BASALT chef brings local comfort to Hawaii regional cuisine

BASALT Restaurant promotes Maelani Iokepa to Executive Chef
Published: Jul. 1, 2023 at 11:45 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - BASALT restaurant in Waikiki is celebrating its 6th anniversary this month and named a new executive chef!

Maelani Iokepa, known as Chef Mae, is a champion of regional Hawaii cuisine. She joined HNN’s Sunrise Weekends to talk about her new menu and showcase her signature Szechuan Fried Chicken and other dishes.

“I loved fried chicken as a kid and would always go to Mini Garden, and in those days if you spent $25 or more you could buy their whole crispy chicken for $1. My Szechuan Fried Chicken was inspired by it,” she said.

“Bringing families together is my focus, and as such, having sharable dishes is the fundamental part of creating my new menu. It’s expensive for a family to go out to dinner, and I was kamaaina to enjoy BASALT’s quality food and experience, but at a reasonable price. The idea is to get one main dish and partner it up with a couple of side dishes.”

Other new menu items include Pulehu Charred Tako, a deconstructed version of a squid luau, which Chef Mae used to eat as a kid, Mac Nut Fish, Golden Pork Belly Fried Rice, and Soy Chili Butter Bok Choy.

BASALT is ABC Stores’ award-winning anchor restaurant at Dukes Lane Market & Eatery and is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-9 p.m. On weekends, hours are from 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 3-9 p.m.

For more information, visit or call (808) 923-5689.