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Lunch at The Pineapple Room


The Pineapple Room: Pan Steamed Onaga “Chinese Style”– Long Tailed Red Snapper with Honda Family Tofu, Lup Cheong, Shiitake Mushroom, Ginger Soy Sauce and Sizzling Peanut Oil

Continuing inauguration fever, we have here a few dishes for lunch from The Pineapple Room in Macy’s Ala Moana Center. One of two very successful Honolulu-based restaurants under the hands of highly-acclaimed Hawaii celebrity chef Alan Wong.

What does the Pineapple Room have to do with our 44th President you might ask? Well in case you missed it, The Honolulu Star Bulletin published a very interesting story interview yesterday with Chef Alan Wong about President Obama’s visit to his signature restaurant on King street in Honolulu this past December while on vacation back in the islands. See ‘Like being in a movie’ here.

The big question for foodies is, what did he eat!? Fortunately Chef Wong was willing and able to answer that question to inquiring SB food columnist Betty Shimabukuro (thanks for getting us that one, Betty!), saying then President-elect Obama ordered the Tasting Menu, which features a number of Chef Wong’s signature dishes. Yet he did make one special request that apparently must have not been on there, also asking for the Nori-Wrapped Tempura Ahi.

Hmmm, interesting. ironically, I happened to have featured the scrumptious appetizer version of that a few years ago here after attending a birthday party at Washington Place that was catered by Alan Wong. Here’s that dish…


Catering by Chef Alan Wong (not from The Pineapple Room): Nori-wrapped Ahi Tempura Skewers with Creamy Wasabi-Sesame Sauce (click on image for zoomed-in view)

Another item I can share with you The President likely enjoyed as part of that Tasting Menu at Alan Wong’s is the Chef’s super-tender, broke da’ mout’ Twice Cooked Shortribs, Soy-Braised and Grilled “Kalbi” Style…

Catering by Chef Alan Wong (not from The Pineapple Room): Twice Cooked Shortrib, Soy-Braised and Grilled “Kalbi” Style (click on image for alternative view)

Well, those are just two of many amazing head of state-worthy dishes to be had under the skilled hands of Chef Alan Wong and staff.

Now let’s get back to where we were originally supposed to be talking about here and check out the dishes my girlfriend “Diner K” and her friend the birthday gal “Diner J” enjoyed yesterday (ironically on inauguration day) at Chef Wong’s other popular eatery, The Pineapple Room.

She said they both shared everything family style, starting with the “Pineapple Room” Caesar Salad with Lomi Tomatoes and Huli Spiced Grilled Chicken…

The Pineapple Room: “Pineapple Room” Caesar Salad with Lomi Tomatoes Choice of Kalua Pig or Huli Spiced Grilled Chicken (Huli-Spiced Grilled Chicken chosen and shown here)

Then once again from the first photo, another angle of that Pan-Steamed Onaga…

The Pineapple Room: Pan Steamed Onaga “Chinese Style”– Long Tailed Red Snapper Honda Family Tofu, Lup Cheong, Shiitake Mushroom, Ginger
Soy Sauce, Sizzling Peanut Oil

Where there’s surf, there must be turf…

The Pineapple Room: Kiawe Grilled Kalbi Short Ribs Fried Rice, Kabayaki Sauce, Chili Oil, Home Made Kim Chee (click on image for alternative view)

They opted for white rice under that Kalbi Short Ribs, and ordered a bowl of The Pineapple Room’s Fried Rice on the side…

The Pineapple Room: Fried Rice – Trio of White, Brown and Jasmine Rice, Portuguese Sausage, Bacon, Ham and Kalua Pig, eggs and green onion

Not sure where this fits into the gastronomic picture here, but they also got an order of fries…

The Pineapple Room: Fries

Finally for dessert, birthday gal “Diner J” was brought a complimentary Chocolate Haupia Ice Cream Pie with Oreo Crust…

The Pineapple Room: Chocolate Haupia Ice Cream Pie with Oreo Cookie Crust (compliments of the house for the birthday gal). Otanjobi omedeto gozaimasu, Jo-san!

How did they enjoy their meal? Overall 4-SPAM Musubi rating. Other than messing up on one order, along with the less-than-stellar dressing with the Caesar Salad and meat-overkill (too many different kinds) in the fried rice, everything about their lunch, including the food and service on this particular visit to The Pineapple Room was a winner.

The Pineapple Room by Chef Alan Wong
Ala Moana Shopping Center
Macy’s, 3rd Floor
Honolulu, HI 96814
945-6573
www.AlanWongs.com – Official site

The Tasty Island rating (via Diner K’s guest contribution):

(4) Excellent. Worth another visit or purchase. (Winnahz!)

Related links:
‘Like Being in a Movie’ – The Honolulu Star Bulletin (1/20/09)
Obama Dines at Alan Wongs – KGMB News Report (12/29/08)
The Pineapple Room – a visit by Donna @ champuru.net (12/18/08)
A special birthday catered by Chef Alan Wong – The Tasty Island (8/03/07)
The Pineapple Room – Yelp user reviews (dynamic)

6 thoughts on “Lunch at The Pineapple Room

  • January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm
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    Hands down, Alan Wong’s is one of my favorite restaurant serving regional cuisine on Oahu…and probably Hawaii. I had the blessed opportunity to dine there on Christmas Eve and the prix fixe menu was incredible (see my photos here http://is.gd/gMM8). Local ingredients married together with delicious sauces make an unforgettable experience. I tell all my friends near and far that they must go to Alan Wong’s for a taste of Hawaii.

    Reply
  • January 21, 2009 at 8:54 pm
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    you seem to order the best and most delicious looking things. im soo jealous of your food

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  • January 22, 2009 at 8:31 am
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    Heard so much of that restaurant will go there when in town. Just that always running around when in Honolulu from San Francisco. Got to slow down next time and have a nice dining at Pineapple Room.

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  • January 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm
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    That’s awesome, how he takes local food to the next level like that.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2009 at 5:25 am
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    Visited there for the very first time on our last trip at Thanksgiving. The service was first class and friendly. The ahi sandwiches and loco moco had nothing but praises. I never had furukaki mac salad before which to me was a little different but overall, the experience was quite memorable. One would never suspect a high class restaurant in a mall environment. Will visit again on our next trip back home.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm
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    Clinton, I haven’t had Furikake Mac Salad before either, but my guess is that it will DEFINITELY work. Especially however Chef Wong does it.

    Nate, do put Alan Wong’s or the Pineapple Room on your must-do list on your next trip to Oahu. He’s high-priced, but worth every penny. Betty, you too. Nancy, you too!

    Nathan Kam, I especially love the sauces Alan makes. That Miso Sesame Vinaigrette that goes with the Crusted Onaga is so ono. I know this is putting you in a spot, but how would compare Alan Wong’s dishes with Roy’s from your experiences dining there?

    Reply

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