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butterfern

Any great brunches?

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I'm currently planning a two-week trip that will have me in Oahu on one Sunday, and on the Big Island (Kailua-Kona area) the next. Any suggestions for great brunches? Neighborhood places and fancy resort buffets are both welcome.

Many thanks!

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I'm currently planning a two-week trip that will have me in Oahu on one Sunday, and on the Big Island (Kailua-Kona area) the next. Any suggestions for great brunches? Neighborhood places and fancy resort buffets are both welcome.

Many thanks!

OAHU:

When I'm at home I like Orchids, which is the brunch that the Halekulani hotel serves on Sundays. Ask to be seated on the lanai, so you can see the water while you eat. Also nice is the Kahala Mandarin, b/c they also have a brunch on the lanai. If you want a "tea and sandwiches" brunch, I recommend their tea...everything is good, down to the scones and clotted cream.

As for "local" food, I like Fukuya's, which serves Japanese "small plate" type food. It's definitely not a bacon and eggs type thing.

Others also enjoy Sam Choy's Breakfast Lunch and Crab, if only b/c he serves portions that can feed three. I like their fried rice. In the same vein is Kaka'ako Kitchen, in Ward Centre. You could also see if Alan Wong's Pineapple Room, Alan Wong's, and Neiman Marcus's Mariposa serves brunch.

BIG ISLAND:

I confess to never going to the other islands, but I do remember eating at the Manago Inn when I was there in 1991 for the eclipse. That was good.

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Thanks, Machi!

I'm currently debating between Orchids and the Mandarin Oriental. Their website mentions two different brunches. Which one were you recommending - Hoku's or the Plumeria Beach House? Do you happen to know what the difference is?

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Thanks, Machi!

I'm currently debating between Orchids and the Mandarin Oriental. Their website mentions two different brunches. Which one were you recommending - Hoku's or the Plumeria Beach House? Do you happen to know what the difference is?

I've been to the Plumeria Beach House and was disappointed by the presentation and food.

Two examples. For the sashimi (raw fish), they put two little pieces on individual dishes rather than arrange the fish in platters. The cost-saving device is very apparent and, to my mind, quite off-putting. To arrange an individual serving of sashimi to my liking, I would need to empty many small dishes into my plate instead of using tongs to select the number of pieces that I want. This may seem somewhat esoteric to those of you who are not sashimi enthusiasts, but believe me, the cost-cutting aspect is very clear.

The second observation is that the hot entree selection for that day featured New York steak, individually cut and prepared to your preference. They accomplish this by preparing a New York roast and grilling the meat to your order, if necessary. Fair enough. For a $28 buffet, however, you expect the meat to have some tenderness.

It did not.

On the other hand, I have always had a marvelous experience at the Halekulani, including Orchids. Don't forget to visit the interesting shops, including the only Vera Wang boutique in the whole wide world.

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As regards PakePorkChops experience at the Kahala Mandarin, there is evidence that they are economizing and the let down in standards there is attributed by some to the change in management. Mandarin Oriental Hotels no longer run the property and it is now managed by the Landmark Hotel group. The name has been changed to Kahala Hotel & Resort. There is supposed to be a $20 million renovation and face lift coming for this worn property. The better half maintains the standards have been going downhill ever since it stopped being the Kahala Hilton. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out for the restaurants there.

Regarding brunch on Oahu, we have cousins that swear by the Sunday brunch at the Prince Hotel but I have never been. I can heartily endorse Orchids.

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I'd say that this is right...the managemetn change has been a bit of a let down. I liked Hoku's, and I enjoyed my Malaysian food I had at the brunch place below...I don't know if that was Plumeria Cafe or whatever its called.

As to Halekulani, there is nothing better. I stayed with my boyfriend at the Prince when we came home, and their brunch is simply second rate. It's fine, but nothing like what you can expect at the Halekulani. We used to go there for Mother/Father Days and Easter, and my family would pretty much not eat the night before b/c we were saving up for the ono goodness that is the Orchids brunch.

As regards PakePorkChops experience at the Kahala Mandarin, there is evidence that they are economizing and the let down in standards there is attributed by some to the change in management. Mandarin Oriental Hotels no longer run the property and it is now managed by the Landmark Hotel group. The name has been changed to Kahala Hotel & Resort. There is supposed to be a $20 million renovation and face lift coming for this worn property. The better half maintains the standards have been going downhill ever since it stopped being the Kahala Hilton. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out for the restaurants there.

Regarding brunch on Oahu, we have cousins that swear by the Sunday brunch at the Prince Hotel but I have never been. I can heartily endorse Orchids.

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Thanks, everyone, for your help. We're going to try Orchids. I'm looking forward to it, based on your recommendations. Ideas for Big Island brunches are still most appreciated...

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Thanks, everyone, for your help. We're going to try Orchids. I'm looking forward to it, based on your recommendations. Ideas for Big Island brunches are still most appreciated...

Book early for brunch. They cannot accomodate me on the Sunday I will be in town and already 10 people deep in the waiting list. They told me people book 3-6 months in advance. Hope you can eat there.

Cirilo

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Thanks for the recommendations, all. We had brunch at Orchids on Sunday and thought it was great! $42/person. We recommend it highly.

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