Sunday, February 28, 2010

Honolulu: Sunday Brunch at Orchids

Orchids at the fabulous Halekulani hotel on the Island of Oahu is known for its legendary Sunday Brunch buffet.

With picturesque views of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, this is why Orchids is one of the best brunches on the island.

Orchids is situated in one of five buildings surrounded by lush gardens and open courtyards. We actually had trouble locating the right building but if you head toward the ocean and look for the signs, you'll find it in no time.

Even though I booked reservations 6 months in advanced, yet I still managed to screw up the reservation. I booked it for one diner instead of two. The staff was so friendly and accommodating that they even seated us an hour early.

We were seated in the covered patio overlooking Waikiki Beach with views of Diamond Head. We sat at the table for a few minutes before indulging ourselves at the buffet. This is what I call being on 'vacation'.

The buffet was sectioned off into five table areas: Carving table and main entrees, pastries, soups/salads/sushi/cheeses, desserts and ice cream bar. I tried to take photos of everything that we ate but some items were not 'picture-worthy' so I left those out.

Halekulani Popovers

A popover is a hollow bread-like roll that is crispy on the outside and moist in the hollow inside. This one is an island favorite at the Halekulani since 1917, it was served with orange marmalade.

Chicken Apple & Portuguese Sausage, Crispy Bacon, Eggs Benedict with Scottish Smoked Salmon and White Rice

Toro Poke, Ahi Tuna Poke, and Tako Poke

Fruit Soup

This was a fruit puree with a texture similar to apple sauce. Interesting and sweet with the cubed mangoes. A nice transition from savory to sweet.

Haupia and Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries

Mocha Ice Cream with Candied Macadamia Nuts

Halekulani Coconut Cake

The highlight of the meal was the infamous Halekulani coconut cake. It is a three-layered sponge cake with a coconut-flavored custard filling and coconut flakes. It is frosted with whipped cream and coconut flakes. Mmm! Simply delightful. Want the recipe? Find it here.

Afterthoughts: For $55 per person, the service and food is in line with other buffets in San Diego. The only difference is the service is exceptional and the views are spectacular. I think the dessert table was the clear winner here as the assortment was quite impressive. I should have done a dessert tasting rather than tasting varying items from each table. Total dining time: Two hours (roughly 8 plates). Luckily for us, we walked here so by the time we got back to our hotel, we weren't as stuffed.

Would we come back? Yes, definitely. I need to tackle the entire dessert table :)

Things to know:
  • Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Brunch buffet served on Sundays. Reservations are recommended. Online at Opentable or call 808-923-2311.
  • Price Range: $$$; $55 per person.
  • Parking: Hotel valet parking available. Ask for validation from the hostess.
  • Request a seat in the covered patio area for views of Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach.
  • Halekulani Coconut Cake: For $145 you can have the hotel ship the cake frozen via Fedex.
The Halekulani Hotel
2199 Kalia Rd

Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 923-2311


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