I want to love the dining experience here more than I do. The location Upcountry is charming and rustic. I booked a table for four, and we ordered three courses with drinks. Overall, we spent $311 for dinner and left disappointed.
It’s important to realize that the restaurant is surrounded by sugar cane fields. Sugar is their primary “local” ingredient in most dishes, but they just don’t tell you that. If you have a super sweet tooth, you will be happy here.
Here’s how it went:
– Quality wine list that suits the food and a creative cocktails.
– Goat cheese tart – warm, savory and delicious. One tart cut into four single bites.
– Shishito peppers – best dish of the meal, served roasted with alea salt and balsamic drizzle
– House salad – local greens with walnuts, mandarin orange wedges, optional cheese and a light vinaigrette. Our greens tasted slightly soured and like the refrigerator, and we sent it back. The replacement was much fresher.
– Mahi Mahi with lilikoi butter, sweet potato mash and greens – best entree in the table.
Stars = 4 stars
– Roasted chicken with root vegetables- meat was a tad dry but otherwise very flavorful. Good sized portion. My dining companion took home 1/2 of it and was looking forward to eating the leftovers steamed in his homemade chicken stock to add moisture. Stars = 3 stars
– Rack of lamb with mashed potatoes, broccoli and Hunan sauce – high quality quality ingredients cooked perfectly. As is, the dish is great for people who don’t actually like the taste of meat or veggies. The Hunan sauce utterly ruined the dish because it is candy sweet (think shave ice level of sweetness) and blocks out every other flavor in the plate. Worse, the chef drowned the plate in sauce. I took two bites, sent it back and asked for no sauce. I received the same food items coated in sauce re-plated to a smaller plate with more sauce pooled in the corner of the plate (instead of drowning the food). If you order the lamb, ask for the SAUCE ON THE SIDE, if at all.
Stars = 1 star with sauce, 3 stars without sauce.
– Duck with maple bacon mash and veggies – description sounded amazing. This was easily the worst dish on the table. The duck was utterly dry, and it takes efforts cook duck that dry because it is literally one of the greasiest birds. We were baffled. The mash and veggies were also super sweet, rendering the dish almost inedible. My dining companion refused to send it back (she never sends anything back), ate 1/3 of it and declined to take home leftovers.
Stars = 1 star.
We skipped it. We had sugar headaches from the entrees and couldn’t bear any more sweetness.
Bottom line: go for drinks and appetizers. If you’re looking for a high quality dinner experience, go to Mama’s Fish House in Paia or Merriman’s on the West side.