New restaurant: Japengo at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki
Photo by Martha Cheng
What: Last night’s opening reception at Japengo in the Hyatt Waikiki
Standout bites: Scallop butter yaki with black tobiko and shiso (it's hard to go wrong with a perfectly cooked scallop); Salmon skin roll with kaiware, cucumber and onion ponzu, topped with pieces of fried salmon skin, aka fish bacon.
Overall impression: I like the Las Vegas-style dining room (clubby, dramatically themed, spacious booths). The food draws on Southeast Asian, Japanese and Chinese cuisines, and for the most part, keeps the flavors pure, rather than mashing them all up on one dish. Dishes, however, tend to run sweet. Glancing at the regular menu, prices are high ($35 for the salmon, $42 for the sirloin), though in line with other Waikiki hotel restaurants.
Japengo, 3rd floor of Hyatt Regency Waikiki, 2424 Kalakaua Ave., 923-1234