Sam Choy’s Pre Fixe Dinner Highlights Classic Local Hawaiian Flavors

The best part of my week was attending Dinner with Sam Choy, part one of three special events from March 25th-27th in Seattle with Sam Choy’s Poke To The Max. James Beard Award Winner Chef Sam Choy is a founding contributor of Pacific Rim cuisine and The Godfather of Poke.

Growing up in Hawaii, I always knew who Sam Choy was. Big Island represent! In more recent years, I’ve enjoyed watching him compete on national cooking shows and browsing his many cookbooks. The pre fixe menu sounded delectable and I was lucky enough to enjoy a hosted dinner.


One bite reminded me of how good Chef Choy’s poke is. The sesame oil and inamona (think roasted kukui nut) always hits with a subtle bite. The complexity of the flavor is perfect on ahi!

Chef Choy’s world-famous poke on a housemade tostada

Salad Starter

A wedge salad is a classic. Large pieces of tender, juicy salmon with teriyaki flair made for a perfect bite!

Wedge salad with Sakura boshi salmon, wasabi unagi dressing, arare furikake

Poke Starter

Crispy rice is one of my favorite things to eat, but never make. It was the perfect sturdy foundation for more poke. Yes, more poke! The addition of a bit of avocado and wasabi sprouts took it up a notch.

Crispy sushi rice, spicy seafood poke tower garnished with wasabi sprouts

Main Course

The dish I wanted to eat most was the Hilo sweet potato mash. The purple potatoes reminded me of my childhood. My mom would bake the potatoes in the oven. The skin where she poked holes in them would caramelize. We’d peel the potatoes and top them with butter. The mash took me back and nearly melted in my mouth! The pork belly was seasoned very well and broke apart easily. The fish was fried and the inside was soft. Both proteins went well with the sides.

Hilo sweet potato mash, coconut milk, sauteed asparagus, carrots with five spiced, braised pork belly
Hilo sweet potato mash, coconut milk, sauteed asparagus, carrots with macadamia nut crusted fish


If I have a beef with Chef Choy, it’s why his butter mochi is so light and airy and mine is dense?!? The texture of the mochi paired well with the warm haupia sauce. It was the perfectly sized portion to end the meal.

Coconut island warm haupia sauce served over butter mochi with fresh berries

Events This Weekend

Two more events round out the weekend of Chef Choy’s visit to Seattle. Check them out this weekend!

Saturday, March 26th: Grand Opening Celebration at the new Sam Choy Poke To The Max Tukwila store.

Sunday, March 27th: Fundraising event with part of the proceeds benefitting UW Tacoma’s Pacific Islanders Student Alliance Club

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