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“Food was good, service was not”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hanalei Dolphin

Hanalei Dolphin
Ranked #4 of 47 Restaurants in Hanalei
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $35
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Large groups, Families with children, Scenic view, Bar scene, Kids
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Colleyville, Texas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
“Food was good, service was not”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2014 via mobile

This was our third trip to the Dolphin in a few years. The food was excellent as usual especially the sushi. The wait was long despite being told we were "next" several times. The waitress was a bit gruff. One thing they could do us declutter the tables. There is so much on the table, it is tough to make room for plates and drinks.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank toomanybags40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
42 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Worth going back to Hanalei location”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2014

My wife and I had 4 meals at the Dolphin – two lunches and two dinners at the Hanalei Dolphin and 1 lunch at the Dolphin Poipu, located in the shops at Kukui’ula

One lunch was in Hanalei, the other in Poipu. For lunch we had "The Dolphin" Tahitian poke one day (Hanalei) and at Kukkui’ula, a “Fin Burger”, ono charbroiled on a roll with LTM the other along with some local brews and wine to drink. Both very good, but preferred the poke.
Menus are the same at both locations, but we preferred the Hanalei location overlooking the Hanalei River on the main road as you enter Hanalei. The Poipu location was in an upscale shopping center but we sat at table overlooking the adjacent meadows with a distant view of the ocean. The unfortunate issue was the music – played too loud, too shrill (no bass) and 70-80’s anthem rock, meant to be played loud, I guess. Noticed other diners noting the loud music to waitresses, but it never decreased in volume. Maybe the kids like it, but as we get older, I like to be able to hear the person sitting 3 feet from me. Yes, there is music at Hanalei, but a softer selection. Most of the noise at our dinners in Hanalei was from the large crowds having a good time with great food. If you have a choice, go to Hanalei.

FYI - meals are first come, first served (at least at Hanalei) you might have to wait. BUT you get to wait outside at tables by the Hanalei River and order drinks and appetizers.
For the first dinner (Hanalei), we had charbroiled Opah and charbroiled Monchong both with drawn butter. Both came with grilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with parmesan. Done simply, very fresh, not overcooked. While we were full from dinner, we were ready to order dessert for each of us, but our waiter, Serge, mentioned that the desserts were large and one might do. How many waiters would do that? I added extra to his tip. We had Hawaiian Butter Mochi which is type of local rice cake with a crispy crust and topped with a Lilikoi glaze and served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. More than enough, but really, really good. Probably could have eaten two of them.

At the second dinner at Hanalei there was a long wait, but in addition to offering the “sit outside have drinks and appetizers”, they also offer the option to eat in the Sushi Lounge (seated immediately) where you can still order from the first menu. We took that and ordered a Temaki (hand Roll) of Spicy tuna, tobiko, green onion and sprouts and then an “Over the Top” selection called the “Hanalei”, shrimp tempura, avocado and spicy aioli topped with tuna served with tempura flake and unagi sauce. All wonderful, but filling, so no dessert for us that night. All the food was very good at the Dolphin, but I would go back for the poke and sushi.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank RJB77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
41 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Good Dinner Option in Hanalei”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2014

We enjoyed a great dinner one night at The Hanalei Dolphin during a week's stay on The North Shore. All of us had the Teriyaki Ahi (the house specialty) and really enjoyed the meal. Service was fast and friendly, too!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank AZdesertdweller1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
“Big miss for me!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2014

We went here for dinner and it was pretty crowded because of the bar scene. The lobster roll was fantastic, but when we got our main dishes everything went downhill! The beer battered fish was mostly beer batter and the other dishes were sadly below average.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank AOluvsBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nevada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Best sushi on the north shore”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2014

I have had my share of sushi, but the sushi at the Hanalei Dolphin was so yummy we went there twice in one week. (I suppose you can't really compare sushi in Las Vegas versus sushi in Kauai.) These items are a must-try: Napali Roll, Flyin' Hawaiian and Soft Shell Crab. Not many people like this, but the Ikura (salmon eggs) were soooooo fresh... even my 6-year-old twins loved it.

This place is popular and super busy every night. Bring your patience, because their business is reflected in the speediness of their service. The waitresses try very hard, it's just a very busy place... and rightfully so.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PsykoPup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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