After cutting his teeth at some of the most highly acclaimed dining establishments around the word, chef de cuisine Ryo Takatsuka bucks trends and keeps it “simple” at the Four Seasons Oahu restaurant.
Noe chef Ryo Takatsuka has a movie star smile that jumps out at you. His boyish grin and eagerness might explain how as an 18-year-old, he made his way from Toyama, Japan to Italy. Just out of high school, not speaking a word of Italian, Takatsuka dived into a foreign culture and ended up working in the kitchens of several lofty Michelin-starred restaurants there. “We communicate on the plate,” says Four Seasons Oahu executive chef Martin Knaubert, Takatsuka’s boss and the person responsible for bringing him to Hawai‘i as the chef de cuisine of Noe.
Noe is the southern Italian restaurant at Four Seasons Oahu. For diners making the trek from Honolulu, the indoor- outdoor dining at Noe is a soothing retreat from H-1 traffic. Lanterns dangle from trees casting a happy glow, plush chairs, and the soft murmur of water puts you in must-have-martini melt mode. Indoors, the vibe is lush but less soothing. Bright blues and large pieces of art that resemble the inside of an abalone shell or maybe the wavy patterns of sun- dappled water dominate the room.
But a chef shouldn’t be outdone by his dining room décor. “Simple is the hardest thing to do right” says Knaubert. This approach must have been top of mind in hiring chef Takatsuka. The food at Noe doesn’t hide behind trends—be it the overused “farm to table” or Japanese-chef- trained-in-Italy mantra. Chef Takatsuka’s cuisine balances Michelin-level skill and training with a disciplined simplicity.
Noe, warm, crisp focaccia is served with airy whipped ricotta, a sliver of honey- comb and sprinkling of almonds. A pasta with bottarga, clams and broccolini tastes as it should, delicate and briny—a chewy pop of ocean on the tongue.
Noe at Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina
92-1001 Olani St, Kapolei, HI 96707
Accepting reservations, 184 seats, casual attire, reservations recommended.
Contact (808) 679-0079