Bali Steak & Seafood at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
Photo by Try Bali's succulent Big Eye Tuna fresh from the Honolulu Fish Auction. Credit: Kurt Winner @ luxepaths
Splendid Dining on Waikiki Beach at Bali Steak & Seafood
Shall we start with a sunset cocktail? I’ve written before about the best Mai Tais in Waikiki. But it’s a journalist’s responsibility to continue the “research” and I have found the most sophisticated version of this Tahitian-named drink at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort’s famed Bali Steak & Seafood. And that’s just the prelude to a memorable meal. But first let’s order a drink.
Bali Streak & Seafood’s riff on the ubiquitous Mai Tai is the “Bali Tai". Crafted using some local spirits, it’s made with Old Lahaina Silver Rum, Ferrand Dry Curacao, Ginger Liqueur, local honey syrup, fresh lime and pineapple juice, and a float of Old Lahaina Dark Rum. Not sweet but balanced; it’s the quintessential cocktail to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Rainbow Tower (you are sitting in it at the restaurant), your adventures on Oahu, and the gilded sunset you are enjoying at this moment from right here on Waikiki Beach.
Bali Steak & Seafood is all about quality. From your cocktail, artisan beer selection and the wine cellar, to the freshest produce, beautifully aged-steaks and incredible fish from the Honolulu Fish Auction-brought in early that morning. If Big Eye Tuna is offered, go for it- it’s the best of the best. Same for the moist Opakapaka or Mahimahi. Of course, they have Maine Lobster (grown in Kona) and tender, flavorful cuts of beef (Allen Brothers Meats) including domestic Wagyu cooked perfectly to your preference. But when in Hawaii. . . you should go for the local fish.
The menu is an eclectic mix combining island flavors and textures but always letting the quality of the food take center stage. In the skillful hands of creative and passionate Chef de Cuisine Benjie Cabutaje and his staff, you’ll enjoy favorites like Traditional Lump Crab Cake, Domestic Wagyu Steak Tartare, Truffle Potato Tots, Grilled Kahuku Corn, Steaks, Kauai Prawns, Oysters, Rack of Lamb, King Crab, a Sustainable Ocean Seafood Platter with an assortment of seasonal fish, shellfish, lobster and crabs, and their famous Lobster Bisque. There is a thoughtful listing system on the menu denoting which items are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and egg free. Wait service is professional and attentive but minus the hovering so you can relax and enjoy the conversation at the table.
Mari’s Garden an Oahu farm provides the hearts Romaine lettuce for the crisp Caesar salad and Ho Farms tomatoes from Oahu are featured with Mari’s beets in the Quinoa salad. In keeping with Chef Cabutaje’s commitment to use local and sustainable products whenever possible you’ll find products from Hawaii throughout the menu including Hamakua Mushrooms, Sweet Land Farms, Nalo Farms, Surfing Goat Dairy, Fresh Island Seafood Co. Tropics Fish, Kona Cold Lobster, Newport Steaks, Big Island Abalone and Kona Sea Salt. Having trouble deciding? Your waiter will gently guide you through the menu if you wish and can certainly recommend some great wines to accompany your selections.
Have you saved room for dessert? Dessert could be as simple as a blissful island fruit sorbet or as divine as the Coconut Bombe. Night caps and after-dinner drinks are always an option, and a favorite is the Adult Affogato made of whiskey gelato and hot espresso- a perfect topper to a splendid evening on the beach at Waikiki.
Bali Steak & Seafood offers dinner only from 5pm. to 9pm. An advance reservation to request an ocean front table is strongly advised.
By Michelle M. Winner, AFAR Local Expert
2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA