Take a Walk on the Intimate Side
Romance Abounds In Waikiki
What could be more romantic than cozying up to your significant other at a beachfront, candlelit table as the sun sinks into the Pacific Ocean, mere steps away? This is a common experience at Azure restaurant in The Royal Hawaiian hotel, where you’ll also dine on the freshest island fish and endure top-notch service.
Indoor seating options are a study in chic, contemporary decor. However, if you want to take the romance up a notch, make a reservation at one of the private cabanas nestled on the edge of the beach. In this private little oasis you’ll enjoy a “chefs degustation” menu and finely tuned service.
Azure’s commitment to quality is evident within minutes of chatting with executive chef Jon Matsubara. At the ring of the Honolulu fish auctioneer’s bell at 5:30 a.m., he is one of the first in line to make his personal choice from the daily catch, which will be prepped and served within hours. All selections can be prepared in two ways: roasted under high-heat with white wine, Meyer lemon and fresh herbs, or “Island style” with a simple dash of salt, pepper and garlic.
Other signature seafood dishes include the ocean salad—a perfect portion of chilled Kona lobster, prawns, Big Island abalone, scallops, Dungeness crab, octopus, tobiko caviar, avocado and tarragon tossed in a light buttermilk dressing. The braised Kona abalone is another delicacy, served with charred Brussels sprouts, red wine, Parmesan and duck pasta.
The restaurant’s menu is not solely dedicated to everything seafood. Meat lovers can choose a USDA prime rib eye steak, or a kiawe-smoked petite Australian Waygu filet mignon served with foie gras and black truffle Maderia glaze. Azure is also a proud supporter of local farms, providing local produce in all of its salads including Hamakua mushrooms, Volcano honey, Hirabara Farms heirloom tomatoes and Kahuku corn.
Pairing your meal with a selection from the extensive handcrafted cocktail menu (the sparking hibiscus gimlet is made with fresh hibiscus flowers from the gardens of the hotel, bruised with fresh lime, cane sugar and topped with vodka and effervescence) draws a steady local following.
It might be tough to choose from one of these sweet confections, but dinner is not complete without a sugar fix. Choose from a selection of freshly baked cheesecakes, Hawaiian pineapple crumble, Waialua flourless chocolate cake, Hawaiian vanilla bean panna cotta, assorted sorbets and gelatos.
As you enjoy dessert, locally-grown coffee and fresh air that wisps off the bay in Waikiki, remember that life is meant to be appreciated in the company of great food, drink and special people.
Reservations are highly recommended.
2259 Kalakaua Ave. [C:8 Waikiki Map]