Aloha, and welcome to Waikiki! What a privilege it is to be a part of such a wonderful place, a home away from home for me! I travel the world 10 months out of the year to oversee 28 international restaurants and the Nobu Hotel Group, but Hawai‘i has a very special place in my heart, and I am honored to share with you what makes Waikiki, in particular, so special.
Hawai‘i is unique with its blend of Japanese, Polynesian and American cultures. All of these influences intertwine to make Hawai‘i what it is … distinctively diverse. I feel at home here because of the connection to Japan, and many of my countrymen feel the same affinity for the islands. Hawaiians are such a welcoming people, full of aloha, who embrace diversity and make it a priority to provide an authentic, memorable experience for those of us who are honored to live and work here.
The spectacular landscape of O‘ahu is one of the first things that will impress you about the island. From the breathtaking views at the top of Diamond Head Crater, to a single hibiscus blossom, to the metropolitan skyline, historic landmarks, world-class golf courses and serene beaches, there is something for everyone!
The surrounding lands of Waikiki provide ideal harvesting for some of the finest produce in the world, while easy access to crystal clear waters provides fresh and delicious fish. As a chef, this appeals to me the most—at Nobu Waikiki and Nobu Lana‘i we get to showcase these incredible ingredients in our award-winning dishes. Eating local is a must while in Waikiki, as is visiting farmers’ markets to really get a feel and flavor for local favorites and their way of life. Be sure to also visit farms like MA‘O, Nalo, Hau‘ula and Ho Family Farms to learn about local harvesting and meet the families that cultivate and protect these lands, while supplying ingredients for Hawai‘i’s finest kitchens.
Waikiki is FUN with endless attractions, but I do hope you take advantage of the highly anticipated Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival in September; I promise you an un-forgettable culinary experience with me and my favorite chefs! See you soon!