Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto is constantly going back and forth between his eponymous restaurant in Waikiki and his soon-to-open restaurant in Maui. “I love the local restaurants and markets of Hawaii and often take inspiration from them for my own restaurant menus,” he says. When he’s on Oahu, the chef tries to sneak out of the kitchen to play a few rounds of golf at Ko Olina golf course. And after a stressful day at the restaurant he unwinds at Wailea Beach. “The water is so blue and clear and the sand is fine, almost like powder. This is where I can truly relax and be free of stress,” he says. Here, he shares his other favorite spots on Oahu, including his go-to pineapple store and the best watch shop on the island.
“Shirokiya is a shopping mall and large market located in Honolulu. The extensive food court offers and endless selection of Bento boxes. I like to go and pick one up for lunch, depending on the fresh, local selections and my appetite that day.” 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. #2250 Honolulu, (808) 973-9111, shirokiya.com
“Eggs n’ Things is known for making the best pancakes in Hawaii, and I like to treat myself after I go for a morning jog. Their pancakes are fluffy and light, and come in delicious flavors like pineapple, coconut, macadamia nut, and banana.” 343 Saratoga Rd., Honolulu, (808) 949-0820, eggsnthings.com
Dole Pineapple Pavilion
“I like to buy fresh Dole’s pineapple here and bring it to the restaurant. Then I vacuum pack the slices and put them in the fridge for a few hours so that the pineapple becomes even sweeter.” 64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy., Wahiawa, (808) 621-8408, dole-plantation.com
Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin
“This is a tonkatsu (pork cutlet) restaurant that I highly recommend. You can’t even find tonkatsu in New York CIty as delicious as that of Baririn. Their pork is thick but tender, and the panko crust is so crispy that it never feels greasy.” 255 Beachwalk Honolulu, (808) 926-8082
“When I’m not in one of my restaurants, I like to shop and spend time in different stores in Hawaii. I often go to Tourneau in Honolulu to look for watches (I’m very picky when it comes to watches!). The service is wonderful and the staff pays attention to my detailed requests.” 2301 Kalakaua Ave. #101, Honolulu, (808) 922-4111, torneau.com