Friday, March 7, 2014

Orchids at Halekulani: Elegant Oceanfront Dining

Surrounded by a myriad of exotic orchids and overlooking the panoramic views of Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach, Orchids Restaurant at the Halekulani is considered to be one of the most romantic dining destinations in Waikiki. Chef Vikram Garg experiments with local produce and takes advantage of Hawaii's regional 'farm to table' movement by using produce from the rich volcanic soils of Hawaii to enhance his innovative menu. Born and raised in India, Chef Garg’s culinary influences are global — trained classically in French and Southeast Asian cuisine, he worked at some of India’s finest five-star hotels, with stops in the British Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C., before moving to Hawaii. Featuring the island’s fine fresh local ingredients, the dinner menu at Orchids has already garnered national acclaim for its premium and rare seafood selections, modern and colourful culinary presentations, perfectly balanced flavours using raw Hawaiian salts, organically grown herbs and complex Asian spices, broad varietals of appetizers and entrees offering elegant vegetarian selections and exquisite wine pairings. One of the highlights of Honolulu, Orchids at the Halekulani is a dining treat not to be missed.

Executive Chef Vikram Garg at House Without a Key, Orchid, 
Lewers Lounge and La Mer at Halekulani

Chef Garg at work creating one of his extraordinary dishes

Our ocean side table  for two at Orchids

The fresh baked bread arrives in a Hawaiian woven basket with embroidered Halekulani napkin

Sourdough and whole grain bread with Chef Garg's wafer-thin crackers

A trio of butters and oil, garnished with Hawaiian sea salts

Shrimp and Avocado Salad with spiced macadamia nuts and orange dressing

Seared Scallops with cauliflower mousseline, caviar and gribiche cream

Pan-Fried Sea Bass with fennel soubise, olive tapenade and sea asparagus

Steamed Orchids-Style Onaga: Long Tail Snapper with shiitake mushrooms, 
green onions, sizzled with sesame oil and soy

2 complimentary warm chocolate macadam nut cookies

A beautiful island orchid graces our table

Carrot, Orange & Ginger Soup
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy Vikram Garg, Executive Chef, Le Mer at the Halekulani Hotel

8 oz carrot
2 oz onion
1 1/2 oz celery
1 1/2 oz celery root
1 oz ginger root
1 1/2 ounces leek
1 clove garlic
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup orange juice
2 oz butter
1 cup whole milk
4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

Chop all the vegetables into a course dice. Heat a sauté pan, then add the butter, vegetables, salt, pepper and sauté. Pour in the stock and orange juice and bring to a boil, then simmer and cook for 15 minutes. When cooked, add whole milk and blend in a food processor. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Serve chilled for a summer soup, or hot for a comforting winer soup.

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