Monday, May 28, 2012

Chef Mavro - Waikiki Beach Hawaii

While we were  in Hawaii we decided to try a fine dinning restaurant and after some considerable research I decided on Chef Mavro. The restaurant is not on the beach but towards the city on a corner block and quite obscure. The back ground on the Chef is that he is a frenchman who used to live in Provonce and moved to Hawaii many years ago.

The restaurant is unlike many in Hawaii being quite small and somewhat romantic, which was good since I was dinning with my wife.

The menu was very flexible in that they had a 3 course, a 4 course and a six course menu and you could choose all six or simply mix and match off the 3 menus. All were designed as a degustation dinner. They also offered a matching wine with each dish however we decided to buy a few good quality glasses of wine. The first dish was a cold mushroom custard with a caramalised top. This was ok but a bit off putting as it was cold.

The second dish was Maitake mushroom with roasted kabocha with onion and bacon shavings with a yuzu dressing. This was delicious with all the flavours coming together well giving it an organic taste with the sweetness of the yuzu dressing.

I had the scallops which were served raw with a kamuela vegetable escabeche, rosemary scented fougas. Absolutely delcious, fresh, light and a great way to start a meal.

The first main course was the daily boat catch - Kabosu which was served with crusted mochi, citris-sansho sauce and jumbo asparagus & veloute. The fish was beautiful but the winner of the dish was the crust which was rice pounded into powder and then lightly baked. wow.
As always I couldn't go pass the duck which was served with a gingered green mango chutney and a sweet kahuku corn fritter with a modern bigarade sauce. The sauce and the fritter were really nice but I found the duck to be a bit tough. However it was worth tasting for the chutney and fritter.

Break time -  to assist our palate they served watermelon encased in champagne jelly. This was great and came at exactly the right time.

The last main was a Vadouvan lamb curry which we both chose. The lamb was from Colorado and was probably the tastiest piece of lamb I have ever eaten. The dish was more of a deconstructed curry with poha rice eggplant fritters, cured olives, fennel and thyme relish.

 My wife chose the Goat cheese - strawberry which was goat cheese filled with strawberry jus, with farm baby greens. She said it was like eating heaven with the jus running out of the centre of the cheese.

For desert I chose the Malasadas which were like round donuts served with guava ice cream. However each of the donuts had a different filling including, mui apple, azuki bean and lilikoi . These may not sound good but they were very moreish and although I was full I would have liked more.

A very satisfying fine dinning experience and maybe the only one in Hawaii. The cost was high when comparing to other restaurants it cost us $380.00. The service was too good and the timing was too quick. The food was excellent without being over the top. I would recommend if you wanted to try fine dinning in Hawaii. I would rate the food 7.5/10 and the service 7/10 because it was all too quick. We were in and out within 2 hours.

Chef Mavro
South King street

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hawaiian Holiday

So far all of my blogs have been on restaurants and that's where I am going to stay, however I have had some comments that I do not blog all the restaurants I go to and also about some of the other experiences I have like I have just got back from 5 days in Hawaii. What restaurants did I go to and maybe some other information to help you if you ever decide to go to Hawaii. So here goes.

Hawaii is such a nice place and this is our third visit and we will definitely go back. The temperature is the same every day around 28-30 degrees. The main place to go of course is Waikiki and why not they have a great beach, great restaurants and shopping, did I say shopping.

Firstly, to my first love, food. With so many restaurants its hard to say whats best etc but let me tell you about the ones I visited by type. For an informal dinner or just a bit of fun with some good music I found a Margaretaville restaurant which is the country singer Jimmy Buffets chain, great for a burger or steak while enjoying the music. For Japanese  I would not go pass Japengo it was lovely serving up traditional Japanese with a modern twist. By the way there are more Japanese people in Hawaii than in Japan, ha ha. For a more upmarket steak go to Wolfgang's and for Italian don't miss out on dinning atTaormina where I had the best bolognese ever, Spinach Fettuccine with Meat and Foie Gras, simply the best.

For lunch at this wonderful city there is so much to do but we were recommended to go to the Helacalarnie hotel ( on the beach ) and have a crab sandwich. Which we did and it was pretty sensational, loads of Alaskan king crab with avocado and crispy bacon served on wholemeal bread cut into soldiers. We ate this whilst sitting in their outdoor area watching the beach and all that goes with it. heaven.

I could not have left Hawaii without a fine dinning experience so after some research we ended up at Chef Mavro which is not on the beach but located in the city. Chef Mavro is an old french chef from Provence and the food was excellent without being over the top. (See separate Blog for more ).

So apart from food there are many places to stay depending on your economic circumstances however if you can afford it stay on the beach at either The Royal Hawaiian, Helacalarnie, Moana Surfrider or the Sheraton. All are great but my favourite is the surfrider as it has a great outside setting, pool, music and you can go to the beach and use their facilities even if you dont stay there. 5 star so it wont be cheap. There are many other cheaper hotels like the Waikiki Gateway which is about 500m from the beach.

So lastly, shopping wow we spent heaps on shoes in particular as they are so cheap, plus good polos shirts, jeans and I even bought a sports jacket. These are best bought at the shopping factory outlet which you can get there by shuttle bus but beware you will spend.

All in all a great 5 days in one of the worlds best destinations and I could write much more but that would be boring. So hope you liked my short travel blog.

Remember you need to book at most good restaurants otherwise you will be disappointed plus if you would like more information on anything just write a comment and I will respond.