Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Whole Ox

The Whole Ox is located on Keawe St., just off Ala Moana Blvd., in Honolulu, Hawaii. One of my friends suggested that I check this place out. Although I already had a full schedule of places lined up, I managed to squeeze this spot in at breakfast time. This place opened in late March 2012.

I arrived on a Wednesday morning, right at opening time (8:30 a.m.). The Whole Ox is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the people here pride themselves on high-quality meats. Understandably, the high quality also means higher prices than one may normally be used to seeing.

The breakfast menu also includes specials. Eggs Benedict is one of my default breakfast meals, and The Whole Ox doesn't do traditional benedicts. It's porchetta or foie gras instead. while the curious panda in me wanted the foie gras, my wallet basically begged for mercy and pleaded that I not take the $19 blow. Fine, $11 porchetta eggs benedict.

Examples of breakfast specials you may see

The benedict basically starts with a square-shaped muffin, cut open much like your typical English muffin. Thin slices of the porchetta go on top, followed by a poached egg and house-made Hollandaise.

Simple presentation on the eggs benedict here

This poached egg looks absolutely amazing
Breaking the poached egg
I liked the take on the muffin, very light and able to hold all the other components on top. I detected some type of sour cream and onion vibe somewhere, although I couldn't figure out if that was from the starch itself or another component. The porchetta, while tasty, basically could be mistaken for a prosciutto in such a presentation (and frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if it was indeed that). For me, I'm used to equating porchetta with an herb blend and thick portions of juicy, tender porky awesomeness.

For me, the poached egg stayed in the water just a tad too long. The inner yolk had started to coagulate, and I prefer it just a bit runnier in nature. The outer white on one of the eggs had a slightly soggy appearance, but the other looked outstanding. My dad said he would enjoy the poached egg I got, though. A tasty Hollandaise sauce here that looked a bit more orange than what I'm used to seeing. Overall, the meal was good, just not overly memorable.

The Plantation Iced Tea is a great choice for a refreshing cold beverage. On the flip side, I'm not too fond of the coffee served here. I'm guessing it was probably a light roast, and the flavors got too bitter and nutty for my tastes. I'm really more the bold, dark-roast, rich-flavor coffee dude anyway.

Plantation Iced Tea
Coffee station
The woman in front of me ordered corned beef hash, and I have to admit, that dish looked pretty damn good. Especially when dicing up real corned beef.

I hope to give this place another try. I hear the lunch and dinner options are also awesome, particularly the Dry Aged Burger and the Landsberg Law Roast Beef sandwich. For now, I'd give it an A-OK. 6.5/10

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