New Crackin’ Kitchen serves cajun seafood, Hawaiian style
By Allison Schaefers
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 02, 2015
Craig T. Kojima / firstname.lastname@example.org
Crackin’ Kitchen, a new restaurant from Toridoll Corp., replaces the Blue Marlin at 364 Seaside Ave. in
Waikiki. Michelin star chef Take-shi Omae made a dessert Wednesday as Taku Teramoto, restaurant
vice president and general manager, watched.
Usually white-gloved service means high-end traditional fare, unless of course, the gloves are
The menu is such that patrons of Crackin’ Kitchen, at 364 Seaside Ave., will want to don a
complimentary pair when the restaurant opens Saturday. A new concept restaurant from
Toridoll Corp., the parent company of Maru-kame Udon on Kuhio Avenue, emphasizes fresh
The food is served Hawaiian style with signature spicing and sauces developed by Michelin star
chef Take-shi Omae. Beverage director Jonathon Tobon, formerly of New York’s Megu, also
has developed cocktails and homemade sodas with fresh fruits from Hawaii farms.
Taku Teramoto, Crackin’ Kitchen vice president and general manager, said the new restaurant
replaces the Blue Marlin, which was an earlier multimillion-dollar effort by the same ownership
group to transform the space vacated by Matteo’s, an iconic Wai-kiki restaurant. Toridoll owns
more than 750 restaurants throughout the world; however, Teramoto said the Blue Marlin was
its first attempt at a full-service sit-down restaurant.
“When I first came here in December, Blue Marlin was doing sushi, local seafood and Hawaiianstyle
dishes,” said Teramoto, whom Toridoll recruited from New York’s Megu Restaurant. “Every place was doing that in Waikiki, and it was hard to compete with well-known brands like the Cheesecake Factory. We wanted a unique concept that would draw people to our destination.” Teramoto said he and the ownership group settled on their new concept after visiting Boil, a popular New York Cajun seafood joint. “We had a great time. It was fun, cas-ual and friendly,” he said. “We recruited chef Omae to bring Hawaiian flavor to the mix.” Toridoll closed Blue Marlin in March and did a soft renovation. The menu includes Kauai Shrimp seasoned with Hawaiian chili pepper, black sesame, Hawaiian ginger, Maui onion and Hawaiian cacao. Crackin’ Kitchen also serves a lunch menu, specializing in American sea-food, including lobster rolls, oyster po’ boys, soups and salads.