I just returned from Maui about a week ago and one of my meals was at Merrimans in Kapalua. I actually mentioned that in another thread but forgot about this.
Anyway, opakapaka is one of my favorite kinds of fish. My other favorite is ono. Merrimans had both on the menu and I was having a hard time choosing, but then I was told that they could do a "duo" and combine any two items on the menu, so I went with the opakapaka and ono. My dad got the exact same thing.
We got our food and I was going along happily enjoying my meal and then my dad started complaining that his opakapaka was "raw" in the middle. He's not a very adventurous eater and doesn't do raw or rare fish at all so he was pretty unhappy. I looked at my fish and noticed that it was rare in the middle as well. The ono appeared to be cooked perfectly.
I had no plans on making a stink about it because it tasted good and I don't have any problems with raw fish...especially Hawaiian fish, but my dad didn't like it and called the waiter over and pointed out his raw opakapaka. The waiter then informed him that the chef typically prepares his opakapaka rare to medium rare and seemed somewhat taken aback by my dad's complaint.
Now, I took him at his word, but I've probably eaten opakapaka a dozen times over the years and have never had it served rare. And even if the chef does like to serve it rare, I was very shocked that the waiter didn't point that out. I've ordered ahi numerous times and the server always makes a point of saying "it's prepared rare" Our waiter didn't say anything about the opakapaka coming rare and I figured that would have been something that should have been pointed out especially since I've never seen it rare before so this would have been a first.
Also, I've had ono dozens of times as well and it has always come fully cooked, but I went to Roy's in Orlando a couple months ago and ordered ono and the server informed me that it would come rare. Again, I'd never seen rare ono before and was intrigued and since the waitress told me about it before hand I wasn't put off when I got my meal. It had a different flavor to it and was quite good, but I still prefer it fully cooked like I've had many, many times in Hawaii.
So, have you guys seen opakapaka or ono prepared rare? The only times I've ever seen either fish prepared that way was the two times I just mentioned.
There was nothing wrong with my rare...well it was probably medium rare opakapaka but I would never order it that way again, but if given the chance I probably would order the rare ono again.
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