Hawaii March 13, 2019
The World’s Only Fish Sommelier Can Be Found At This Beachfront Restaurant In Hawaii
The Hawaiian Islands are undoubtedly home to some of the world’s most impressive restaurants, and while we love hole-in-the-wall gems as much as the next person, sometimes, the best restaurants are found within the Aloha State’s most popular resort communities. Case in point: this Ko Olina restaurant where you will not only find enticing views of the Pacific Ocean and an atmosphere that exudes understated elegance but some mighty mouthwatering food
and the world’s only fish sommelier. We’ve never heard of a fish sommelier before, but once we learned about this remarkable Hawaii restaurant, we had to take a closer look.
Welcome to Mina's Fish House, a restaurant from famous James Beard Award-Winning Chef Michael Mina nestled along Oahu's leeward coast that re-imagines the Hawaiian fish house theme by offering a seafood bounty direct from the pristinely clear Hawaiian waters.
You’ll find beachfront dining across the islands, but Mina’s Fish House offers an experience unlike any other. Rustic, island-inspired design elements seamlessly connect the inside with the outside. Offering a warm, inviting atmosphere for locals and tourists alike, from the large custom bar, pool table, and comfortably clustered living rooms in the interior...
...to the terraced sun-bleached lanai that leads down to the beach, every inch of Mina’s Fish House is dripping with Old Hawaiian charm. Speaking of, let’s soak in these dreamy views for a moment while admiring the three different levels of seating ending with casual, toes-in-the-sand, beachside dining. It truly doesn’t get better than this.
So, what is a fish sommelier, you might be wondering? If a sommelier is a knowledgeable and highly-trained wine professional who specializes in every aspect of wine service, including pairings with food, a fish sommelier must be similar, right?
Michael Mina created this unique role to offer guests tableside education of Hawaiian fish and explain the restaurant’s signature whole-fish preparations. So, far, there have been two fish sommeliers at Mina’s Fish House, Jared Chang, an avid fisherman, and then, in December 2018, his longtime friend and fellow fisherman, Ryan Houser.
With an impressive knowledge of seafood, both found off the coast of the Hawaiian Islands and across the world, the fish sommelier’s sole job is to educate diners about the restaurant’s seafood offerings. Many diners, both locals and visitors alike, may not know much about the fish or how best to eat them, and Houser helps. It makes sense, considering more than half of the menu at Mina’s is seafood.
From pupus and small plates to a signature Hawaiian seafood tower and whole Hawaiian-style grilled and baked fish dishes, the menu certainly doesn’t disappoint. Highlights include Kona cold lobster and coconut bisque, utter-basted swordfish with pono pork Portuguese sausage, a lobster pot pie, phyllo-crusted fish with crab brandade, and Mina’s signature ahi tuna tartare reimagined as a contemporary poke.
Don’t worry, though: you’ll find more than just seafood here. A selection of wood-broiled, dry-aged steaks and seasonal sides round out the phenomenal menu.
Start your meal with a specialty-crafted cocktail inspired by the beach and fresh, tropical fruits grown on the island. Utilizing flavors like papaya, lilikoi, kiwi, and coconut, these cocktails are absolutely as delicious as they look. You will also find a variety of beers on tap, most of which are made right here in Hawaii, as well as bottles and cans from around the world, and a wine list inspired by the ever-changing menu. Where other than Hawaii can you enjoy a cocktail served in a Spam can?
Be sure to save room for dessert! From the fresh, local coconut used in the coconut meringue with tropical fruit salad to the chocolate from the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory used in the Criollo chocolate pudding, these desserts are, quite simply, heavenly. They change with the seasons to reflect the best local products Hawaii has to offer, but every single dish is divine.
With stunning views of the Pacific Ocean — especially at sunset — as well as some of the most unique seafood dishes you've ever tried, Mina's Fish House is famous for a reason, and though expensive, is worth a visit for a special occasion or just to check off of your Hawaii bucket list.
Mina’s Fish House is located within the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina at 92-1001 Olani St., Kapolei, HI 96707, and is open daily from 3 to 10 p.m. For more information, visit their
website or follow them on Facebook.