Following my sister’s Hawaiian-style wedding reception, Annie and I had an intimate dinner for 2 at the venerable Alan Wong’s Restaurant to celebrate her 40th birthday.
Alan Wong’s is one of the most recognised, award-winning fine dining establishments in Honolulu. It was noted as one of the Top 10 best restaurants in the nation by Gourmet Magazine in 2006. Presidents and chiefs of state dine there. Chef Alan Wong himself, credited as one of the founding fathers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, garnered the James Beard Foundation award for Best American Chef – Northwest in 1996. It has a well-deserved reputation.
Annie has long wanted to go to Alan Wong’s but we never got the chance to during our previous trips back home to Hawaii. So when we started planning for this latest trip for my sister’s wedding, she made her wish very clear: “You better take me to Alan Wong’s!”
About a month before we left, I called them and made the reservation.
Authentic Chicago hot dogs, and more, found in the heart of Honolulu.
Hank’s Haute Dogs
It occurs to me that I haven’t finished blogging about all the places we ate at when we last visited Hawaii for my sister’s wedding back in February. One of those places is Hank’s Haute Dogs, located in the Kaka’ako district of urban Honolulu. Our friend Billy (who introduced us to Pah Ke’s Chinese Restaurant in Kaneohe) arranged to meet us there for lunch.
I don’t think I’ve ever been as nervous as I was that day.
I had been fiddling with the ring in my pocket all day, and here I was, finally, in line at Waiola Shave Ice waiting to give my order.
“What’ll you have?”
“Two large cones with ice cream. Li hing and Melona flavors,” I rattled off the order just like I had many times before. “Oh, and, uh, can you put this on top of one of the ice creams, underneath the shave ice?” My hand was shaking as I gave him the ring, sealed inside a tiny plastic ziploc baggie. “I’m going to propose to my girlfriend today.”
Following my sister’s Hawaiian-style wedding on the grounds of the Ko’olau Golf Club, we went to the Club’s main ballroom for the Hawaiian-style reception. I say “Hawaiian-style” because we include facets from the many different ethnicities that make up Hawaii, yet in a uniquely Hawaiian way. Case in point is the framed 1001 cranes artwork that was commissioned for her wedding:
The design is made up entirely of 1001 hand-folded, gold foil origami cranes. Ancient Japanese tradition was that a bride-to-be would fold 1000 cranes in order for a wish (such as long life or good fortune) to be granted. Japanese in Hawaii do it one better for extra luck!