Dinner at Merrimans in Waimea
Our meal was quite good and our particular server charming. But it seems that this is typical for Hawaii – everyone is charming and friendly. Merrimans has a wonderful Mai Tai – their secret is fresh pineapple and lime juice. We also had the Talley Chardonnay - which we’ve had before but this reminds us that we like this Chardonnay and should have some on hand at home. We of course try the ahi tuna many ways.
The Luau at the Mauna Kea
My children don’t really remember their last luau. So we decided we should experience this special event on this trip. And this will do until they have children…. I must say how very impressed I was with the food at the luau. It can’t be easy preparing quality food for hundreds of people but the Mauna Kea does it well. Shrimp, sashimi, ahi poke, various salads, Island fruits, roast pork, roast turkey, teriyaki steaks, grilled Island fish, mashed potato and taro, poi, and lots of delicious desserts - and all in such a spectacular ocean side setting. The food was so good I hated to see it served buffet style. You just can't fully appreciate and enjoy each dish. Served in courses, presentation Monettes style, and this would have been a standout meal.
Brown’s Beach House at the Fairmont Orchid
Dinner in this beachfront setting, with swaying palm trees, a striking sunset, tiki lights creating a romantic ambiance, and gentle waves rolling in only yards away is a perfect end to our brief vacation. The theme of all our dinners has seemed to be Mai Tais and ahi tuni served raw, seared, and in a poke. Brown’s does not disappoint.
(Ahi poke is a mainstay of Hawaian cuisine. Poke (an Hawaiian word meaning to slice or cut) is a raw fish mixture served as an appetizer. Typically it consists of cubed raw ahi (the Hawaiian name for yellowfin) tuna mixed with salt, oil, chili pepper and often other ingredients like onions, garlic and tomato. Stateside we have similar dishes but we usually call it simply Tuna Tartare. I have a delicious recipe that I often use as an appetizer):
- ¾ pd. very fresh tuna
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Grated zest of one lime
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon wasabi powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
- 6 dashes Tabasco
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup minced scallions, white and green parts
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
- 1 ripe avocado
Cut the tuna in to ¼ inch dice and place in bowl. In another small bowl, blend the oil, lime juice, wasabi, soy sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Pour over tuna. Add the scallions and jalapeno. Cut the avocado into ¼ inch dice and fold very carefully into the tuna mixture. Allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator for about an hour for the flavors to blend. Serve with large krinkle cut potato chips (excellent with this recipe!) or crackers.