Saturday, January 31, 2015

Review: Kamuela Provision Company, Waikoloa Hawaii

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
United States

Steak and seafood in a romantic oceanfront setting, perfect for honeymooners

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Recipe: Pistachio Crusted Roast Beef

Mostly a post for my father who wanted my recipe for the roast beef we made at Christmas... 

Pistachio Crusted Roast Beef

2kg Beef sirloin roast (or if preferred 300g per person)
1 cup shelled pistachios
2 tbpsn sea salt
1 tbspn ground black pepper
2 tbspns hazelnut oil


  • Remove the beef from the refrigerator and return to room temperature
  • Heat the oven to 175C and move a shelf with space to the middle of the oven
  • Shell the pistachios and chop into small pieces
  • Add the salt, pepper and oil to the nut mix and combine well
  • Place the beef on a roasting rack with room for water under the beef
  • Coat the top of the roast with the nut/seasoning mix 
  • Pour 2 cups of water into the bottom of the roasting pan, this will ensure the meat stays moist as it roasts
  • Roast the meat for 90 mins or until the meat is well browned 
  • Cover the roast with a foil tent and roast for another 20 mins
  • Remove the roasting pan from the oven and leave to rest under the foil tent for another 20 mins
  • Carve and serve with some of the nut crust and your favourite sides

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Imari, Hilton Waikoloa Hawaii

During our trip to Hawaii we stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Resort which is an absolute flagship location for the Hilton brand. Honeymooners and group activities abounded and the entire location was magical. Set on acres and acres of sculpted gardens the resort features live Pacific animals, a central lagoon and of course numerous high end restaurants. 

Imari is the Japanese fusion restaurant at Hilton Waikoloa with fresh modern American Japanese food and fresh Hawaiian ingredients. 

The restaurant is set in a floating teahouse pavillion setting surrounded by gorgeous Koi ponds. If you have kids or just love fish they offer a nightly fish feeding at sunset. 

Of course it wouldn't be a team event without a few drinks. The drink options were varied and suited to each taste - Japanese specials like sake and Japanese imported beers were available. Tropical and classic cocktails and high quality wines also abounded.

Oshinko $5USD

I love Japanese pickles while drinking they offer a sharp bite between cocktails to cleanse the palette.

Vegetarian hosomaki - kappamaki and kanpyomaki $5USD each

Vegetarians needn't miss out at a sushi restaurant these traditional small rolls using fresh cucumber and pickled gourd are a great choice. 

Assorted sushi - tekkamaki $12USD, Imari Roll $20USD and Hawaiian Rainbow Roll $18USD

Both traditional and modern American sushi rolls were available to every taste. The rainbow roll featured a large number of fresh local seafood options with avocado and cream cheese - like an ultra decadent California roll. The Imari roll was a fried tempura shrimp topped with spicy tuna and green onion. 

Note that they were careful to separate the seafood hosomaki to ensure the vegetarian plate was unsullied. This kind of attention to detail shows the kind of excellent customer service one would expect at such a first class Hilton establishment.

Assorted sashimi - 15 pieces $39USD

Large and small sashimi samplers were available but both featured fresh tuna, salmon, walu, hamachi and squid.

As well as our vegetarian comrade the resort was wonderfully in catering to a gluten free diner in our group as well. They ensured that there were plenty of sashimi and sushi options that were suitable to his diet restrictions. They also made sure to use wheat free soy sauce on all of the shared dishes and provided tamari for dipping with the sushi.

Hiyashi Chuka $15USD

Hiyashi chuka is the perfect dish for tropical settings - a cold seasoned noodle salad made with sesame dressing in the yoshoku "Western Japanese food" style. 

Marinated beef kushiyaki $16USD

Kushiyaki are small bites grilled on sticks and this beef was perfectly seasoned with soy and sesame with green onion.

Miso butterfish $28USD

Rich butter fish is seasoned in a miso sauce and served with tempura grean beans and sauces.

Macadamia Nut Tofu Katsu $16USD

Tofu has a really bad rap in the US and it's often presented in really boring fashion but Imari elevated it with this Japanese/Hawaiian fushion cutlet dish.

Tempura banana split $15USD

Banana fritters are fried in a tempura style batter and topped with cream, fruit and toasted coconut.

All in all it was a great experience - the customer service was immaculate and they tended to our dietary needs with great care. The drinks were plentiful and the food was delightful, it suited perfectly the mixed Asian and Western holiday crowd at the resort. The restaurant was beautifully designed and who can beat a Hawaiian sunset setting? Much recommended if you are lucky enough to find yourself at this tropical paradise.


69-425 Waikoloa Beach Drive
Waikoloa Village, HI 96738
Ph (808) 886-1234

Modern Japanese/Hawaiian fusion and Teppanyaki in a tropical resort setting