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Chef Allen Hess’ Mai Grille Opens for Dinner

Posted February 25, 2016, 12:44 PM HST
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Chef Allen Hess is pictured at the Waikoloa Kings' Golf Course, the location of his newest restaurant Mai Grille. Waikoloa Beach Resort file photo.

Chef Allen Hess is pictured at the Waikoloa Kings’ Golf Course, the location of his newest restaurant Mai Grille. Waikoloa Beach Resort file photo.

Mai Grille, Chef Allen Hess’ newest restaurant located at Kings’ Course, is now serving dinner.

The restaurant released its dinner menu, which focused on classic Hawai’i flavors with modern culinary techniques, on Feb. 18.

“Because Hawai’i’s chefs are experimenting with modern techniques, I put words in parentheses, so customers are a little bit prepared, mentally,” said Hess of the menu. “Someone might think, ‘I know what a musubi is, but this sounds different and interesting.’ “I try to let them know what’s going through the chef’s mind, the kitchen’s mind, where we are excited to take a familiar dish, and try new things with it.”

The menu includes a modern and sophisticated spin on some local classics, like the musubi. Hess says his spin combines spicy ahi tuna, fennel nori dust, heart of palm, and charred green onion.

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“Wok Fried Bacon” is on the menu, featured alongside the words “Hot & Spicy, Caution with Chilies.” Mussels noted as “Fun, Unexpected, Robust,” as well as “Nasti Goat” salad, have made the cut for Chef Hess’ new menu.

“We’re looking for people who love to go out, enjoy a nice dinner and a good bottle of wine,” said Hess. “We’re inviting people to eat the way chefs like to eat, the way we eat in the industry, with lots of options to choose from.”

Mai Grille opened on Oct. 5 of last year and initially served breakfast, lunch, and après-golf choice.

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