Updated: Mar 3, 2020
Nestled in downtown Honolulu, this hidden gem of a restaurant boasts bold, flavorful and innovative cuisine. Chef Chris Kajioka and Chef Anthony Rush collaborate to produce amazing Regional American dishes, a culmination of their years of experience and fresh local produce.
The name Senia is a play on the Greek word “xenia”. Xenia is an ancient Greek concept of hospitality, showing generosity and courtesy to guest who come from afar, an ideology of guest-friendship. This restaurant was created with that that concept in mind, offering a comfortable place for guests to relax, imbibe in well-crafted cocktails, eat delicious foods and just have a great time!
There are three different dining experiences at Senia. The first is dining a la carte (what we did), second is the tasting menu at the chef's counter, and third is the private dining room (upstairs for eight or more people). The chef's counter sits six to twelve people next to the open kitchen, and offers a multi-course tasting menu.
Our cocktails for the evening, The Melissa & The Morgan Alexander. The menu at Senia is always evolving, so don't be surprised if you see an item you wanted to try and it's no longer available.
First dish, chicken liver "eclairs" with candy caps made with persimmon. If you like liver, you will definitely love this dish. The taste of the chicken liver is not overpowering but if you don't care for liver at all, we would recommend choosing a different appetizer.
Not on the menu, but recommended by our waitress to try. The ahi tuna brioche appetizer was so good! The bread was toasted to perfection and the avocado mix under the ahi was delicious. If this dish is still on the menu, we highly recommend it.
Next was the Smoked Maui venison tartar, served with potato chips to eat the meat with. The presentation was beautiful, and the tartar was tasty. Normally raw venison has a gamy flavor, but this tartar was not gamy at all. The only downside were the chips, they were a bit too oily, salty, and burnt to be eaten with the tartar. Some slices of toasted baguette would have made it easier to eat and less salty, allowing the flavor of the dish to really shine.
The roasted bone marrow was one of our absolute favorites and we would definitely order it again. This dish comes with bone marrow (served in a ceramic bone!), beef cheek marmalade, Hawaiian sweet rolls, piccalilli and three different salts to enhance the flavors of the dish. The beef cheek marmalade and bone marrow are some of the tastiest foods we have eaten.
Charred cabbage is the star dish at Senia, the must have. The charred cabbage is topped with shio konbu (kelp), moringa powder, and plated with a green goddess sauce and dollops of buttermilk. It's hard to imagine what this dish would taste like by just looking at it, but trust us, it is just wonderful.
We ended our dinner service with one of their entrees, confit duck leg, cassoulet, brussels sprouts and endives. This is another incredible full-bodied dish. All the ingredients compliment the tender duck meat. The only gripe was that the portion wasn't larger, it was gone before we knew it!
Our meal would not be complete without dessert! The reason we dined at Senia was to celebrate a birthday, and the restaurant was very generous, they gave us complimentary hand made chocolates as a birthday treat! The chocolates were delightful, topped with crunchy raspberry and chocolate candies, and the truffle was heavenly.
For dessert we ordered the souffle cheesecake; liliko'i, meyer lemon and meringue. This deconstructed cheesecake was exquisite! This dessert wasn't overly sweet, it tasted fresh and cooling with a sparkle of citrusy liliko'i.
Overall, our dining experience at Senia was unlike any other dining experience. The food was alluring, the tastes were remarkable, and the service was on point. We will definitely be back to try more of their menu, maybe even the chef's table.
Cheers, to your next gastronomical adventure!
75 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96817
Hours of operation (call or make reservations online)
Lunch: Tues. - Fri. 11am - 2pm
Dinner: (a la carte) Mon. - Sat. 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Tasting menu: Wed. - Sat. 6:30pm