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Dessert / Celia Sin-Tien Cheng
Dessert / Celia Sin-Tien Cheng
March 23, 2012



Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

Prima is a fun and hip new Italian restaurant in Kailua. Up until they opened last year, I had wondered how it was possible for Honolulu to have so few excellent Italian restaurants. From appetizers to pizzas and pastas, each dish at Prima is composed with consideration. The menu changes every couple of weeks and desserts change weekly. Too often, dessert is an afterthought, and it’s easy just to throw a tired tiramisu or chocolate cake on the menu to appease those with a sweet tooth. Not at Prima. The dried apricot panna cotta with coconut-saffron foam, passion orange sorbet and caramelized black sesame blew me away, with logical but innovative use of flavors and textures. The coconut and saffron anchored the acidity of the sorbet and panna cotta, and the caramelized black sesame was earthy, sweet and crunchy, adding contrast but playing well with the other elements. In addition to the flavors and textures, the presentation of the panna cotta was winning; plated on just one side of the dish, the black, white and yellow colors made a stunning display. It was a surprise to find out pastry chef Alejandro Briceño’s inspiration for this dessert was Wiz Khalifa’s song “Black and Yellow” in reference to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it shows that they really are having fun at Prima.


108 Hekili St
Suite 107
Kailua, HI