Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

On the plate: ‘Ama’Ama

September 21st, 2011

Nadine Kam photos

The entry to ‘Ama’Ama, Aulani A Disney Resort & Spa’s new contemporary restaurant.

What a treat it was to venture out to out to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, last week. It may have been work, but it felt like a vacation to wander the newly open resort at Ko Olina.

A team of us went out for a first look regarding our respective beats of dining, art, entertainment and travel. By late afternoon, I was starving, having skipped lunch, so a couple of us stayed to check out lunch at the resort’s contemporary restaurant ‘Ama’Ama.

It was a hot lazy day, and so relaxing to look out over the ocean during the late lunch that started at about 2:30 p.m.

Food—just a burger, chicken sandwich and kalua pig buns—took a long time to come out of the kitchen, so by the time we were finished it was 4:30 p.m., which is OK if you’re a tourist and have all the time in the world.

What I really wanted to do was return for dinner, and my review appears in the paper on Sept. 21, 2011. Essentially, the quality’s high, but I couldn’t help thinking it was created to Disney taste, with all the middle-of-the-road sweetness that implies. Here’s the pictorial version.

Stepping through the entryway to a world of relaxation and leisure. Can’t you feel yourself breathing deeper and your shoulders relaxing already?

The room by day.

On the lunch menu, pulled pork, local-style, $14.

A starter of Hamakua mushroom “tart,” really more like an elaborate crostini also topped with arugula, coriander creme fraiche and Parmesan, turned out to be one of the better dishes I tried, at $16.

Head-on grilled jumbo shrimp ($18) was painted with sweet barbecue sauce, too much for my taste, but good for those with a sweet tooth, who like to bury their food in sauce.

This side of souffle potato (I was expecting it to be mashed) was fun. I like potatoes anyway, and these were deep-fried to puff up like balloons. The trick is to eat ‘em while they’re hot without filling up before you’ve touched your entree. (more…)

SHOR’s grand opening

July 27th, 2011

Nadine Kam photos
The lobster and crab legs had already disappeared from the Seafood Tower by the time I arrived at the grand opening party for SHOR American Seafood Grill restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Hotel & Resort.

The Hyatt Regency Beach Resort and Spa celebrated the grand opening of its newest restaurant, SHOR American Seafood Grill on June 9, but it’s taken me this long to review it because I’ve been away for a month.

Love the outdoor setting at sunset and for those in need of a staycation, it’s a nice place for a getaway, at the quieter, beachy end of Waikiki. The evening began with a beautiful array of shellfish presented on a Seafood Tower, along with sample portions of poke, crab cocktail and seafood salad. From there, guests had a choice of steak, chicken or monchong entrees, and in spite of the seafood theme, many opted for steak!

Certain dishes I came back for later, like the Mussel Pot and lobster roll, which both put me back into vacation mindset because they’re not typically available on local menus, and both are so popular on the East Coast.

After dinner, we headed to the Hyatt’s new Regency Club, nearby, for dessert. Continental breakfasts, midday snacks, evening cocktails, refreshments, and hors d’oeuvres are offered daily in the indoor/outdoor lounge to Diamond tier members of the Hyatt’s Gold Passport rewards program and guests staying in Regency Club rooms. In the evening, there’s seating around two fire pits for enjoying cocktails to 8:30 p.m.

Anyone can join the Gold Passport program by visiting, but you only reach the Diamond tier after 25 eligible stays or 50 eligible nights. If you travel that much, with all its attendant hassles, you deserve a treat!

Dining in the open air on the third-floor patio.

Keith and Julia Aragaki with sous chef Jeff Szombaty.

Olena Rubin Heu gamely turned cards and turned over some jewelry to magician Santos Kidd, who had all of us amazed. Obviously he had nothing up his sleeves, and we don’t know how he was able to pick out our cards, as relayed onto an iPhone!

Things that make you go huh? Santos somehow “moved’ the “B” seal on the lower bill from its usual position toward the left of George, as seen on another (top) intact bill, to the haphazard spot on the right of the bill! Does that mean it’s now considered counterfeit?

A chocolate sculpture loomed over a dessert bar.

Lollipops in a variety of flavors also awaited those with a sweet tooth. I picked one that looked like a chocolate truffle, which was full of caramel.

The view of The Regency Club, with its two glowing fire pits on the left, from the Hyatt Garage across the street.