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Coverage: Hawaii Restaurant Assocation Labor Day Pa’ina

On Tuesday, August 29, 2017, in collaboration with the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the Hawaii Restaurant Association hosted a Labor Day Pa’ina based on the theme “Working-Class Heroes”. This unique event featured nine dishes by Chef Russell Siu at his award-winning Waialae restaurant 3660 on the Rise, held in their banquet room. 

The nine dishes, served at four tasting stations, blends Chef Siu’s Kalihi Valley roots with Continental flair—resulting in dishes that bear the unmistakable stamp of his distinctive “Euro-Island Cuisine.” Prior to opening to the public, Chef Siu lead media attendees to the four stations, sharing his personal history and inspiration behind each plate.

At the conclusion of the 30-minute media-only tasting, the food stations opened to Hawaii Restaurant Association members, their guests, and the general public. 

The evening also featured a keynote speech on “Tip Pooling” from Hawaii Employers Council President Clayton Kamida. Miller Lite and Absolut Vodka ambassadors, a raffle prize giveaway, as well as live entertainment rounded out the event.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association partnered with Chef Siu on this special event because he exemplifies the opportunities offered by the restaurant industry. Born and raised in Hawaii, Chef Siu overcame humble beginnings to become a highly successful, internationally recognized culinary star.

As a child, he shopped daily for fresh food in Chinatown with his grandfather and learned to cook Chinese and local dishes from his family. Armed with this background, he began working in the kitchens of local fast food and family restaurants and took on leading roles in major Hawaii hotels. He then traveled the globe, gaining elite experience in the U.S. mainland and Asia, before returning home to open 3660 on the Rise, which has now been in business for 25 years.

Yours Truly was honored to be invited as part of the media group, where following is photo coverage and captions from this fantastic culinary event. Enjoy. ;-)

Station I
• Okinawan Shoyu Braised Pork Belly served in Steamed Bao Bun

Okinawan Shoyu Braised Pork Belly

Steamed Bao Bun

Green Onion Garnish

Station II
• Prime Rib Sliders on Brioche, Wasabi Aioli, Asian Slaw with Bubu Arare
• Spicy Hot Dog with Sriracha Mayo, Kim Chee Slaw
• 3660 Potato Salad

Prime Rib Sliders on Brioche, Wasabi Aioli, Asian Slaw with Bubu Arare

Spicy Hot Dog with Sriracha Mayo

Kim Chee Slaw

3660 Potato Salad

Station III
• Vegetable Confetti Pasta Salad
• Hand Rolled Meatballs with House Made Marinara Sauce & Mozzarella Cheese

Vegetable Confetti Pasta Salad

Hand Rolled Meatballs with House Made Marinara Sauce & Mozzarella Cheese

Station IV
• Furikake Tempura Catfish Fingers, Ponzu Dipping Sauce
• Ragout of Mushrooms with Oven Baked Baguette
• Kalua Pig & Caramelized Onion Quesadilla with Lomi Tomato

Furikake Tempura Catfish Fingers

Ponzu Dipping Sauce for the Furikake Tempura Catfish Fingers

Ragout of Mushrooms 

Oven Baked Baguette for the Ragout of Mushrooms

Kalua Pig & Caramelized Onion Quesadilla

Lomi Tomato (purposely no salmon) for the Kalua Pig & Caramelized Onion Quesadilla

Hawaii Volcanic Water (in reusable crystal glass bottle!) was given away exclusively to folks in the media group

Hawaii Volcanic Water is a proud sponsor of the HRA and the Labor Day Pa’ina.  They provided their premium local artesian water at the event in their recycled plastic bottles at the bar free for all attendees.  As a special “mahalo” to media attendees, Hawaii Volcanic donated bottles of their ultra premium reusable crystal glass 777ml.

Absolut Vodka and Absolut Lime vodka station

Bogle Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay and 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon wine station

Chef Russell Siu presents his dishes to the media group 

Sampler platters of the various dishes, along with a glass of Bogle Chardonnay

Hand Rolled Meatballs with House Made Marinara Sauce & Mozzarella Cheese and Confetti Pasta Salad, along with a glass of Bogle Cabernet Sauvigon

Kalua Pig & Caramelized Onion Quesadilla with Lomi Tomato and Ragout of Mushrooms on Toasted Baguette

Prime Rib Slider, Spicy Hot Dog, Kim Chee Slaw and Shoyu Pork Belly Bao

Okinawan Shoyu Braised Pork Belly served in Steamed Bao Bun

Sampler variety platter

Before continuing with more photos, let me say the food was absolutely fantastic. So was the Cab! The Okinawan Shoyu Pork Belly Bao and Meatball Marinara were notably stellar, with the quality, tenderness, flavor and overall execution you’d expect from the kitchen of Russell Siu. While surprisingly my fave of all was the Ragout of Mushrooms on Toasted Baguette. OMG, I swear I could have eaten that whole pan if given the chance! It was elegantly simple yet complex, with so much depth to it. Winnahz! 

Moving along… 

3660 on the Rise banquet room before guests arrive

Guests socialize at the HRA Labor Day Paina, held in the 3660 on the Rise banquet room

Guests partake in the evening

Guests socialize at the mauka-side outdoor lanai of the 3660 on the Rise Banquet Room

Wilhemina Rise panoramic view from the mauka-side outdoor lanai

Live music

Raffle drawing round 1 for a “Crab Boil” bucket

For the prize giveaway game, raffle tickets were sold for four drawings. Each drawing had a prize pack donated from Richard’s Meat Market and Chef Zone.  Each prize came with one pack from Richards meat, detailed below, and a $50 gift card for Chef Zone.

• Raffle #1: Crab Boil – snow crab legs, portuguese sausage, shrimp, crawfish, and mussels
• Raffle #2: Meat Lovers- pork spareribs, New York steaks, short ribs
• Raffle #3: Backyard Barbecue- – chicken thighs, shrimp, New York Steak
• Raffle #4: Surf n Turf Snow crab legs, New York steaks, Freshwater prawns

Proceeds from the raffle and event benefit the Hawaii Restaurant Association.

Raffle drawing prize winner receives a box of meats and a Chef’s Zone Gift Card

The lovely Miller Lite Gals

The lovely gals of Absolut Vodka offer complimentary Watermelon and Coconut Absolut Vodka cocktails

Event emcee Dan Pence and his lovely wife

Honolulu Star Advertiser (Oahu Publications) Account Executives staff

Media attendees Ritsuko Kukonu of PookoHawaii.com (Japanese language) with husband Robert  

Pomai with Conrad K. (previously worked together in the same office for a very long time!)

Gem Nishimura of HawaiiMomBlog.com with Pomai of the Tasty Island (you are here)

Hank Adaniya of Hank’s Haute Dogs with Pomai 

Chef Russell Siu and Pomai 

List of sponsors for the Hawaii Restaurant Association Labor Day Pa’ina event:
• 3660 on the Rise
• Honolulu Star Advertiser / Midweek
• Dining Out & Crave Magazine
• Paradise Beverages
• Hawaii Volcanic Beverages
• FFF distribution  
• Absolut Vodka
• Bai Beverages
• Pacific Digital Signs

Legacy Sponsors:
• First Insurance
• Hawaii Gas
• Harris Agency-Food Gurus

Prize sponsors:
• Richards Meat Market
• Chef Zone

About Hawaii Restaurant Association

The Hawaii Restaurant Association (HRA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to representing, educating and promoting the restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and tourism industries. Representing more than 6,000 food establishments statewide, HRA provides industry professionals with access to expansive resources and support so they can maintain a thriving business and serve as contributing members of Hawaii’s unique and diverse community.

For more information, please visit HawaiiRestaurant.org.

Also visit the website of Russell Siu’s award-wining restaurant 3660 on the Rise here

R.I.P. Walter Becker


2 thoughts on “Coverage: Hawaii Restaurant Assocation Labor Day Pa’ina

  • September 13, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    I know it has been slow here but this is solid!!!  I am glad you had the opportunity to attend this event and sample these foods.  Thank You Pomai!!!!

    • September 13, 2017 at 4:15 pm


      Mahalos. Yeah, I kinda’ had “writer’s block”… or should I say “blogger’s block” the last week or so, but I’m back “on” again. lol

      It really was a fantastic event. I met so many great folks in the food service industry there.



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