The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 46 of 116

46  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2017 COCKTAIL PROGRAMS W hen you talk to bartenders, beverage managers, somms, etc., as much as we do, you get used to hearing a lengthy background of all of the estab- lishments where they have worked, but if someone—much less three different members of a restaurant group—mentions a tenure that lasts longer than the average stint at the bar, you sit up and listen. You try to dissect what makes their establishment unique. In talking to three bar managers from high-end Japanese restaurant group Nobu, we found a common theme that weaves through each of their narratives. When speaking about the company's, they invariably said, "It's like a family." Each of them spoke about forming long-lasting friendships, and how every time they meet the staff from another location, it feels like a reunion. Since Nobu's policy has always been to promote from within, the best opportunity to expand this family is with the opening of a new location—which is what each of these bar managers recently did. KENNY LUM NOBU HONOLULU A Hawaii native who spent a decade chasing snow and working in nightclubs in Colorado, Kenny moved back to Hawaii and joined Nobu in 2007, where he had to relearn the art of bartending. "At night clubs, it was all shots," he explains. "But at Nobu, we create cocktails with fresh fruits and juices. The bar is full-service with a full menu, so as a bartender, you also need to be able to sell food." He helped open Nobu Lana'i in 2012 and traveled to Turkey to open Nobu Bodrum in 2014. After close to a decade in its Waikiki location, Nobu Honolulu relocated to the Ward Village in the Kaka'ako district of Honolulu, and Kenny led the bar transition. "The new location gets a lot more locals, since it's outside of Waikiki, but we still get tourists; it's more of a destination dining spot." And those who travel to check out this spot will not be disappointed. It features a beautiful outdoor patio where guests can take advantage of the weather and enjoy a cocktail. These drinks often incorporate "the island flavor"—like the Pineapple Mezcal, containing roasted pineapples, a pinch of cilantro, yuzu juice, simple syrup, green Chartreuse and mezcal—and always complement the dishes by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Kenny Lum of Nobu Honolulu, which just relocated to the Kaka'ako district of Honolulu. PHOTOS COURTESY OF NOBU There's No Place like Nobu A LOOK INTO THE FAMILY CULTURE OF THESE WORLD- RENOWNED JAPANESE RESTAURANTS by Emily Coleman

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - June 2017