The Taste of Oahu
Story by Aefa Mulholland.
I went to Oahu for the first time last year and was amazed by the flavors of the 600-square mile island. I still dream about the fiery taste of volcano shrimp fresh from shrimp ponds on the North Shore. Of the lavender-imbued mojitos at Sheraton Waikiki’s RumFire lounge. Of breakfasts of macadamia nuts and fresh mango juice.
These days I’m not the only one taking notice of Oahu’s incredible tastes. The farm-to-table movement is growing at a pace and local products star on menus of Oahu restaurants. If you’re heading to “The Gathering Place,” schedule some time to visit the places those tasty plates come from, stock up in markets, and look for local delights in each dinner you devour.
What: Aloun Farms’Asian vegetables, green onion, herbs, Sunburst Melons, and Thai Watermelon.
Where: Chef Chai Chaowasaree incorporates Aloun products into his menus at Chai’s Island Bistro and Singha Thai Cuisine.
What: Ho Farms’ food safety certified specialty tomatoes, including baby Roma, cherry, golden grape, grape, Kahuku golden, and zebra varieties, all vine-ripened and individually handpicked at their peak flavor.
Where: Farmers’ markets island-wide and RumFire at Sheraton Waikiki.
What: MA’O’s “Sassy” salad mix—a combination of kale, Swiss chard and cilantro—plus herbs, root vegetables, bananas, mangos, Meyer lemons, Tahitian limes, and Clementine tangerines.
Where: Farmers’ markets island-wide and restaurants such as Alan Wong’s, Azul at the JW Marriott Ihilani, Chef Ed Kenney’s Town and Downtown, Kona Brewing Company, Nobu Waikiki, and Tiki’s Grill and Bar.
What: North Shore Cattle Company’s 100 percent Hawaii grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free Angus beef.
Where: Paniolo Grill at Coral Creek, the Dole Plantation’s burger stand, and restaurants throughout Oahu including Alan Wong’s, The Pineapple Room, Ola at Turtle Bay Resort, Top of Waikiki, Kona Brewing Company.