The Big Island – Food

5 08 2007

One of our must-dos in Hawaii was to attend a luau. We went to the luau at the Kona Village Resort. This was a great luau! The food and entertainment were both top notch, and I especially enjoyed the pork cooked in the imu oven and my first taste of poi, the ubiquitous Hawaiian staple made from the taro root. During dinner, there was a stage show featuring hula dancers and fire twirlers, in addition to singing and storytelling. This is one of the pricier luaus on the Big Island, but it is considered the best one. The only drawback I can think of is that it is not on the beach. We didn’t feel that this was really a drawback though. We certainly enjoyed it!

The hostess describing the cooking of the pig:

imu oven

Some Hawaiian men unveiling the pork:

imu oven 2

The buffet line during a surreal sunset:

buffet

Other Big Island Restaurants we went to included:

Inexpensive:

Jake’s on Alii Drive – While this is a touristy restaurant, it had a fun vibe and tasty burgers and fries. Our waitress was also wonderful – Charles had started to get heatstroke and she was a great help to us. Thank you, kind waitress!

Moderate:

Bamboo in Hawi – interesting local fusion place, on the way to Pololu Valley
Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill in Kona – yummy family owned restaurant, Hawaiian/American food

Expensive:

Daniel Thiebalt in Waimea – This is one of the top restaurants on the Big Island. To save money, we went during lunch time. The food was fresh and delicious!

Brown’s Beach House at the Fairmont at sunset – This was one of our favorite restaurants. I had reserved a waterfront table at sunset (a month in advance) and it was like being in a postcard. We were serenaded by a Hawaiian group and a hula dancer while eating a great dinner. They even gave us a free dessert since we were on our honeymoon! We liked it so much that we came again two nights later. We were still able to get a good table since we were Fairmont guests, AND we got our free dessert again (same server). The Fairmont really went above and beyond our whole stay.

Kilauea Lodge – We were quite surprised to find such a great restaurant in the small village of Volcano. I mean, I had heard it was good but the restaurant really exceeded our expectations. I had the hunter stew as an appetizer and the day’s special of tristan lobster as the entree. Both were superb. The stone fireplace also added to the overall cozy ambience of this fine restaurant.

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