would only have a glass or two each, and it would’ve enhanced our experience had we gone with that option.
The service was impeccable. The staff, who asked if we were celebrating anything in particular, gifted us a delicious banana bread to take away with us at the end of the meal. It was a classy, thoughtful touch, and the perfect end to a memorable meal. I would definitely recommend MW for a special occasion if you’re in the area!