On Friday, Grand Chef Kenichiro Tanaka of the Imperial Hotel Tokyo will be presenting a one-night, sakura-themed dinner at La Mer at Halekulani, featuring cherry blossom paste and salt-cured cherry blossoms that Tanaka imported from Japan.
“When I left Japan, cherry blossoms were in full bloom,” Tanaka said via a translator. “This season, Japanese enjoy cherry blossoms. So I decided to offer it as part of the Halekulani dinner… I decide my themes by the seasons. The seasons are very important, and we should use fresh foods.”
This philosophy manifests itself throughout Tanaka’s menu in items like his mango and carrot puree with ginger confit and his assortment of seafood with exotic fruits.
Similar to how he brought cherry blossom products from Japan for this dinner, Tanaka expressed a desire to bring Hawaii’s ingredients and culture back to his hotel, citing ahi poke, loco moco and other local dishes from Side Street Inn, Nobu and Orchids at Halekulani, along with Hawaii’s ocean, blue sky, and stars as inspiration.
Tanaka’s cherry blossom dinner is $295.00 per guest. It starts at 6:30 p.m. with a canapé and champagne reception, followed by an eight-course dinner that includes wine pairing with each course. Call Le Mer for reservations.