After much research I decided to do Chef Mavro, Alan Wong, and Roy's Waikiki during my visit over Memorial Day weekend. Chef Mavro was such a big let down and Alan Wong, while good, was not the experience that I was hoping for. We cancelled Roy's and went to Tamashiro's to buy some fresh seafood to cook at back at the hotel. The meal was much more enjoyable than either Chef Mavro or Alan Wong.
Ono was awesome though. The laulau was delicious.
We got the 4 course tasting and added the Tamarind roasted sablefish from the 6 course menu because we liked the items on the 4 course menu better. We got the premium wine pairing. The wines were pretty unremarkable and didn't really accentuate any of the dishes. The only exception was the 2005 lignier pairing the the Kurobota pork loin which was actually very good.
-Amuse: gazpacho. very garlicy, lacked any other flavor
-Ecabeche of big island abalone: actually by favorite dish of the night. The abalone was tender and delicious. The manchego cheese croquette served with th abalone was superfluous an didn't really add to the dish.
-Day Boat Catch. I didn't catch the name of the fish, but the flsh was lean and a bit on the dry side. Not bad, not really good either.
-Tamarind roasted sablefish. Poorly prepared. The sablefish was a bit fishy.
-Kurobuta pork loin wrapped in betelnut leaves. As previously mentioned very good. The bugundy went well with the smokiness the betelnet leaves imparted to the pork
-Malasadas: very good. Pineapple ice cream was delicious
The bill totalled over $400. Definitely one of the worse tastings with wine pairings I've had at that price point, if not the worst.
Requested seating at the chef's counter. Declined the wine pairing since we were still traumatized by the pairings the night before. Decided to go with kubota manju sake to play it safe. Food here was at least very tasty. Nothing mindblowing or revelatory but at least tasty. We had the 5 course tasting.
-Appetizer duo of kalua pork mozzerella sandwich with tomato soup an fried ahi poke wontons The sandwhich and the fried ahi poke wontons were pretty tasty.
-"Da bag". We substituted with this dish comprised of steamed khalua pork and clams in a bag. It was a good dish, tasty.
-Butter Poached Kona lobster with shrimp Mochi rice cake. The lobster was decent. Certainly didn't compare to the butter poached lobster at Providence 2 nights prior or Per Se's version. The shrimp mochi rice cake was awesome though.
-Twice cooked beef short ribs with gingered shrimp. Tasty but very uremarkable. I feel like I could get better versions of both in SGV or K-town in LA.
-Dessert: so unremarkable we stopped after 1 bite.
Tamashiro Fish Market:
We cancelled Roy's and went to Tamashiro Fish Market. We picked up some live north shore prawns, white crab, a fish I've never seen before, started with a "M", some on choy, some pineapple, and some mangos.
The mangos and pineapple was simply amazing. The north shore prawns and white crab we steamed and dipped in fish sauce. The fish we panko crusted and pan fried. On choy I simply sauteed with garlic.
The seafood was very fresh here and staff very helpful. I'm not a great cook by any means but this was definitely the best meal of the trip tied with Ono.
In the future, I plan on avoiding high end dining in Honolulu.
Alan Wong's Restaurant
1857 S King St Fl 3, Honolulu, HI 96826
Chef Mavro restaurant
1969 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96826