The last and quite special meal we had in Hawaii was a birthday dinner for a member of my team at Kamuela Provision Company at Hilton Waikaloa a tropical surf and turf restaurant full of traditional meals with a twist.
Kamuela Provision Company definitely felt like the premier dining destination at the resort and was filled with Honeymooning couples sharing champagne, seafood and fine land meats. Most of the team spent the day site seeing so sadly our reservation was too late to catch the sunset, but the restaurant overlooks the ocean at a seaside outcropping. The romance was definitely in the air... at least for those not travelling with coworkers.
Bread included with the meal
I say it's always a good sign to come when the bread is high quality and served quickly.
Prawn Cocktail $17USD
This is no limp shrimp dish but giant local prawns poached in Lemongrassa nd served with a chilled tomato horseradish sauce. The quality of the seafood was excellent and the cold sauce elevated this cocktail party classic.
Ahi Tataki Style $18USD
Raw Ahi tuna is served with Hawaiian macadamia nut pesto and micro shiso greens; as with all the restaurants at Waikoloa they were sensitive to the gluten free needs of our diners and served this with a tamari sauce.
KPC Limu Poke $15USD
Ahi Tuna, kukui nut and avocado served with sesame lavosh. This is definitely an upscale version of the fresh poke - a raw fish salad similar to ceviche - served all over the island. I'm not going to lie I found the presentation a little call back to the 1990s but the dish itself was good.
Surf and Turf special "Mauka Makai" $69USD
Fresh Lobster tail and a petit fillet; because if you're going to have a special meal then steak and lobster is hard to beat. The lobster was served simply with melted butter and lemon, the steak topped with crispy onions and fresh steamed asparagus.
Roasted Chicken Breast $35USD
There's always one person that orders chicken right? This whole breast of chicken came served with corn polenta, roasted peppers and a balsamic cream accompanied by fresh prawns.
Grilled Mahi Mahi $43USD
Sauteed rainbow chard is topped with a tropical fruit compete and green Thai curry butter. A classic sweet and savoury dish to highlight the fresh local seafood
Rib Eye $59USD
Quality beef rubbed with locally sourced Sugar Cane and then grilled served with mushrooms and breaded onion rings. Good steak, prepared to order; unfortunately all their steak appears to be grain fed but that is the status quo in the US so not in anyway the fault of the restaurant.
Kona Kampachi $45USD
Grilled Kampachi from Kona (only a stone's throw from the resort) served luxuriously on a bed of Lobster risotto with tomato fennel broth and pickled ginger tomato relish with a Thai Basil infused oil. I for one love the perfect harmony of East meets West of fusion cuisine in Hawaii and they get this tone right like no other region in the US. This was a balanced and well thought out dish exploring pan Asian flavours while still highlighting the seafood.
Vegetable Medley $28USD
Being a vegetarian at a Steak and Seafood restaurant can sometimes be a little bit of a letdown - 900 variations of mushroom risotto appear on thoughtless menus. Kamuela instead offered our vegetarian diners this Asian style stir fry medley with rice and toasted sesame that was well received.
Birthday Cake! Prices on request
Another callout to the excellent service at the resort I was informed at the last minute that a member of the party was having a birthday. The resort prepared this cake and were able to turn around delivery at the right time and restaurant within 24 hours. They managed to keep the whole thing a surprise to the last minute and took extra care for our special guest.
Coffee and Cognac
The coffee was what you might expect in a large resort restaurant, not great but not awful either. I was a little bewildered that a steak restaurant that offered a number of after dinner drinks didn't have brandy glasses or know what a reasonable serving was. On the other hand I ended up with a wine glass full of VSOP cognac for the price of a nip.
All of the Waikaoloa Hilton and in particular the Kamuela restaurant are designed for destination travel. Clear focus is given to quality ingredients and immaculate customer service. This comes at a cost and the prices of the dish are easily 50% higher than the equivalent dish would attract in California; the price gap to other US states would be even more significant. No one's in Hawaii to quibble over the bill though so if you're in the mood for a special meal after your destination wedding or conference then this is a great choice.
Probably worth mention is that the casual island atmosphere leads to an interesting juxtaposition - formal steak and seafood dining where everyone is dressed in resort wear. Even the waiters were in Hawaiian shirts. Don't attend in your swimwear but respectful tropical clothing is more than acceptable.
Kamuela Provision Company
69-425 Waikoloa Beach Drive
Waikoloa Village, HI 96738
Steak and seafood in a romantic oceanfront setting, perfect for honeymooners