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“Very, very good”

Plantation Gardens Restaurant
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Ranked #6 of 37 Restaurants in Poipu
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $23 - $33
Cuisines: Seafood, Hawaiian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Plantation Gardens Restaurant & Bar is located in a beautifully restored plantation manor on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. Dating back to the 1930's, the estate once served as the plantation manager's home for Hawaii's first sugar plantation, the Koloa plantation. Later, the estate was acquired by the Moir Family who built the world famous gardens that surround the restaurant. Our menu reflects the heritage of old plantation Hawaii, which celebrates the abundance and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. Our fresh fish is caught daily by local fishermen in waters off Kauai. We use organically grown vegetables and herbs picked fresh on nearby farms and from our own gardens. Guests may choose to dine on our lanai overlooking tranquil gardens, lily ponds and tropical foliage or in our exquisitely refurbished dining room which features gorgeous Brazilian cherry wood floors, woven bamboo tables and plantation ceiling fans.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

Beautiful restaurant and nice setting. Th drinks were very good! Thee of us ate dinner here and all of us ordered something different. Everyone enjoyed their meals. The service was good as well. The fish was fresh -- as you'd expect and prepared well!

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Thank JimW551
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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545 - 549 of 1,083 reviews

Reviewed January 22, 2014

Overall: Nice building, but food and service is well short of what you'd expect for these prices.

Our family had one dinner at the Plantation Gardens. The food was not terrible, but would be more what I'd expect from a $12/dish bistro than a $30/dish restaurant.

I was told the dish I ordered would include 'either Red Snapper or tuna', it being up to the chef depending on what they had. I asked 'which one - Red Snapper or Tuna'? and was told 'it would be up to the chef'. Why not find out what the chef is doing and tell customers what they are going to be served? Good waiters know the menu

We didn't fancy any of the appetizers on the menu so asked for some bread - and were told they do not serve bread. Unacceptable in my opinion for a restaurant with these prices and menu.

Ordered a couple of different glasses of white wine and other drinks. My wine arrived a few minutes after the other drinks and was practically room temperature. Obviously, it had not been chilled so instead of telling me that that particular wine was unavailable, they probably stuck it in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Warm white wine for $10 a glass?

The individual servers were nice enough and were trying, but it is a sprawling restaurant and the overall service level is the opposite of 'attentive'. The atmosphere was also poor as there were many empty tables. The party at the table next to us apparently did a dine and dash.

A bad experience at inflated prices.

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1  Thank Unclearthur1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jennifer T, Manager at Plantation Gardens Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2014

Aloha,

I’d like to take the time today to let you know that I read your TripAdvisor review online. Your feedback is valuable to us and I thank you for sharing your experience. We strive to provide great food and great service in a warm & inviting atmosphere, and I am very sorry that your experience fell short. I’d like to invite you back to Plantation Gardens, when you are on island again, so that you may have the opportunity to experience it anew. Please give me a call directly at 808.742.1908 to make your reservation. I sincerely hope we have the chance to meet in the near future.



Wishing you a warm aloha,

Mona Garcia

Plantation Gardens Restaurant & Bar

mona@pgrestaurant.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

We have dined here at least once per vacation for over 30 years, and followed grandparents who dined here before us. So last night we had the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations of diners at this restaurant. We always considered it the special occasion place of Kauai. It is located in a pleasant garden setting and the rooms are well designed to have the feeling of an old plantation house.
Our meals were good, not great, and they were expensive, as they have always been. Our per person average cost was over $50, and that includes two children's menu items.
Shortcomings: we arrived on time for our early 5:30 reservation because no reservations were available later. That turned out to be not true since many tables were still available when we departed at 7.
Even though we were one of the first customers we were asked to sit down in lobby to wait while hostess checked on our table, irritating.
Our assigned table was at the stairs where all customers and servers entered and exited the outside dining area. I don't know how one rated several nicer tables away from the busy passageway.
Our server seemed to be in a hurry and even though we were one of the first tables seated felt pressure to hurry up and order something.
We ordered a round of drinks and I asked if we could have some bread with our drinks since I don't like to drink on an empty stomach.
I was promptly told they don't have bread, I thought that was a joke and got the sharp response: "Most restaurants don't serve bread here on the Island" I didn't want an argument but the fact is this is the first restaurant we have been to that did not offer a bread basket. Besides which it was false because we later got bread on our salads. An accommodating server would have brought a few pieces of salad bread.
Moving on to some pricey pupus I tried to find out the size of servings so we could gauge how many to order for our table of six. No help there.
Our Mai Tais were good as were the pupus. The kids drinks we ordered were POG, and each one cost more than a half gallon of POG at the local market, just another insult to our intelligence.
Our Caesar Salad was good but we had to request extra dressing because salad leaves lacked enough dressing.
Main courses were also good and ample. One of our seafood dishes had two mussels that were not open, something that should have been caught in the kitchen. We asked the server about it and one of the two mussels was returned to the kitchen , to be brought back a few minutes later. We suspect somebody just pried it open and returned the same one.
We asked for a birthday treat for one of our party. We received a nice dessert with a candle. No gathering of staff to sing happy birthday, as we have experienced in three other bread-serving restaurants in town. Then we had to ask for extra forks so we could share the ice cream treat, should we have to request that?
Dear Plantation Gardens, we are long time customers who paid a lot for mediocre service and average food, and think the problem is at management level.

2  Thank Malice6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jennifer T, Manager at Plantation Gardens Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2014

Aloha,

I’d like to take the time today to let you know that I read your TripAdvisor review online. Your feedback is valuable to us and I thank you for sharing your experience. We strive to provide great food and great service in a warm & inviting atmosphere, and I am very sorry that your experience fell short. I’d like to invite you back to Plantation Gardens, when you are on island again, so that you may have the opportunity to experience it anew. Please give me a call directly at 808.742.1908 to make your reservation. I sincerely hope we have the chance to meet in the near future.



Wishing you a warm aloha,

Mona Garcia

Plantation Gardens Restaurant & Bar

mona@pgrestaurant.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2014

I am not a professional reviewer, and the following is just my personal opinion.
Dinner last week at PGR was like reuniting with a short-affair girlfriend 35 years later... We had our first dinner there in 1979. The ol' wahine ages gracefully, and sticks to a long-run set of recipes and techniques to remain attractive.
Some things never change, and for that the restaurant should be praised. Service, for one. Friendly to a fault. Landscaping, for another. This is one of the most romantic settings for a restaurant ever.
There are still hits-and-misses in the kitchen, but the food was fresh and pleasant. If you explain to your waiter how you like your fish cooked, etc, you'll have it your way. The menu offers an interesting choice of curries, not found on the neighboring eateries.
Other things change for the better, and that is the cost of wine relative to that of the food. Unlike 35 years ago, markups have come way down, and the restaurant offers quality drinks and house wines at very reasonable prices - thus encouraging guiltless consumption if you stay at the resort - and don't have to drive. Smart policy.
And sure enough, after a couple of glasses, the love affair is rekindled...
One last thing: I've rated this place "Terrible" in the category "Families with children". My reason is to protect the environment of those who prefer the sound of rustling fronds and bullfrogs to the innocent racket of little kids.

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Thank apiquet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

This was a new restaurant for my wife and I. Really great place, excellent setting. We were seated on porch overlooking the garden. No problem in getting the food prepared they way you want it.
All in all one of the better places we ate at this trip.

Thank Bob S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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