We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Amazing food, not your typically tourist spot”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Red Water Cafe

Red Water Cafe
Ranked #6 of 71 Restaurants in Waimea
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $38
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Kids, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: A multi-cultural blend of dishes, using the best ingredients this beautiful island has to offer.The Red Water Cafe was created to offer opportunities for residents and visitors on the Island of Hawaii to enjoy dining and catering of the finest cuisine. Whether it is our dining, catering or personal chef services, we are dedicated to pleasing our customers with creative multi-cultural dishes including Hawaii regional, Asian inspired and other cuisines.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Amazing food, not your typically tourist spot”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2013

The decor is eclectic with an Asia meets cowboy vibe and service is very good but it is the food that makes this such a special place. The ribs and the pork tenderloin were exceptional and their herbal homemade cocktails including non alcoholic versions were amazing. The Creme brûlée was the best ever. We love Roy's and Merriman's too but the food at Red Water is just as good and a bit less expensive.
Loved it and will go again next time in Hawaii.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank KKDFCARLSON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

406 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    261
    101
    28
    8
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
153 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“The best luncheon in town?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2013

First, the place would benefit from a face-lift. Second, the name should be changed. It is neither Red nor Water nor a Café.
It’s a restaurant, a good one with outstanding food and service. And pleasant ambience.

We arrived at 1.30 (Lunch from 12 – 2.30.) The place was full, about 20 tables. We were put in some corner, but when a good table became available, they accommodated us immediately—with a smile. Order-taking was prompt. Starter: Calamari w/spicy Aioli ($11.-) Delivery also prompt. Quality a B. Quantity a touch skimpy. Good for 1 not 2 people.

Main course: BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich ($11.-) Overwhelming in presentation, A. Superb, freshly grated salads, lots, and freshly sliced local tomatoes. With the best Blue Cheese dressing, ever, even with real cheese chunks. All a big portion of tasty meat with a big portion of tasty guava gravy. Excellent, too much, take some home. My lady had a Grilled Chicken Sandwich. ($13.-) All the same. Presentation A, quantity A+, taste A.
Service also an A. Good-looking waitresses in their late 20’s, hard-working with a genuine friendly personality. A winner.

Their young manager lady, Kai, is running a great place.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank GCHHawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waimea, Hawaii
Level Contributor
572 reviews
376 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Delicious Food, Great Service--Especially on Quiet Music Nights”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2013

After a few disappointing visits over the past year, we decided to have dinner at Red Water Cafe with friends.

We all shared six dishes, and everything was delicious--especially the signature fried rice.

This is once again my favorite dinner restaurant in Waimea (which means Red Water).

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BigIsleFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Oswego
Level Contributor
75 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Just okay for dinner”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2013

We had heard of the Red Water for their saimin noodle dish but unfortunately this dish was not available for dinner. Instead we had other dishes which we all rated as just okay. There was a blues entertainer performing though! It seemed more like a bar atmosphere and was rather noisy. Not a good place for a quiet meal with friends. The staff was efficient and friendly.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ojichan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queen Charlotte
Level Contributor
272 reviews
137 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
“It's Wonderful, the Second Time Around”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2013

It's been said by somebody that nostalgia ain't what it used to be, so going back after a year to a place you remember as phenomenal always has its risks. The pressure really mounts when you're bringing family members who have listened to you rave, so your reputation as a foodie is firmly on the line. Fortunately, Red Water hasn't just remained great, it's actually improved, and my family food cred has reached new heights.

As before, the portions are immense, but the daring combinations of succulent flavors still drive you to try to finish it all, and then have some Macadamia White Chocolate Creme Brule. Here's a hint: the leftovers are great for lunch! The menu is even more extensive than before, and the appetizers remain entree-sized. The sushi is fresh and innovative, with rolls so big that the need to double-bite each piece is common.

The waiters are among the best you'll ever find, providing accurate and detailed descriptions of every dish, and recommending appropriate wine pairings. This is especially important in the case of the ever-changing Chef's Creation specials, which you should ask about immediately, and then order. On three visits, we enjoyed three very different preparations and presentations of ono, opakapaka, and mahimahi, augmented by an excellent selection of wines by the glass or bottle, and we savored and praised every bite.

If you're expecting some sort of kitschy umbrella-in-a-hunk-of-fruit pseudo-South-Seas Disney experience, or a self-conscious resorty luau-shirt fashion show, Red Water's atmosphere will definitely disappoint you. It's a small local place with a small local bar frequented by local people listening to an eclectic variety of local musicians, including some of the best blues west of the Delta. You're likely to interact with the other customers, and comparing portfolios isn't likely to enter into the conversation. You're in Hawaiian Hawaii, not Blue Hawaii. If fine cuisine in a roadhouse atmosphere isn't your thing, you might feel out of place.

Likewise, if a well-done breaded veal cutlet is your idea of culinary adventure, drive on by. After my third visit this year, I checked to see what in heck the "Poor" and "Terrible" reviewers could possibly have been thinking. Well, when somebody orders charred ahi, and then gets incensed because their fish was "burned on the outside, and totally raw on the inside", you can only be glad that they didn't describe the wasabi as "the worst mint sauce I ever tasted".

My last words to the friendly staff every time we tipped the musicians and left the building was, "Take good care of the chef." I really hope they do, because we'll be back!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Bima77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Red Water Cafe also viewed

Waimea, Island of Hawaii
Waimea, Island of Hawaii
 
Waimea, Island of Hawaii
Waimea, Island of Hawaii
 
Waimea, Island of Hawaii
Waimea, Island of Hawaii
 

Been to Red Water Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing