Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hawaii Journal Day 8: Sunday Brunch

Day 8: Sunday

Brunch: Prince Court at the Hawaii Prince Hotel

One of the things I like to do on vacation is go to a Sunday brunch buffet. I'm usually not a buffet-fan, but I like the selection of sweet and savory. On Oahu, the universally acclaimed best brunch is the Orchid Restaurant at the Halekulani Hotel, but Orchid is expensive ($50 per person) and it is hard to get reservations.

My alternative choice for brunch is the Prince Court at the Hawaii Prince Hotel. It serves a diverse selection highlighting both traditional brunch foods and Hawaii's native and Asian influenced cuisine. Surprisingly, for a hotel brunch spot, the crowd is heavily local (mostly there for special occasions), and it has a nice view of the harbor below. In addition, the Prince Court is easier on the wallet ($35 per person) and while you still need reservations, you can usually get them by calling a week in advance.

This year's Prince Court Buffet featured hot and cold buffets as well as stations for sushi, omelettes, prime rib, saimin and dessert. Highlights were two excellent pokes (ahi and tako), a very good Korean barbecued kalbi and sushi rolls made to order. Among the desserts, there was excellent bread pudding and a good coconut haupia cake. My favorite dessert, though, was the macadamia nut cream pie. It had a shortbread crust with a caramel and mac nut center and was topped with chocolate and then whipped cream. Usually, a hotel buffet contains competent versions of a standard repertoire of desserts, but the mac nut cream pie stood on its own.

Prince Court
Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki
100 Holomoana St.
Honolulu, HI
Make Reservations: (808) 944-4494

Dinner: Tokkuri Tei

After a huge lunch, we opted for sushi for dinner from Tokkuri Tei, a Kapahulu joint with a menu featuring not just sushi but a variety of hot dishes as well. They also offered a dish intriguingly called the Baked Alaska Roll. Still being fairly stuffed, we opted for a pretty standard sushi dinner. The stand out was definitely the toro. It was a fattier cut of fatty tuna than I'd ever had before, literally melting in your mouth. Unfortunately, the uni was off, and that left a literal bad taste in my mouth.

Tokkuri Tei
611 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 739-2800

Tomorrow: Dim Sum and More

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