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“Bring your fussy foodies”

Alan Wong's Restaurant
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Ranked #13 of 2,494 Restaurants in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $51
Cuisines: Hawaiian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Punahou Street and McCully Street
Description: Consistently voted as one of Hawaii's best restaurants, James Beard award-winning Chef Alan Wong uses the freshest locally grown produce and the bounty of the Pacific Ocean to create local favorites with a contemporary twist. Inspired by the unique ethnic influences found in Hawaii today, his menu reflects Hawaii's cultural diversity of its people, traditions, and lifestyles. "Taste Hawaii."
Reviewed February 8, 2014 via mobile

We enjoyed some of the best food we have ever had anywhere. On par with Gary Danko in San Francisco or maybe better, though it is an unpretentious space and the service was friendly but unschooled. (They kept trying to snatch my plate mid-bite!) the tasting menu at $85 dollars is amazing. My husband ordered it and I had the tenderloin, sharing bites of each of his courses and also the amazing, enormous coconut dessert that capped his menu. Go!

1  Thank Jeanne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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748 - 752 of 1,501 reviews

Reviewed February 7, 2014 via mobile

Alan Wong is one of Hawaii's great chefs. He uses a lot of the local ingredients, and takes traditional Hawaiian recipes and puts his own stamp on them.

My friend and I ordered the large tasting menu w/ wine pairing ($185/each. For two and half hours we were treated to some of the most creative and delicious foods I have ever experienced.

To start off the meal we were given a lilikoi (passion fruit) shot, that was all natural and cold pressed. This tart starter helped to cleanse your palate for all the following dishes. Secondly, we were given the butter tasting from local dairies: Rich and delicious.

The real meal began,with the ahi sashimi, local yellowfin and tako w/ okolehao salsa and Ho Farms cucumber tsekemono: Each ingredient was super fresh w/ their own unique flavor and texture. The sake from Alan Wong's own label was a good match. Next was the Maui Company beef tartare w/ capers, anchovy, quail egg and housemade lavosh: The silkiness of the meat, coupled w/ smoothness of the egg, the brininess of the capers and saltiness of the anchovy was sick, and went well w/ the red from Italy: This was my second favorite dish. The last dish of this series was the Hudson Valley foie gras parfait w/ sauternes gelee & pineapple macadamia nut li hing mui chutney. The foie gras was divine and paired well w/ the sweet sauternes from France.

My fave dish came next: The butter poached lobster w/ dried scallop mushroom broth & prosciutto = OMFG!!! You dipped the lobster in the broth and voila, a match made in heaven! The broth reminded me of how Rainbow Drive In gives its unique flavor to its gravy - dried shrimp. The Vouvray Domaine Huet from France went extremely well w/ this rich dish. The next to last main dish, the North Shore tilapia jun, was my friend's fave. It was accompanied w/ kim chee risotto & North Shore Farms sea asparagus namul: This dish had a nice kick to it, the sea asparagus was very unique, and the German wine accented all the flavors. The last main dish, the Maui Beef Company Ribsteak w/ foie gras burger, Hamauka Springs tomato coulis, and crimini mushroom sauce was excellent too. The burger stood out from the steak, and paired nicely w/ the pinot noir from CA.

The cheese before the dessert was a nice way to relax your tastebuds after they were scintillated by all the previous dishes. Lastly, the lilikoi white chocolate mousse was almost too beautiful to eat. The perfect way to the end the meal w/ lilikoi, just the way the meal began.

The service was outstanding!!! Natalie was super nice (and super cute!). All of the servers explained each dish, the ingredients, and the best way to enjoy each dish: 5 Stars. The ambiance was OK. The restaurant is not fancy, and the tables are not too close together. The layout works: 4 Stars.

Alan Wong's is a definite must try if you are in Honolulu and want to enjoy the creations of an outstanding chef, with a menu that uses primarily local ingredients. The next time I visit I want to try Da Bag (kalua pig and clams)!!!

Thank J P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014 via mobile

Not in a location you would expect a restaurant like this to be in, but the food was so very good! Great atmosphere and our waiter was very helpful and knowledgable. Had the red snapper - scrumptious!

Thank cwaddle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2014

Had dinner here in late January 2014, with an early reservation (which may largely explain the disparity that we encountered with service versus many of those recent reviews complaining about service who apparently ate later when the restaurant was more crowded). Overall, it was a combination of exceeding our expectations and underwhelming them.

SERVICE:

Our server was excellent, he was perfectly prompt, polite, friendly but not too familiar or intrusive, interesting, gave good recommendations, and enthusiastically responded to our inquiry of whether he had worked the night the previous month that the First Family had visited. Timing of delivery of courses was perfect, water glasses were refilled promptly, everything was excellent with two tiny exceptions, only one attributable to our waiter: he gave pretty meager pours from our two bottles of wine, and the manager should have stepped in to escort a mom with a screaming infant out of the restaurant but instead waited for her to finally decide to take her baby out of the restaurant ten minutes later.

APPETIZER

We had the Keahole Lobster “Escargot” Style, which was very good, essentially lobster chunks served with melted butter and garlic. The lobster was perfectly cooked and with the two simple ingredients of butter and garlic to accent it, there was no

ENTREES:

I was in the mood for something with an Asian flavor to it and had the shrimp and clams linguine in chili coconut lemongrass basil sauce. The basic flavor was good, but familiar, with a pretty standard red coconut curry sauce that I've had in half a dozen Thai restaurants. However, that sauce was too heavily salted and I would have sent it back but for not wanting to upset our family member who was treating us to this dinner. That family member ordered the ginger crusted onaga, long-tail red snapper miso sesame vinaigrette, hamakua mushroom & corn, which she found delightful; I tried it and it was a pretty non-descript fish dish with a mildly pleasant sauce with a soy sauce flavor to it, pretty good but not spectacular. My spouse had the Kuahiwi Ranch beef tenderloin with Hollandaise Keahole lobster, and spicy Hawaii Island Goat Dairy chevre. For over 25 years I have noticed exactly what we encountered with that steak, namely, that it is always a bad decision to order a steak from a high-end restaurant that does not specialize in steaks, as invariably it will be an USDA Choice piece of meat, never a premium cut of meat and never a good value. That was entirely the case with this tenderloin - it was tender, but not entirely flavorful and rather than the between medium and medium-well temperature that was requested, it was medium-rare and undercooked.

DESSERT

The desserts were probably the finest desserts I've ever had from any restaurant, well worth the very premium price charged. I had The Coconut, which was a semi-spherical chocolate shell encrusted with shaved coconut and filled with a sorbet that was slightly coconut, slightly vanilla in flavor and it was so artfully constructed, it looked like a small, real half-coconut. The flavors were superb and it might be the finest dessert I've ever had. We also had the pineapple shave ice and it was similarly outstanding, with intense natural pineapple flavor, with perfectly restrained sweetness levels. The Waialua Chocolate “Crunch Bars” were a divine mix of chocolate and crunchy macadamia nuts. They also have a broad coffee selection of very high-end gourmet coffee, much of it priced like a port or sherry at a slightly lower end restaurant.

CONCLUSION

Overall, I would have to say that our meal would have been a significant disappointment, but for the outrageously delicious desserts and the excellent service. The entrees were all flawed and for perhaps the most famous restaurant in Hawaii - the very favorite restaurant of President Barrack Obama - there is simply no excuse for an over-salted curry, a pleasant but uninspired fish dish, and an undercooked, mediocre steak. This was one of the more expensive restaurants I've ever visited, and the value was not high. I probably would only visit here again if I could get a late reservation, just for desserts.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank lousygolfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2014

Had a great dinner here. The food was fantastic. Was a good as some Michelin 3 stars we have dined at (but not 3 star service). The poki pines and the tuni tartar appetizers are not to be passed up. The wine is good but they focus on famous labels and then charge high multiples on them. Therefore you have to pay heavily if you like anything beyond a cabernet. They did a fantastic job with our friend who has a mortal shell fish allergy. They used separate kitchen utensils for him and the chef adapted the dishes for his benefit. Great dinner, would recommend it to anyone!

1  Thank dlagerbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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