This February, Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection will grow its culinary prowess by partnering with acclaimed New York-based, Japanese restaurant, Nami Nori, to create an exclusive Temaki pop-up culinary experience. A firm favorite for culinary enthusiasts, Mauna Lani has drawn notable talent over the decades and continues to celebrate the Island of Hawaii’s connection to the land and the sea through its culinary concepts which include CanoeHouse, HāLani and Surf Shack.
The partnership with Nami Nori – which appropriately translates to “ride the wave” in Japanese – is a befitting alliance as Mauna Lani is home to Kainalu Pro Sports. Embracing Kainalu, meaning “ocean wave,” in Hawaiian culture signifies learning to ride life’s waves and surf across its fluctuations and tides with strength, grace and a hefty appetite for fun. With locations in NYC’s West Village and Williamsburg, Nami Nori is helmed by partners Taka Sakaeda, Jihan Lee and Lisa Limb who met while working under three-star Michelin sushi chef, Masa Takayama.
Guests of this curated culinary adventure will be treated to a nightly three-course, seated Temaki dinner experience in Mauna Lani’s spectacular Francis H. I’i Brown Suite which will be transformed for an immersive experience. Utilizing Mauna Lani’s esteemed knowledge for sourcing local fish and vegetables, the Nami Nori menu will be specially tailored to contain influence from the Resort’s storied restaurant CanoeHouse helmed by Executive Chef, Matt Raso.
The Temaki dinner experience will commence in the suite’s bar for drinks and appetizers, before leading guests to the suite’s terrace where the specially tailored menu of locally sourced ingredients – including Kona Kampachi, shellfish and other Hawaiian favorites – will await them at the Temaki Counter before concluding the evening in the lounge area for dessert and tea service.
The Nami Nori Temaki dinner experience will run from February 11th through February 24th, adapted on certain nights to host a Temaki cooking class led by Nami Nori’s Chef Partner, Taka Sakaeda, a 15+ year veteran of Japanese cuisine, specializing in sushi. The two hour class will educate guests on the tradition of temaki sushi as well as sushi making techniques prior to inviting guests to enjoy their own creations. For guests on the go looking to grab some lunch, Nami Nori will further offer a take away five-piece Temaki set at Mauna Lani’s central hub, Surf Shack.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Nami Nori team to our shores to bring a unique Temaki experience that reflects Mauna Lani to our guests,” shares Sanjiv Hulugalle, Regional Vice President and General Manager of Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection. “We aim to continue a legacy of culinary excellence and unique experiences here at Mauna Lani, and this partnership with Nami Nori celebrates our commitment to culturally-driven and one-of-a-kind culinary experiences.”
“We immediately fell in love with Mauna Lani upon our first visit, which led to this exciting partnership,” Nami Nori’s Chef Partner Taka Sakaeda adds. “We are thrilled to return and introduce Temaki to the Island.”
This new partnership with Nami Nori further demonstrates Mauna Lani’s dedication to culinary excellence with additional collaborations to be announced in 2022.