Hawaiian Food: Our Favorite Local Cuisine
When you think of Hawaii, what springs to mind? Do you immediately picture towering waterfalls, white-sand beaches, and lush green hills thick with vegetation? After all, Hawaii’s natural beauty is a wonder to behold. But did you know another one of the very best things about visiting Hawaii is the food? Blending traditional culinary practices with a rich history of eastern and western influences (not to mention a bountiful array of fresh local ingredients), the cuisine of Oʻahu is as unique as it is delicious.
One of the best parts of any vacation is sampling the local cuisine — and we’re here to help you work up an appetite! Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite local dishes, street foods, and sweet treats with you, and that’s not all! We also have the exciting inside scoop on a delicious new development for our Prince ʻOhana this spring!
Ready? Let’s dig in!
Slow-cooked to perfection in an underground rock oven called an imu, meat-lovers can’t get enough of this traditional Hawaiian dish. Think American pulled pork, but substitute the tangy BBQ sauce for a rich woodsmoke flavor that goes great over rice. Seconds, anyone?
Sushi + Spam? Yes please! Nowhere is the rich history of Hawaii more on display than in this seemingly incongruous (yet simply scrumptious) pairing. Hawaii’s ultimate handheld snack combines the iconic canned meat (popular with GIs stationed here during World War II) with rice and a nori wrapping. The result is an east-meets-west fusion experience you won’t find anywhere else.
Dim sum fans will note the Asian influences in this delicious Hawaiian steamed dumpling stuffed with pork, shrimp, and water chestnuts, all served with a side of soy sauce and spicy mustard.
This sweet treat is made with thinly shaved ice flakes and colorful syrup, flavored with local fruits like pineapple, guava, mango, and passionfruit. Unlike the crushed ice used in a snow cone, the delicate ice shavings allow the syrup to absorb completely rather than sink to the bottom. Which means every bite is as flavorful as the last.
Chocolate Haupia Pie
A dessert-lover’s dream, this popular Hawaiian twist on the traditional coconut cream pie is decadent, rich, and a definite favorite. The pie layers whipped cream and chocolate with traditional coconut milk pudding called haupia (pronounced “how-pee-uh”) over a delicious macadamia nut crust. The result? Well, it’s nothing short of amazing.
If Japan’s sashimi and Peru’s ceviche had a baby, it would be poke. This raw seafood salad consists of cubes of tuna marinated to perfection in soy sauce and sesame oil. Try it tossed with Hawaiian chili, Maui onions, cucumbers, sea asparagus, and a side of house-made nori rice chips at our award-winning 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar.
Another mouthwatering 100 Sails signature dish, Ahi Kama uses the “collar” of the yellowtail (a naturally juicy cut that’s at once succulent and sustainable), grilled to perfection and flavored with daikon, pickled ginger, and a side of ponzu.
Hawaiian food culture is all about fusion — and so is this signature 100 Sails dish! A perfectly marbled Waygu beef patty meets caramelized onions and brie cheese for a classic American favorite with a decidedly Japanese twist.
Authentic Hawaiian Flavor
When you stay with us, you don’t have to go far to taste the best Hawaii has to offer. Centrally located, with four incredible in-house food & beverage outlets and convenient in-room dining, Prince Waikiki is a culinary adventurer’s paradise. And with renowned chef Jeremy Shigekane joining our Prince ʻOhana as Executive Chef, the best keeps on getting better!
Chef Jeremy brings a wealth of culinary experience to his new role, including a stint as Executive Sous Chef at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Most recently, Chef Jeremy was Executive Chef and Owner of Chef Mavro Restaurant. His career has brought him to fine-dining establishments in New York City, San Francisco, and Vero Beach, as well as right here at home in Honolulu.
Chef Jeremy strives to craft menus that spotlight fresh, locally sourced ingredients to reflect an authentic pride of place. This makes him a natural fit with the Prince Waikiki team. We’re so excited to work with him on this exciting new chapter and can’t wait to see (and taste!) what he cooks up for us.
A Taste of Tokyo at Your Doorstep
Japanese influences are everywhere in Hawaiian cuisine. But for a taste of the real deal, you don’t have to look farther than Katsumidori Sushi Tokyo in the Prince Waikiki lobby — the iconic Tokyo institution’s first and only outpost outside of Japan.
Named one of Eater’s 12 Essential Restaurants in Waikiki, Katsumidori serves up a creative interpretation of authentic Japanese favorites like their signature Katsu Sea Eel Ippon, slow-cooked in a secret sauce that you have to taste to believe. Executive Chef Noboru Nagumo capitalizes on Oʻahu’s bounty of fresh local ingredients to create a dining experience you won’t want to miss.
Don’t Forget to Pack Your Appetite
Is your stomach rumbling yet? We don’t blame you — there are so many unique, unusual, and unbelievably tasty dining options just waiting to be discovered here in Hawaii. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your perfect Prince Waikiki getaway today, and treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure they’ll never forget.