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The Boy from Oz
By Kai Andersen | Photo: Courtesy of bills Sydney | July 2, 2014
Celebrated Aussie restaurateur Bill Granger brings a taste of Down Under to Waikiki.
Waikīkī’s culinary cool factor recently went up with the arrival of bills Sydney, the first U.S. outpost of celebri-chef Bill Granger. Often called Australia’s Jamie Oliver, this art student-turned-restaurateur first built his reputation upon outstanding scrambled eggs. Soon came additional restos at home, then in Japan and London, as well as cookbooks and several TV series. After visiting the islands several times on vacation, Granger decided to set up shop. “Hawai‘i felt like the blending of all my favorite things in the world,” he says.
In keeping with the friendly, low-key demeanor of his countrymen, Granger is refreshingly laid-back. He has a good grasp of the Honolulu cuisine scene too. (Faves include Andrew Le’s The Pig and the Lady.) His appreciation of local food shows up in dishes like kimchee fried rice ($16). The rest of the menu reflects Australian eclecticism with big, bold flavors, seen in the ribeye with romesco sauce ($32) or Granger’s favorite, the fish curry ($18). “I always try to do comfort food—but with a modern twist,” he says. “With bills Syndey, it’s very much like a home environment.” In fact, the cosmopolitan decor and high, open ceilings are Granger’s take on a hip beach house. Despite the seemingly effortless style, the resto actually took more than two years of planning. Even seemingly inconsequential details were carefully considered, be it plants or Aesop hand soap. Details like these, not to mention those eggs, make bills Sydney a must-visit destination. 280 Beachwalk, Waikīkī, O‘ahu, 922.1500