Cocktail videos: Top mixologists shake up Something New with Ocean Vodka

oceannewWhat happens when you give two of this town’s top mixologists Maui’s own organic Ocean Vodka and Deep Island Hawaiian Rum?

Livestock Tavern’s Alicia Yamachika and the Pig & the Lady’s Nick Gray took the spirits and ran in totally different directions, creating new cocktails for tomorrow’s Something New event.

Oh yes. Didn’t we mention? It’s not just about top chefs serving up food with a twist. You’ll see new spirits, new beers from the debut of Lanikai Brewing Co., and these.

Here’s Yamachika mixing up her Organic Montoya, refreshing and topped with fragrant lemongrass.

Now watch Gray make his Wave Jammer, a cocktail with a kick that uses Hawaiian Bitters and the Pig & the Lady’s housemade ginger beer.

Thirsty? You have one more day to get tickets.

Something New
A food fest with a twist
Wednesday, March 25
6 to 8:30 p.m.
M Nightclub @ Restaurant Row

Hawaii Foodbank Great Chefs Fight Hunger 2015

The Hawaii Foodbank held its annual Great Chefs Fight Hunger fundraiser Saturday night at its Mapunapuna warehouse, bringing together hundreds of supporters to enjoy delicious bites prepared by Hawaii’s top restaurants.

HASR Bistro prepared a roasted bone marrow with braised beef and a creamy risotto.

HASR Bistro prepared a roasted bone marrow with braised beef and a creamy risotto.

Proceeds from the event will help provide food to more than 287,000 people each year.

Mrs. Hawaii and Miss Chinatown were in attendance selling keys to the "Cellar Door", a cache of fine wines that one lucky winner would unlock at the end of the night.

Mrs. Hawaii and Miss Chinatown were in attendance selling keys to the “Cellar Door,, a cache of fine wines that one lucky winner would unlock at the end of the night.

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Roy's Hawaii Kai prepared a fresh Big Island ahi tartare with a chipotle aioli, pine nuts, truffle and honey dashi.

Roy’s Hawaii Kai prepared a fresh Big Island ahi tartare with a chipotle aioli, pine nuts, truffle and honey dashi.

Streetlight Cadence entertained the crowd with their unique sound.

Streetlight Cadence entertained the crowd with its unique sound.

Chef Chai Chaowasaree prepared his famous ahi cones- a combination of sweet and savory.

Chef Chai Chaowasaree prepared his famous ahi cones- a combination of sweet and savory.

Many tried their keys at the "Cellar Door"...

Many tried their keys at the “Cellar Door.”

But only one could win. This is the winning team that pooled their money to buy 20 keys.

But only one could win. This is the winning team that pooled their money to buy 20 keys.

Koko Head Cafe's Lee Anne Wong served up a North Shore chukamen with tomato dashi, parmesan and negi.

Koko Head Cafe’s Lee Anne Wong served up a North Shore chukamen with tomato dashi, parmesan and negi.

The Hawaii Foodbank team.

The Hawaii Foodbank team.

Wang Chung’s new food menu

Wang Chung’s, the popular karaoke bar in Waikiki, unveiled its new food offerings at a special media event last night. Owner Danny Chang and chef Randy Sanchez created a whimsical menu of Asian- and Latin- inspired dishes to go with their fun, unique cocktails.

If you’ve never been to Wang Chung’s before: Dan likes to have names and merchandise that poke fun at his first- and second-generation Asian heritage. In addition to a full bar, special infused spirits and singing bartenders, the new dishes reflect that spirit in a delicious way. Here are a few that we tried (all photos by Grant Shindo unless marked):

Wang Chung's lamb sliders.

Wang Chung’s Vietnamese pork hash sliders ($6).

Everyone’s favorite was the Vietnamese pork hash sliders, which are moist, meaty, and get a little tang from the pickled veggies. These are perfect for sharing, but you won’t want to! I appreciate that they call this a banh mi that doesn’t hurt the roof of your mouth.

Wang Chung's Uncle Juan Tachos ($8).

Wang Chung’s Uncle Juan Tachos ($8).

The Uncle Juan Tachos feature house-roasted kalua pig, Randy’s nacho sauce, mango pico de gallo, and house made wonton chips. These are pretty filling! Also, they go pretty fast. I only had two bites.

General Wang's chicken torta ($7).

General Wang’s chicken torta ($7).

I really liked the General Wang’s chicken torta — the chicken was so moist, I thought it was fish at first. The slaw, orange gastrique and chili dust give it a nice, sweet/spicy Asian flavor.

 

Wang Chung's handcut house fries.

Wang Chung’s handcut house fries.

The handout house fries are really good — they’re lightly salty, but I loved that they are lightly crisp on the outside and fluffy inside. Served with sriracha mayo and house ketchup, Randy says these fries are “made with Mexican sweat and tears.”

Wang Chung's sweet corn chicken tamale dumplings.

Wang Chung’s sweet corn chicken tamale dumplings.

I didn’t see these sweet corn chicken tamale dumplings on the menu, but they are dericious! They’re sweet and savory, and a little too easy to eat with the dipping sauce. Definitely a dish for sharing, so you don’t end up eating the whole plate yourself.

Wang Chung's flied pickles.

Wang Chung’s flied pickles.

Fried pickles? No, flied pickles! Say it like you’re fresh off the boat. As you might guess, these are a little tangy, which works with it being battered and fried. The sriracha mayo that it’s served with is perfect. I didn’t think I’d like this, but found myself eating them like chips.

Wang Chung's Fried Oyster Bao (FOB, $3).

Wang Chung’s Fried Oyster Bao (FOB, $3).

Another nod to Dan’s Asian-ness: the F.O.B. (Fried Oyster Bao). Peking duck buns are filled with Asian-inspired cole slaw and a whole fried oyster. It’s quite a mouthful! Maybe more than a mouthful. Get a lot of napkins for this one.

We got more party pics from the event, which featured Ocean Vodka cocktails and shots. Party pics are easy to do at Wang Chung’s now, since the current location is exponentially larger than its original spot down the street.

Wang Chung's bigger Wang!

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Wang Chung’s
2424 Koa Ave. (in the Stay Hotel)
808-921-9176
(Parking available at nearby hotels or on the street)

Top of Waikiki shakes up bar program

I’ve never been keen on dining and drinking in Waikiki for its never-ending traffic and tough parking, but with a revamped menu by chef Lance Kosaka, and a new director of mixology, Jennifer Ackrill, on board, the Top of Waikiki is aiming to become a pau hana and late-night happy hour destination.

The first drink served is one of only three cocktails carried over from the previous bar menu, the Top of Waikiki. Light and dark rum is mixed with passion fruit puree and pineapple for a sweet cocktail with an acidic kick ($5 during happy hour, $10)

The first drink served is one of only three cocktails carried over from the previous bar menu, the Top of Waikiki. Light and dark rum is mixed with passion fruit puree and pineapple for a sweet cocktail with an acidic kick ($5 during happy hour, $10)

I attended a special cocktail tasting to sample the new drink menu and meet Ackrill. Most recently from San Francisco’s burgeoning bar scene, she brings over 17 years of mixology experience. She’s easygoing and passionate about her craft, and made the tasting fun, informative and tasty.

Ackrill is a lively presence behind the bar and shares her wealth of mixology knowledge with her guests.

Ackrill is a lively presence behind the bar and shares her wealth of mixology knowledge with her guests.

One of my favorite cocktails was the Molokai Mule ($7 happy hour, $11). Instead of using ginger beer, Ackrill uses a ginger liqueur with a nice bite.

One of my favorite cocktails was the Molokai Mule ($7 happy hour, $11). Instead of using ginger beer, Ackrill uses a ginger liqueur with a nice bite.

Parking is free with validation in the Waikiki Business Plaza on Kalakaua Ave. Top of Waikiki has two happy hours, one from 4:30-7 p.m. and another from 9-11 p.m. Cocktails start at $5 during happy hour and pupus, $8.

Ackrill keeps her recipes in these two bound notebooks. Yes, those are some of the drinks we sampled in the background.

Ackrill keeps her recipes in these two bound notebooks. Yes, those are some of the drinks we sampled in the background.

Ackrill uses a formula for all her cocktails to maintain balance. Her signature style involves zesting citrus into the drink and rubbing the rim of the glass with the oil from the peel before serving.

Ackrill uses a formula for all her cocktails to maintain balance. Her signature style involves zesting citrus into the drink and rubbing the rim of the glass with the oil from the peel before serving.

The Firerock ($7 happy hour $11) is similar to an alcoholic pink grapefruit drink. Her take on a gin sour, she uses strawberries to bring a little bit of sweetness to a drink that makes you pucker.

The Firerock ($7 happy hour $11) is similar to an alcoholic pink grapefruit drink. Her take on a gin sour, she uses strawberries to bring a little bit of sweetness to a drink that makes you pucker.

Top of Waikiki
2270 Kalakaua Ave. 18th Floor
808-923-3877
TopofWaikiki.com
4:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Something new: Lanikai Brewing Company

Coming in April: Kailua’s first brewery. And true to the windward side’s laid-back nature, Lanikai Brewing Company was started by a group of home brewers-turned-friends.

Back in 2002, some of Lanikai’s founders were individually making five-gallon batches of beer. As they honed their recipes, the dream of creating a craft brewery took root when Steve Haumschild and Al Darling met at the University of Hawaii’s Shidler MBA program. That’s where the concept turned into a real-life project.

Lanikai Brewing's's first two beers, a hoppy double IPA and a smooth, rich porter. Photo courtesy of Jim Hargreaves.

Lanikai Brewing’s first two beers, a hoppy double IPA and a smooth, rich porter. Photo courtesy of Jim Hargreaves.

Three years ago Lanikai Brewing Company was born. By early 2014 they were investing in equipment, and in July they secured a location alongside Hamakua Marsh.

The Lanikai Brewing Co. team: Al Darling, Steve Haumschild, Dano Frerich, Brandon Cody and Chris Cook.

The Lanikai Brewing Company team: Al Darling, Steve Haumschild, Dano Frerich, Brandon Cody and Chris Cook.

Today the state’s newest brewery has four 20-barrel fermenters that each produce about 600 gallons per batch. To start off, they are producing a double IPA, the 808 Imperial IPA and robust porter (Pillbox Porter). Each bottle is wrapped in landscape artwork by Colin Redican, a Hawaii-born artist.

We got to sample two brews. IPA lovers will like the intense hoppiness of the 808 Imperial IPA. And the Pillbox Porter is a smooth, caramel-laced dark beer that casual beer drinkers and aficionados will enjoy.

beer

Seven months of preparation and one successful Kickstarter campaign under their belts, Lanikai Brewing is readying for an April grand opening. After that, plans call for a tour and beer sampling as well as sales to local restaurants and stores.

The brewery sits on the doorstep of Hamakua Marsh. Photo courtesy of Lanikai Brewing Co.

The brewery sits on the doorstep of Hamakua Marsh. Photo courtesy of Lanikai Brewing Company.

But hey, you don’t have to wait until April. Lanikai Brewing’s IPA and porter will be flowing as full 12-ounce pours at our Something New party … in just eight days! Click here to get your tickets!

Lanikai Brewing Company
www.lanikaibrewing.com
Lanikai Brewing Company on Facebook