Sunday, November 23, 2008

Honolulu Magazine's Hale Aina Awards

The Hale Aina Awards are one of Hawaii's most prestigious dining awards. Subscribers of Honolulu Magazine vote for their favorite restaurants in 25 different categories. Last weekend, the 2009 winners were announced, and in celebration of it, guests were invited to "Eat, Drink, Mingle, Repeat." As the theme suggests, there was good food, an abundance of "sophisticated beverages" and a sightings of some of Hawaii's most respected chefs. Ten of last year's restaurant winners each served their own unique dish at stations placed around the Sheraton Waikiki Ballroom while 16 different wine, sake and liquor vendors offered an assortment of drinks.

Alan Wong's Restaurant (The Incumbent Restaurant of the Year) served Portuguese Bean Soup with Kim Chee. A hearty soup with a kick of spice.

Beachhouse at the Moana (Hale Aina Award-Wining Chef, Rodney Uehara) served "Moyer Farm Beef Wellington" with Port Madera Demi with Morels and a Vegetable Brunoise. My favorite part was the Morel, plump and juicy!

Chai's Island Bistro served Sea Bass with a Lobster Reduction and Ribbons of Zucchini. This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. Chef Chai himself was there working hard to cooking up the sea bass. I had a chance to meet him and take a picture with him. He was very warm and welcoming, very friendly!

Formaggio Wine Bar and Grill served a Grilled Lamb Chop with Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce and Couscous with a Vinegar Reduction. My dad liked this one the best!

The Halekulani served Seared Tuna with Corn Chaat and Avocado Lime Dressing. (Sorry, the picture of this one didn't come out)

Mariposa served Texas Wild Boar Ragu with Kabocha Pumpkin Pappardelle, Hamakua Mushrooms, and Citrus Pistachio Gremolata. Warm flavors of fall with comforting ribbons of Pappardelle.

Ruth's Chris Steak house served Sliced Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Casserole. The casserole was rich and buttery, topped of with a sweet cinnamon and pecan crumble.

Tango Contemporary Cafe (Hale Aina Award winning chef Goran Streg) served Hamakua Mushroom Risotto with Garlic Shrimp.

Vino served an Ahi Nicoise-Style Salad with Hamakua Heirloom Tomatoes, Roasted Yellow Fin Potatoes, Marinated Haricot Verts, Boiled Egg, and Aged Sherry Vinaigrette. Served on a spoon to enjoy all the flavors in one bite!

And last, but definitely not least, was Roy's Restaurant, serving Roy's Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. It was miniature versions of the famous dessert, served warm. Crispy on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside! I got 2 servings of this one!!

Two hours of eating and drinking sure went by quickly! I feel so lucky to have been a part of this event!!


Robert said...

Ooo...looks like we need to hang out more so you can show me where to find all the yummy food :]

OkiHwn said...

Oh boy, you so lucky! All look so ono!

LesliAnn said...

what a great birthday experience!! :) i bet roy's one was sooo delicious! the vino one looks interesting..
you met chai, but can you say his last name correctly? :)