It’s about time Honolulu got a taste of what
Brian Malarkey has to offer. The Southern California restaurateur and Top Chef alum makes his mark on the Aloha State with Herringbone, his coastal cuisine restaurant that opened this spring at International Market Place. Here, Malarkey tells us about immersing himself in local culture, his newfound love for udon and where chef Lee Anne Wong takes him to eat around town.
How do Hawai‘i’s local ingredients and purveyors influence your creative process when it comes to your Herringbone menu and palate?
We found Hawai‘i’s seafood and produce options mindboggling compared to what we have in California. We met with local farms like Mari’s Gardens and realized we can play with these incredible ingredients that have robust flavors. With seafood, the simpler and fresher, the better and Honolulu provides that for us easily. We want to be locally driven and adapt the menu to our surroundings. We’ve included beef from Big Island, oysters from Kualoa Ranch and we intend to keep adding locally sourced items to the menu.
What are some of your favorite eating spots here on O‘ahu?
Last time I was here, I called my friend Lee Anne Wong, who I’ve known for almost 10 years, and we ate at her place Koko Head Café, it was fantastic. I love getting lost off the typical “tourist trail” of eateries so I think Chinatown is a gift. I’m trying to immerse myself in the local culture and cuisine because I think that’s important for anyone looking to open a restaurant in a new market.
What kind of experience did you set out to create for diners at Herringbone? How is it different than your other restaurants?
Herringbone is Searsucker’s sophisticated, grown-up sibling with an emphasis on clean flavors. Like all my restaurants, Herringbone provides a social atmosphere for people to gather around and share food and stories. To me, an amazing meal is when you remember the stories shared over the table.
What are some of your personal favorites on the Herringbone menu that you’re especially excited for people to try?
We fell in love with udon noodles and started using it in our mushroom carbonara. Now we’ve starting using udon in all our carbonara dishes across the mainland locations as well. I think this is a distinct mix of two cultures that our guests will love. The whole fish ceviche is a personal favorite. Normally we use a Branzino, but in Waikiki, we will use the local moi. The local oysters from Kualoa Ranch are one not to miss. brianmalarkey.com