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“Food was good, service, not so much”
Review of Kaiwa

Ranked #111 of 2,391 Restaurants in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese, Steakhouse, Grill, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Waikiki
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Food was good, service, not so much”
Reviewed August 5, 2013

My family and I were staying at the Embassy Suites and the evening of our first day, my teenage sons and I decided to get something to eat before calling it a day. We wandered around the streets around our hotel and decided on Kaiwa. We walked up to the front to be seated and were behind another family who were seated immediately. We then were ignored by the hostess for 5-10 minutes, and I was about to take my kids and leave, when the hostess finally made the mistake of looking up and couldn't pretend that she hadn't made eye contact, and I waved her over and asked to be seated. We then chose an outside table and sat down. When the drink waiter came to the table and asked for our order, my sons both asked for water, and I asked for an iced tea. The waiter then proceeded to tell me that iced tea was not free and that I would have to pay for it, which seemed odd. I told him that was fine and that I thought I could afford it. Finally, the waiter that came to take our food order came and he was the only one of the bunch that appeared to not be snobbish. We wound up spending close to $250 on average to good sushi that was ridiculously overpriced and an abalone dish that was OUTSTANDING and not badly priced. I would not go back to this restaurant again in the future, except maybe for the abalone dish, due to horribly high pricing and rude service overall.

Visited July 2013
Thank SKfromID
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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301 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Canberra, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Good but expensive!!!”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

We came here because we couldn't get a table at another Japanese restaurant nearby. The was no wait which is rare in Waikiki and this can probably be explained but the cost. We looked at the menu before going in so we knew what we were up for but we just wanted to eat and couldn't handle another long wait for a table somewhere else. We had fried rice, a plate of sashimi and one sushi roll along with 1 beer, 1 soft drink and a green tea which came to $80 which considering how little we ate and the comparable prices in the rest of Waikiki we thought it was overpriced. The food itself was nice and we could tell it was fresh but it was nothing exceptional. The service again was fine without being great. I would try a few of the other Japanese places in the area and there are a lot to choose from before going back to Kaiwa.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TravelingRaider81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Nice sushi in Waikiki”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

We ate here a few times due to the freshness of the sushi. We mainly went for the local fish which were cheaper and also fresher.
Service was decent and even though we didn't have a booking, they went out of their way to find a table for us.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Dun8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Overpriced, sub-par service, abysmal food”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Having recommended by the Certificate of Excellence, me and some friends decide to visit Kaiwa for dinner.

Not good; we told our server about the tasteless, under-cooked lobster, he did nothing else but "oh", we had to recommend him to tell his chef. He acknowledged us but he did absolutely nothing to resuscitate the problem.

As mentioned, many of the dishes were disappointing, particularly the most expensive item on the menu, the lobster tempura or whatever it is called. It had absolutely no taste, obviously been frozen for a long period of time. The sashimi was sub-standard too. The only good was the island catch - fish of the day, which help save the remainder of the night.

The absolutely shocker of all. Price unacceptable. Portions were too small making it an even worse value for money. Even asked for an 18% service charge for such poor service and less than 6 people too.

Overall, avoid Kaiwa at all cost. It is located on the beachwalk, primarily to rip-off tourists, few locals visit Kaiwa and I would thoroughly discourage you from visiting.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Phil Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Wonderful local Japanese in the heart of Waikiki”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Upstairs at the Waikiki Beach Walk on Lewers St and worth the escalator trip upstairs. We had a wonderful meal for three, and nothing was too much trouble. Traditional and fusion-style sushi and sashimi, a sensible wine list and speedy and friendly service. Most other diners on the night we visited (a Wednesday) were Japanese, which we figure must say something about quality and authenticity. If you're in the area, we recommend giving Kaiwa a try.

Visited June 2013
Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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