Everyone likes to be in the know, and it’s fun to be able to order stuff that’s not listed on the menu, right? How many times have you gone to Starbucks to order a Captain Crunch, or proudly told the In-N-Out Burger counter you want “double double animal style?”
I’ve done a couple of secret menu blogs so you can get unique dishes and impress your friends. One was at Ginza Bairin, another at Kaiwa Waikiki. The latest in my secret menu adventures was at MW Restaurant, which my foodie friend Sean Morris coordinated. The items you see below are available with 48 hours notice. I don’t have prices, but I can tell you that the entire dinner cost us about $70 each (not including tax and tip).
To start, we had hand-passed canapés. Some of these are currently on the menu, but that often changes, so be sure to check before you make your reservation and secret menu orders.
The ahi tartare with shaved truffles was a huge hit. This is on the current menu, but not always.’
The lineup of canapés. The burger sliders with truffles and yuba were great, moist, meaty bites; the arancini balls with truffles were also a big hit.
Before each course, Michelle and Wade Ueoka — the MW behind MW Restaurant — spoke to the crowd and revealed their secret ingredient.
The first dish was a kabayaki unagi on foie gras fried rice. This was fabulous! The dots on the side are foie gras sauce, which you add to each bite. This was just the right size for a rich dish, I think. Recommended pairing: 2012 Champalou Vouvray Sec – Loire Valley.
The favorite of the night was the Kona lobster cannelloni with tomato ragout. The lobster is poached in butter, and man, you can taste that buttery goodness as it fills your mouth! There’s more butter in the cannelloni, and the ragout was slightly spicy, which rounded out the richness of flavors. Recommended pairing: 2008 Olivier Leflaive “Les Setilles” Bourgogne Blanc.
The kurobuta pork loin was another big hit, and probably something I’d eat as an entree on a different night. By the end of dinner, we were too full to really appreciate this, even though we wanted to keep eating it. It’s served on a bed of kalua pig and cabbage, so there’s an added contrast of pork flavor. This is a hearty dish, for sure. Recommended pairing: 2012 Migration Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley.
The pork was accompanied by light, airy truffled mashed potato beignets. I could just eat the whole bowl.
For dessert, Michelle outdid herself yet again! This is Waialua “coffee and cream,” a bowl of Hawaiian vanilla panna cotta, coffee gelato, aerated coffee, and shaved coffee granita. I love these icy desserts because they’re so light and refreshing. Recommended pairing: Ramos Pinto – 10 year Tawny Port.
She also made Waialua chocolate mousse “two ways.” The first was this baked chocolate mousse, covered with a chocolate tuille. Not pictured is the Hawaiian vanilla creme anglaise, which you can pour over yourself to your liking. Definitely a chocolate lover’s dream.
The second chocolate mousse was actually dehydrated, like astronaut ice cream. Except astronaut ice cream was never this delicious! It’s dangerously light and probably something you could eat endlessly while, say, writing your blog.
I can’t wait to show you the next round of secret menus at a Honolulu restaurant. What about you? Do you have any favorite secret dishes or menus at restaurants around town? Let me know, and let’s eat!
1538 Kapiolani Blvd.
Be sure to give the restaurant 48 hours notice if you want any of these secret menu items.