Alan Wong' Hawaii

Photos courtesy of Alan Wong's Hawaii

Ikspiari, 1-4 Maihama, Urayasu-shi, Chiba-ken; Tel:047-305-5630
Credit Cards: Accepted
Reservations: Available
Menu: Japanese/English
Click here for map

After two days indulging in the twin saccharine delights of Tokyo Disneyland and Ikspiari, it was a surprise and a relief to find an oasis of fine dining hidden amongst all the pink concrete and themed restaurants. Leading Hawaiian chef Alan Wong's first venture in Japan is confusingly called Alan Wong's Hawaii. Wong explains (in a fashion), "You're in Japan, so it doesn't make sense to say 'Alan Wong's Tokyo.' We wanted to say Hawaii, so people don't think they're going to get chow mein."

It should come as no surprise, considering his background - he was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a Chinese-Hawaiian father and raised in Hawaii - that Wong is renowned for innovative fusion cuisine. Mixing the flavors of the varied ethnic groups settled in Hawaii with the freshest local ingredients and his classical French culinary training has led Wong to develop a menu full of subtle transitions and surprises. Seeing it was our first visit and in order to fully appreciate the range of his culinary craft, we opted for the Chef's tasting course (JY6500).

Fusion favorites from the a la carte menu

Our meal was quickly launched with cocktails and some heavenly chili garlic aioli. The small pot was quickly devoured and we greedily requested more of the spiced aioli to slather on our crusty fresh bread. The tasting course we had plumped for kicked off with a diminutive and piquant shrimp cocktail dotted with wasabi sauce. A firm delicious crab cake with ginger sauce followed.

The chilled tomato soup served in a test-tube-like glass quickly cleansed our palates with a refreshing and true tomato flavor. By the time we had polished off the lobster linguine in a chili, garlic and lemongrass sauce that followed, we were beginning to feel a little fuller - but the end was not yet in sight.

In the pause between courses, we took the time to appraise the surroundings-stylish, sleek and modern and surrounded by glass. Passing shoppers peering in from the high windows didn't add anything to the otherwise relaxed ambiance. However, the wedding outside in the garden complete with Mickey and Minnie was a novel distraction.

Our next blend of tastes came from the ginger-crusted sea bream with a miso and sesame vinegar. The firm fish and tangy sauce were well worth making room for. As the efficient and friendly staff swiped our plates, we breathed a sigh of relief and readied ourselves for the final onslaught of culinary prowess - a medallion of beef with wasabi potato salad and green pepper sauce. The tender meat and sauce were delicious, and although the potatoes held their own by this point in the meal, we were a little tired of the reoccurring wasabi that had made several unannounced appearances in other dishes. That aside, the dish was a satisfying end to the savory selection. Our meal was finished off with a wicked slice of chocolate macadamia nut bar with vanilla ice cream and coffee. A fitting finale, for a chocoholic, to a true gastronomic treat.

Matt Wilce

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