Monday, December 30, 2013

Hawaii: President Obama Dines At Alan Wong's Restaurant In Honolulu

The President in his motorcade on Monday
A repeat visit for a three-hour dinner with the First Lady and friends: The Aloha State's most acclaimed chef has also cooked at the White House...
Honolulu, HI - President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Monday night spent three hours enjoying a multi-course dinner with friends at Alan Wong's restaurant. The eponymous King Street eatery run by the Aloha State's most acclaimed chef features local and sustainably sourced regional Hawaiian cuisine.

The President and his party arrived at 8:07 PM by motorcade for the delicious finish to the tenth day of his vacation, one of the busiest so far:  It began with a pre-dawn workout and included five hours of golf followed by a challenging hike with the First Family.   

Wong is one of President Obama's favorite chefs, and he has cooked at the White House.  The feast was the President's second visit of the year, and his ninth visit overall:  His first dinner outing of 2013 was at Wong's last January 2nd. 

As their parents lingered over dinner until after 11:00 PM, First Daughters Malia and Sasha "stayed at home" in Kailua, pool reported.  Located in an office building, the restaurant is a short distance from the apartment where the young Mr. Obama spent his high school years living with his maternal grandparents. 

Chef Alan Wong
Both Obamas are "adventurous eaters," Wong told Obama Foodorama in an interview, with the President's favorite entree at his restaurant the Twice Cooked Soy Braised Short Ribs with Ko Choo Jang Sauce.  Wong said the President's favorite dessert is "The Coconut," Haupia Sorbet in a Chocolate Shell fashioned to look like a coconut, with Tropical Fruits and Lilikoi Sauce (Passion fruit). 

Wong created a special 5-course Chef's Tasting Menu for the Obamas when they visited in 2011.  He was among the first guest chefs invited to cook at the White House in 2009, creating the first-ever Luau-themed Congressional Picnic for the annual shindig for lawmakers on the South Lawn (recipes are here).  

Wong also cooked a lavish menu for the President's important APEC Leaders Dinner in Honolulu in 2011, and he is an inaugural member of the American Chef Corps, the group of prominent toques who are serving as culinary ambassadors for the State Department's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership.  

Along with the White House chefs, Hawaii's Masaharu Morimoto is also a member:  The President and Mrs. Obama dined with friends at his Waikiki eatery on Dec. 22, making their first dinner outing of the vacation.

The President and Mrs. Obama also dined at Nobu Waikiki on Dec. 27, completing their annual dining threepeat:  They have visited the same three restaurants while on vacation for the last three years.

Ahead of dinner, the President played golf for five hours at the members-only Royal Hawaiian Golf Club in Maunawili, joined by seven pals and aides, some of whom were also at the dinner at Wong's.  It was his sixth outing on the links since the President arrived on Oahu on Dec. 2o.

The golf party included Let's Move! Executive Director Sam Kass, aide Marvin Nicholson, Chicago friends Marty Nesbitt, Andrew Dibble, and Dr. Eric Whitaker, and Hawaii friends Mike Ramos and Bobby Titcomb, who hosted a barbecue at his home in Waialua for the President and First Family on Saturday.

The First Family trekked the Makiki Valley Loop Trail in Honolulu after the golf game.  The President was warmed up for all of it:  He visited the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii before sun-up, spending about an hour working out.

The President departed Alan Wong's with his party at 11:12 PM, and arrived back at his vacation rental home in Kailua at 11:40 PM.  Pool had no sighting of the President before or during the dinner outing, and was held "at a Thai restaurant several blocks away," reported the scribe on duty.

The day wasn't all fun:  White House officials said that before golf, President Obama was briefed on back-to-back terror attacks in Russia, where at least 31 people were killed in two separate explosions at a railway station and on a bus in Volgograd, which lies about 400 miles away from the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.  

A White House spokesman said the United States will welcome "closer cooperation" with Russia on security preparations for the games.  

The President's grassroots arm, Organizing for Action, also sent an end-of-year fundraising email to supporters, signed by Mr. Obama.  It was among a slew of email pleas for donations as the organization tries to fill its coffers before its self-imposed Dec. 31st deadline.

The President will celebrate New Year's tomorrow on island, and has no public or official events scheduled for the duration of his vacation.  He is scheduled to return to Washington, DC, on Jan. 5, 2014.

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Information: Alan Wong's is located at 1857 King Street, Honolulu, HI, 96826. Phone: 808-949-1939. 

*Top photo by AP/pool; Wong photo courtesy of Alan Wong, by Michael Gilbert