Hawaii Mom Blog: The Long-Awaited Day Is Coming: MW Restaurant to Reopen on April 6




March 23, 2021

The Long-Awaited Day Is Coming: MW Restaurant to Reopen on April 6

Chefs Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka will resume operation of their flagship MW Restaurant
 on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, immediately upstairs from their more casual eatery, Artizen by MW.  The beloved Hawaii Regional Cuisine restaurant known for its savory local flavors and inspired desserts will occupy a refashioned 4,000 square foot space on the second floor of Velocity Honolulu and will be introducing reimagined perspectives of dishes from its previous incarnation.
MW Restaurant will initiate dine-in service in Velocity Honolulu with a menu showcasing a few established favorites and some refreshed expressions, while unveiling a number of new offerings that preserve their sustainable, local-sourcing ethos.  The mochi-crusted fish, which features monchong for lunch and kampachi for dinner, will include the somen as an add-on option, and will replace the Korean-influenced banchanvegetables with flavors more reminiscent of an okazuya (local Japanese-style delicatessen), including items such as kimpira gobo (braised burdock root) or local-style namasu (daikon and carrot salad that incorporates cucumber as a primary ingredient in the Hawaii version).  The Caesar salad will adopt a more Japanese persuasion by incorporating fried chirimen(dried whitebait) and togarashi (chili pepper) as accents to the dressed Romaine.  A Kona lobster roll will be dressed with wasabi mayo, sandwiched with a house-made pretzel bun.  The soy-braised shortrib will become more wine-pairing friendly with the incorporation of red wine into the sauce, as well as a “truffle yaki” glaze, which will infuse earthy truffled notes into the teriyaki-based sauce.
With regards to inaugural dishes, Ueoka will add to the menu a smoked salmon dip, Malaysian-inspired rendang beef bao buns, and a dine-in teishoku box, with different renditions available for lunch and dinner, will be served in a bento box but featuring a fish presentation, a seafood dish, and a meat course, along with vegetables and rice.  For dinner exclusively, a steakhouse experience will be offered for t
hose who opt for the Brandt Beef Tomahawk, a 2 to 2-1/2-pound steak dinner for $225 will satiate two hungry people that also features a shareable Caesar salad, crab cakes, potato gratin, a side of roasted vegetables, and a dessert sampler.


Desserts by Michelle Karr-Ueoka will tantalize those seeking to consummate a perfect meal.  Old favorites such as the tropical creamsicle brulee with haupia tapioca, lilikoi sorbet, lilikoi “gummies,” and tropical fruit will remain on the roster of must-haves, but they will be joined by reinterpreted seasonal confections such as the Kula strawberry shave ice that will infuse sakura aromatics through a cherry blossom panna cotta.  A new affogato-inspired “coffee and cream” will dress a warm Ka’u coffee cake with a Kō Hana Manulele chocolate consommé and Laie Vanilla cream.  Other fresh takes will be the “floating island”—a lilikoi semifreddo and cumulus of meringue drifting over a pineapple consommé and tropical fruits—as well as a tarte tatin of sliced miso-scented apples crowned with a sesame ice cream.


To complement the fine cuisine, MW Restaurant will expand its wine and cocktail program with the assistance of its new beverage director, Jen Len.  Originally from Hawaii, Len charted a course for a career in oenology and mixology after three pivotal years working with Sommelier Michael Shearin and Bar Manager Jaymee Mandeville at Celestino Drago’s Downtown Los Angeles hot spot, Drago Centro.  Her insatiable appetite for new culinary discoveries provided the lens through which she interpreted beverages, eventually taking her to the historic Jonathan Club, where she honed her skills as Assistant Sommelier and Mixologist working under Beverage Director Caitlin Stansbury.  Her wine certifications and mixing skills were developed at Caña Rum Bar under Allan Katz and Danielle Crouch, which eventually took her Las Vegas to open up Jammyland.  Returning to Hawaii in 2019, she consulted and educate while cultivating her bartending acumen at the agave sanctuary Encore Saloon before being recruited by MW Restaurant.  Under Len’s guidance, MW Restaurant’s wine, spirits, and cocktail programs will graduate to the next level.  Inspired by the restaurant’s ideology of supporting local agriculture and commerce, she will create a bar refuge where many classic cocktails may be explored, alongside a modest menu of original drinks inspired by anecdotes to share.  The inaugural menu will focus on pivoting through the pandemic, while amplifying the voices of local farmers and businesses, as well as the makers of the fine wines and spirits.  Low and non-alcoholic drinks such as artisanal coffees and teas, as well as beer, will round out the roster of beverages.


Embellishing upon an enhanced guest experience defined by exquisite fare and energized libations, the interior design will evoke a modern Hawaiian style through the use of mid-century design elements as slat wood walls, as well as contemporary furniture and wavy wire lighting fixtures.  Natural materials and textures such as white oak, bamboo, and hand-made cement tiles delivered with clean, modern lines will be accented by eclectic elements such as woven fiber wall coverings in the lounge, ceramic-potted air plants and succulents, and original landscape oil paintings by local artists.  The theme of “land and sea” will recognize the connection and appreciation MW Restaurant feels for Hawaii, the genesis of its culinary inspiration.  An element of comfort will parallel Michelle and Wade’s love for their customers and desire to express their hospitable warmth in their new home. 


“JN is extremely pleased to welcome MW Restaurant and Artizen by MW to Velocity,” shares Brad Nicolai, President of JN Group, Inc.  “The restaurants, with their exceptional quality of cuisine, attention to details, and the exuding spirit of aloha, are perfect additions to the world-renowned brands that already occupy the center.”


“We are grateful for the design and construction team comprised of Brad Nicolai and Will Crowley, Chris Lee of Ayko Group, LLC, Wayne Goo and the architects at Workshop HI, the interior designers at Indigo Republic, the art installation team at Kelly Sueda Fine Art, and graphic designer Jill Misawa for building a space that is both beautiful and welcoming,” emphasizes pastry chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka.  Her husband and executive chef Wade Ueoka adds, “This would not be possible if it weren’t for our investors, family, and guests who have supported us for our first seven years and we look forward to welcoming everyone into our new home.”


MW Restaurant is located at 888 Kapiolani Boulevard.  Self-parking stalls are available on the first floor of the Velocity Honolulu, with valet parking also available (enter from Kapiolani Boulevard).  The restaurant will be open for lunch on Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Dinner will be served every day of the week from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  A happy hour menu for food and beverages will be available weekdays from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the bar.


For more information, visit the website at https://mwrestaurant.com, or call (808) 955-6505

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