Hawaiian cuisine – I had no expectations in this area as I was headed to the beach!!!! Plus I had heard that the luaus were very expensive and a lot of them were very touristy. We had just been on a day trip when we ended up in Hawi close to dinner time. My Aunt and Uncle always wanted to try this place so we decided to stay until service started (about 30 min) and made reservations.
Bamboo is a restaurant, store and art gallery all rolled into one. And it’s in a little town of Hawi, which was actually one of the bigger settlements in the North part of the Big Island. But the restaurant is well known and it was a “destination” – it must have been because by the time we came back for our reservation at 6pm, two tables were already seated before us and by the time we got the menu, the front room was full. On a Wednesday night. Before 6:30.
Travel tip #76: Restaurants crowded with LOCALS are always good bets. If they are crowded with TOURISTS….well, at least the drinks are fresh for sure.
Between the 4 of us at the table, two had the fish of the day (mahi mahi) done two different ways; one had the luau port and I had the Vietnamese salad. Both of the fish dishes were good (and one person didn’t even like fish usually!). The coconut crusted, pan fired fish looked delicious and the Hawaiian baked was done as ordered (well, well, well done) and my Uncle cleaned his plate. My Aunt kept raving about the pork and cabbage saying it tasted like it really did come from a genuine luau. My Vietnamese salad was just what I wanted. Light, crunchy with a nice flavour. The veggie spring rolls that came with it were flavourful and the soba noodles held onto the sweet chili sauce in just the right amount. The grilled chicken (also came in veggie and tofu variety) was also done nicely and the lettuce and other crunchy veggies set it all off well.
If you are in the area, I would definitely recommend Bamboo!