Chef Mavro's Blog

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Zucchini blossoms maitake mushrooms

In Chef Mavro’s own words. An introduction to the new Summer Menu that starts Wednesday, July 15th Reserve your table

Summer is by far the season that reminds me the most of Provence.  Suddenly I can almost hear the sounds of the cigales and I want to cook artichokes, fava beans, fresh peas, zucchini blossoms…here you go… zucchini blossoms.  No wonder why this is my first summer menu appetizer!

zucchini blossoms  tempura, maitake mushroom salsify salad, espelette, island tomato coulis

Zucchini Blossoms Maitake

In Provence we have many ways to accommodate zucchini blossoms.  We fill them, we fry them, we beignet them etc…my favorite way was always to beignet them in a beer batter, no eggs.  I realize now that without the beer this looks very much like a tempura.  So we decided to tempura them!  This way we got the best way to preserve the delicate flavor & the airy consistency of this outstanding ingredient.  Culinarywise, sometimes I feel like I have one foot in Provence & the other in Japan. In Hawaii the Asian influence in our dishes are not following a trend…this is just what is going on here & not only in your plate.

Zucchini blossoms Photo George Mavro

Zucchini blossoms reminds me of a story when I was cooking in Maui and visited a big zucchini and onion farm on the slopes of Kula.  I asked the farmer to pick up just the blossoms for me, no zucchini. And I wanted only the male blossomsI He looked at me like if I had just turned mad & told me to go look for him somewhere else (this is a strange translation of “Va voir ailleurs si j’y suis!”).

But I never take no for answer and it took me almost one year to convince him (especially because I accepted to pay a fortune for my blossoms)…But it was worth every penny & this is how I started to feature zucchini blossoms on my menus in Hawaii…

Today, we place the zucchini blossom tempura on top of a fricassée of maitaki mushrooms, salsify shavings & an ice cold fresh tomato coulis flavored with espelette chili powder.  This new appetizer is as fresh as the wine selected by our wine pairing committee:

Wine pairing for:

zucchini blossoms, tempura, maitake mushroom salsify salad, espelette, island tomato coulis

comte lafond, 2013 sancerre, loire

“not too sauvignony, refreshing, flinty stones and chalk.”

  Sancerre Comte LaFond







New Hamachi LomiLomi dish on Summer Menu

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In this blog post Chef Mavro talks about his dish Hamachi LomiLomi now on the Summer Menu.

Chef Mavro Hamachi Lomilomi

“The last thing you want to do is cook hamachi. This is why I decided to “confit” it instead and even to confit the hamachi half way. So it’s raw on the top and keeps all it’s beautiful texture and flavors. I use the hamachi as the center of the plate for a king salmon lomilomi. Of course the salmon is cured in-house and I massaged the original recipe to make sure that it paired perfectly with the hamachi.

How did I change the original lomilomi salmon recipe? By the addition of a combination of sesame oil, grape seed oil, jalapeño, and chives instead of green onion.

You are going to tell me…and what about the crunchy ice which is also part of this traditional recipe? It’s on top of the hamachi as a lemon shave ice!”

Signature dish Onaga Salt Crust Now-June 28

By popular demand, Chef Mavro’s signature dish will be on the menu through June 28. Offered on the 4-course menu but can be moved to the 6-course. Onaga Salt Crust  earned a place on the GQ Magazine “Top 10 Recipes” and was featured in The New York Times.

“This dish turns steamed onaga into a dramatic magic trick” Mike Keany writes in Honolulu Magazine’s Biting Commentary. Complete story here.

Served tableside and not to be missed! Reservations.

Onaga Salt Crust, tomato-ogo-fresh herbs

Onaga Salt Crust, tomato-ogo-fresh herbs. Photo credit: Elyse Butler Mallams, Honolulu Magazine




Return from Alaska Seafood Menu

A  “Return from Alaska” seafood menu will be offered for 3 days only, June 18, 19 and 20, 2015

Chef Mavro returns from Alaska with a fresh catch of cold water seafood after a TV shoot for Ben Wong’s “Let’s Go Fishing” at El Capitan Lodge! Each Alaskan fish prepared in the best way just for you – for 3 days only.

June 18-20, 2015 Reserve your table online or call us (808) 944-4714

6-course seafood menu $119  wine pairings $75

Chef Mavro Return from Alaska Menu

King salmon à l’unilatérale, greek salad “moderne”
tzatziki sauce









spotted shrimp ceviche
dog point, 2012 sauvignon blanc, “section 94” marlborough

king salmon à l’unilatérale, greek salad “moderne”
tzatziki sauce
domaine laroche, 2012 chablis premier cru “vau de vey,” france

poached with dried ponzu, english pea purée
moone-tsai, 2012 chardonnay, “charles heintz vineyard,” sonoma coast
(premium selection)

rock cod
bouillabaisse, aϊoli & croutons
tournesol, 2012 rosé, napa valley

goat cheese
big island goat dairy cheese mousse, one-minute strawberry jam
frankie’s nursery fresh green peppercorns, baby arugula
andis, 2012 cabernet franc, sierra foothills, california

lychee déclinaison
lychee just freshly picked – lychee sorbet – lychee & hibiscus in gelée
coconut foam, coconut pastilles, white chocolate crèmeux
fennel accent, and hibiscus reduction
maculan, 2012 dindarello, veneto

Option: australian tajima wagyu experience
substitution for main course add 34.00
addition to course menus add 45.00
grade 9+ wagyu medallions, loco moco, sautéed pa’i’ai, poached quail egg
young carrot vichy “moderne” ginger & cumin, pinot noir essence
bergström, 2012 pinot noir, “silice,” chehalem mountains a.v.a. 39.00
(premium selection)

wine by the glass
from the selection 21.00 (5oz)
from our premium selection 39.00 (5oz)

TV host Ben Wong Let's Go Fishing

TV host Ben Wong of Let’s Go Fishing at Alaska’s El Capitan Lodge.








El Capitan Lodge

A luxury fishing experience at Alaska’s El Capitan Lodge

Father’s Day 2015 Top Choice Honolulu Restaurant


For Father’s Day 2015 Chef Mavro is the Top Choice Honolulu restaurant with wagyu beef, lobster, wine pairings and lots of irresistible choices on the Spring Menu.  Reserve now for the best times (808) 944-4714  Gift certificates also available.

Surveys by The National Restaurant Association confirm that “consumers say the most important factor for choosing a restaurant for their special Father’s Day meal is dad’s favorite restaurant, regardless of specials (60 percent).”

Dad will be excited to learn that Chef Mavro’s signature dish “Onaga baked in a salt crust” is on the menu! Back by popular demand for just a few weeks starting June 3 and continuing through Father’s Day, this dish is not to be missed. The fish-shaped crust is opened table side revealing a perfectly cooked fillet of onaga on a bed of spinach. Plated and served with a sauce of tomato, ogo and fresh herbs as the delicious scent of tarragon and chervil wafts across the dining room!

Check out the current issue of Honolulu Magazine for a story on “Classic Dishes” that features Chef Mavro’s Onaga Salt Crust on page 25. Also on that page is Ethel’s Grill a Chef Mavro pick for a casual lunch to enjoy their classic dish ahi tataki! (just click on the scan to enlarge).



Honolulu Magazine June 2015 Classic

Honolulu Magazine features Chef Mavro’s Onaga baked in a salt crust as a “classic dish that just won’t quit” Story by Mari Taketa Photos by Elyse Butler Mallams

Honolulu Magazine June 2015 close up





Best Tasting Menu in Honolulu

Chef Mavro restaurant offers the best Tasting Menu in Honolulu with the highest food rating in Hawaii 18/20, Gayot. In French restaurants it’s called a Grand Degustation menu defined in part as a “careful, appreciative tasting focusing on the senses, high culinary art and good company!”

Shigoku Oysters at Chef Mavro

Tasting Menus are a growing trend for culinary travelers who have only one night to experience a destination restaurant and for local residents celebrating an occasion. At Chef Mavro the tasting menu offers quarter portions of everything on the Spring Menu so it’s not too much. Wine pours are also appropriate for the tasting menu. Chef Mavro restaurant is unusual in that it’s OK if some guests order the Tasting Menu and others order the 4-course menu (95) or the 6-course (139).



Chef Mavro Tasting Menu 185

Wine Pairings with sommelier selections 125

May 2015

amuse bouche
foamed chilled potato leek soup, diced watercress kanten

meli-melo of spring upcountry vegetables
sumida farm watercress, tapenade vinaigrette
on sauce verte
tournesol, 2013 rose, napa valley

poached taylor farms shigoku oysters on baby leek salad
lemongrass kanten, sriracha trout roe, ogo mignonette
domaine laroche, 2012 chablis premier cru, vau de vey, france

foie gras
seared hudson valley foie gras with island mango
foie gras mousse in brioche
royal tokaji, 2008 tokaji aszu, five puttonyos,hungary

steamed day-boat snapper chinatown style
shiitake mushrooms, ginger, sizzled grape seed & sesame oil
fried cilantro & green onion
joh. jos. prum, 2011, riesling kabinett wehlener sonnenuhr, mosel

roasted keahole lobster, island sweet corn & shiso fritter
charred poppy seed asparagus
crustacean espelette emulsion
moone-tsai, 2012 chardonnay, charles heintz vineyard, sonoma coast

berkshire pork loin & crispy belly pho
pickled green papaya, mung bean vermicelli
pork consomme, kale & thai basil, aleppo pepper
andis, 2012 cabernet franc, sierra foothills, california

provence roasted niman ranch lamb loin
socca & basil ratatouille, sweet spiced lamb jus
louis barruol, 2011 cote rot, neve, rhone valley

100% wagyu medallions, loco moco, sauteed pa’i’ai
poached quail egg, young carrot vichy moderne
flavored with ginger & cumin, pinot noir essence
bergstrom, 2012 pinot noir, silice, chehalem mountains, ava

pan fried big island goat dairy feta cheese
long pepper, sage honey crisp
salad of poha berry & frisee, mac nut snow
domaine huet, 2009 vouvray, le haut lieu, demi-sec, loire valley

honeydew melon in champagne gelee, fresh mint

rosemary roasted pineapple & semifreddo, guava gelee
coconut sorbet, sansho crumble
maculan, 2012 dindarello, veneto

waialua chocolate bar, yuzu guri guri, chiboust, & caramel
sesame crumbs, basil essence
w & j. graham’s 10 year tawny porto

earl grey blackberry macaron
guava pate de fruit
sea salt caramel
mocha pave

Best fine dining in Honolulu

“Best dining in Honolulu” is a frequent comment by guests of Chef Mavro restaurant. Gayot just awarded Chef Mavro a coveted spot on their 2015 Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. for the 8th year! And Chef Mavro restaurant earned a Gayot food rating of 18/20, the highest food rating in Hawaii. But fine dining goes beyond the food to ambiance and service.


This top Honolulu restaurant continues to offer an ambiance designed for conversation (even for groups of 6-10, table conversation is easy; no need to shout to be heard). Also guests notice the luxurious soft feel of Egyptian cotton napkins instead of nonabsorbent synthetics.  And knowing that you’re in a clean environment dining on fresh linen tablecloths instead of placemats. These are touch points of the best fine dining in Honolulu.

Service is personalized and friendly. Expert servers are there when you need them. Always.

Where is the best fine dining in Honolulu? Just 5 minutes from Waikiki at Chef Mavro restaurant.  Experience great food, expert friendly service and a dining room accented with Hawaii art and described by some as “Hawaii-style residential.”  Book your table at Chef Mavro in advance. We want you to have your preferred date and time. Walk-ins are welcome too.

Gayot 2015 Top 50 Restaurants in the U.S.

Pistou Soup on Mother’s Day

Honolulu restaurant Chef Mavro adds his Mom’s Pistou Soup
Mother’s Day Dinner only Sunday, May 10 

Chef Mavro to offer his Mom's Pistou Soup on Mother's Day

Chef Mavro to offer his Mom’s Pistou Soup on Mother’s Day


Mom deserves the Chef Mavro experience on Mother’s Day. Reserve now for dinner at Chef Mavro restaurant, Hawaii’s top rated restaurant for food (Gayot 18/20). Plus on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10, Chef Mavro will offer his Mom’s Pistou Soup! This irresistible comfort food of spring beans and ham sprinkled with country bread croutons will be offered as an appetizer served tableside. Family tables, an ambiance designed for conversation, and friendly service makes this the perfect choice for Mother’s Day.

Chef Mavro explains his inspiration for Pistou Soup, a Provencal comfort food: “My Mom was half-Italian and half Austrian and lived in Marseilles, She was cooking a legendary pistou soup. It was the best in the whole world. Her soup included a large variety of spring beans, ham hocks, tomato, salted pork belly, and of course one ton of basil and parmesan cheese. And…love, always the best ingredient. I’m still carrying on her recipe when I cook a pistou soup.”

Flexible course menus from $95; 4 and 6 courses and the Grand Tasting Menu.  Guest favorites from the current Spring Menus are Berkshire Pork Loin Pho; Roasted Keahole Lobster, island sweet corn & shiso fritter; Wagyu Beef medallions loco moco, sautéed pa’i’ai; and a Mother’s Day dessert of lychee and cassis.  Other options include oysters, salad of upcountry greens, snapper, lamb, wagyu beef, and more.

Reservations from 5:30-9:30 p.m. (808) 944-4714. View all menus and receive confirmation online at  Contemporary Hawaii Regional Cuisine with the highest food rating in the Islands., Gayot 18/20. Find Chef on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

OpenTable Honolulu guest reviews Chef Mavro

Do you wonder what it’s like to dine at Chef Mavro?  Read through Open Table (OT) Honolulu guest reviews of  Chef Mavro for a true taste of what you can expect.  OT is different from other review sites in that their system only sends review forms to people confirmed as actual guests.

Keahole Lobster Chef Mavro

Roasted keahole lobster, island sweet corn & shiso fritter, charred poppy seed asparagus, crustacean espelette emulsion wine pairing: MOONE-TSAI, 2012 CHARDONNAY, “CHARLES HEINTZ VINEYARD,” SONOMA COAST

Here’s what OpenTable Honolulu guests have posted over the last month or so:

“a great new experience – definitely going back again.”

“impeccable menu – the flavorful Pork (a very sophisticated take on Pho) was exceptional.”

“flawless – unusually veg-friendly.”

“incredible meal – Chef’s spring menu is unbelievably delicious

“worth Michelin stars – service was great from the moment we entered the place, we had the 4 & 6 course menus with wine pairings. Food was inventive and exceptional, including dessert.”

For another view of Chef Mavro restaurant, follow Chef on Facebook or Instragram where he posts himself. You can feel his excitement about cooking, the new Spring menu, home cooking and other food topics!

New Yelp 5 Star rating Chef Mavro


lamb image from Yelp

Provence-style Nieman Ranch Lamb dish Josie/Honolulu on Yelp

New Yelp 5 star rating for Chef Mavro restaurant today by Josie in Honolulu: “It is such a pleasure and an indulgence to dine at Chef Mavro. The dining room is warm and cozy. The staff courteous and ready to please. The cuisine perfectly executed…Overall, the experience was memorable and well worth the price. Will make it a point to return.”

See Josie’s 10 food photos and description of each course from her recent Spring Menu dinner at Chef Mavro restaurant. Reserve your table now.


Shigoku Oysters on Spring Menu – Chef Mavro

Taylor Farms Shigoku oysters were selected by Chef Mavro for his Spring Menu after a wide search for the very best sustainable oysters. Shigoku are perfectly suited for this dish that bursts with fresh flavors of the sea.

Shigoku Oysters at Chef Mavro

Poached shigoku oysters on baby leek salad, lemongrass kanten, sriracha trout roe, ogo mignonette
wine pairing: domaine laroche, 2012 chablis premier cru “vau de vey,” france
“bright, fresh of aromas of apple, citrus & limestone, clean refreshing finish”

This delicious dish with shigoku oysters has become an instant favorite since the Spring Menu started. Reserve your table now 

Five generations of a Washington State family have continued their commitment to excellence with this plan: “Our mission is to sustainably farm quality shellfish from larvae to table while being responsible community citizens and active stewards for our marine environment.”

Pilates class for oysters! More from Taylor Shelfish Farms as they describe this special oyster: “Our most innovative oyster, Shigokus are Pacific oysters grown in bags that are attached to floats that go up and down in the tides, tumbling the oysters. Every time the oysters get agitated, they use their muscles to close their shells. It’s like Pilates class for oysters twice a day, and the result is an oyster with wonderfully firm flesh and a deep cup. Shigoku means “ultimate” in Japanese, and we think these unique oysters fit the bill.”

Easter Dinner at Chef Mavro

Gather family or frienFullSizeRender-11ds for Easter Dinner at Chef Mavro with choices to please everyone. The new Spring Menu offers Provence roasted niman ranch lamb loin; pork loin pho;  wagyu beef, and for seafood lovers lobster; onaga; and oysters. Start with a glass of festive champagne or Domaine Laroche 2012 Chablis premier cru. Check the menu for complete details Tables for Easter Dinner from 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 5.

Chef Mavro remembers Easter in his childhood as “the best time to eat chocolate!”  And our Pastry Chef Jose Calpito will fulfill your chocolate dreams starting with his Waialua Sesame Seed Crunch Chocolate Bars shown here at the starting point for this flavorful and colorful dessert.

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