Honolulu >Alan Wong's Restaurant
Pacific Rim cuisine that's revered among food-worshipping circles..
This huge, glass-terraced restaurant provides an almost mystical ambience, setting the stage for a cutting edge menu of Japanese, Hawaiian and American cuisine. Service is impeccable, and the open kitchen (inspired by Wolfgang Puck's Spago,) sends wafting scents of spicy flavors throughout the dining room. When it comes to his menu, which changes daily, Alan Wong goes out of his way to ensure that food is unique. Creative dishes feature fresh local blends, including Kauai purple potatoes, Kalua pork and fresh furikake salmon. , you may never eat at another restaurant in Oahu. Desserts run the gamut from light sorbets to the famed "Crunch Bar" (layers of chocolate, macadamia nuts and mousse).
Amazing service. The service at Alan Wong's was impeccable. Their rolls were delicious, and I really enjoyed The Coconut, their signature dessert.
You want to go the best restaurant in Hawaii - then go to Alan Wong's. Lived in Hawaii and was there when Alan Wong's opened. It is without a doubt the best of the best. There are so many things that we liked about the restaurant. Its out of the way place, its definitely different, its upstairs in a building that you would not think a restaurant is in. When you make your reservations they take your name and when you are seated the person who seats you and your waiter from then on uses your name. its like you have been coming there forever. The Manager stops by and ask how things are going. There is usually a "special treat" from Alan, maybe its just a juice drink, or a small appetizer, and that is also followed up by a dessert piece of something at the end. The rolls are delicious, finish one, and the roll boy is there again; the water glass is never empty. My favorite is when the person brings you meal and explains everything on it, rather than some places that when someone brings you the plate they have to ask you what you ordered. The waiters don't start as waiters, they start as the bus boys and work their way up, the learn how to be a waiter and all the different kinds of food that are prepared. When you go to AW's you are treated as someone who has been coming for years, even if it is you first trip there. Yes it crowded, most great restaurants are. And the awards won by AW is overwhelming. And the best part is that AW is usually there. There are some restaurants that the owner, top chef are rarely there.
Severely Disappointed. We entered this meal with much excitement, even spending time to construct our own tasting menu of six courses. What followed after we ordered however, only caused our collective bated breath to shift into sighs of despair. Each dish was cloyingly sweet obstructing all other flavors, which were assembled with no sense of balance. The execution was clumsy and overly complicated, with an end product not worthy of a James Beard award and certainly not a spot in-between Masa and Daniel on Gourmet's top 10 list. There was not a single dish that left us wanting more. Each dish led to only further disappointment, as we sat in the jumbled decor of what looked like a hotel lobby tiki bar. The only redeeming quality was that the service was generally helpful and courteous. Additionally, the kitchen, despite their severe culinary handicap, was prompt.
Odd experience. This is supposed to be one of the premiere dining experiences in Honolulu. The location almost borders on bizarre and there is simply NOTHING special about the dining room or the service ware. The staff are very personable and make every effort to educate you to the various dishes which in my opinion are over done, over staged and a little off the mark in flavor combinations. This is an average fine dining experience that costs the same as a first rate dining experience in any other city in the US. Alan needs to up his game here a bit.
Diverse menu, prompt service, good food. We ordered the 7 tasting menu. It consists of a shooter, sandwich and soup, beef tenderlion, abalone mushroom..etc. Overall, I liked most of their items. Everytime I was done with an item, they were quick to remove the dish and supplied me with new utensils. The dining room was small but had a nice, clean decor. The food was pricey but I don't go there all the time. I don't think it's the best food I've ever tasted. I did not care for the cold soup as it was plain in my opinion. We had several different waiters at our table which made us feel like a king and queen. Though I generally do not like dessert, it was the most elaborate of all the items.
Alan Wong's is all wrong. My husband and I have been to some of the best restaurants in the world and were looking forward to dining at Alan Wong's and experiencing one of Hawaii's premiere restaurants. Sadly, our disappointment began as soon as the elevator doors opened. The room was chaotic, the display counter and hostess area crowded and the bar small and cramped. Since our table was not ready, we were asked to wait at the bar. The bartender was slow to approach and not very personable. Waiting at the bar gave us time to observe the environment and we were shocked to see a few diners dressed in shorts. I know this is Hawaii but shorts in a so called fine dining restaurant is unacceptable. The disappointment continued after we were seated at our table. The bread rolls served were ordinary and the accompanying garlic butter was overpowering and sludgy. We ordered the opihi shooter for our appetiser and could not even taste the opihi because it was smothered in so many other flavors. My entree of mochi crusted opakapaka started out fine but soon turned into a heap of sticky mochi and fish. Presentation of dishes were mediocre and the service was sloppy. If this is the best Hawaii has to offer then Hawaii diners are being severly short-changed.
Treated Like Royalty. On a recent trip to Honolulu, I had the pleasure of dining at Alan Wong's Restaurant. I have been to many restaurants in this price range that offer Pacific Rim Cuisine, but I have never been so impressed. First of all, the hostess actually remembered that my husband had mentioned that it was our anniversary when he booked reservations online! We were congratulated by name regarding our anniversary by the waiters, bus boys and the manager that evening. Our water was never empty and our plates were cleared swiftly. Besides the service being warm and impeccable, the food was fabulous! As each dish was presented, the waiter described for us again the manner in which it was prepared and the key ingredients. Lastly, the Macadamia Crunch Bars dessert was to die for- and, our names and date were written on the plate with chocolate. This was comp'd! On our way out, the hostess gave us each our own menus with signatures from the staff as a memento to keep. Of course, there are many restaurants that may do this sort of thing, but I have never been to a restaurant that did ALL of these things and seemed to care so much about its patrons.
Always wonderful. My husband and I visit Alan Wong's at least monthly. I've never had a bad meal there and the service is also wonderful. Although the location is out of the way and the noise level can sometimes be high, it's still a great place for dinner.
An odd place for a restaurant. I have heard many good and mediocre comments about this place. I finally had a chance to go 3 times in the past 4 months. I was surprised when we pulled up to the front...no wonder it's taken me this long to dine here...couldn't see it really from the road. The room is small and crowded...so the first time they put me on a small bench seating table on the edge. Terrible place to be sat (Should considered eliminating this seat) So the rest of my experience that evening was not that impressive. Service so-so to bad, food average (I don't eat seafood...so maybe my fault), and the price...wow I had to take out a small loan. I later had another chance to go so I thought I would go for it. It turned out to be a much better evening. The seating really made that difference right away. The service seemed more prompt (not as busy as the previous visit). Everything was served promptly and hot. The drinks were good and still when the check came it was still pricey...but I was ok with it. The next time I went was the same as the second. I am not sure I can choose to go here again knowing there are so many other awesome places on the island to enjoy an evening.
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