In the centre of the courtyard of the Moana Surfrider in Oahu stands a majestic banyan tree. Planted on site in 1904, back then the legendary tree stood just seven feet tall. Today, Waikiki’s famous banyan stands over 75 feet with its limbs spanning 150 feet and main trunk measuring 40 feet in circumference! The iconic tree’s leafy branches create a cool canopy that spreads out across the sky, offering a delightful jungle vibe for those perched on the breezy verandah of the hotel’s signature Beachhouse restaurant.
Over the dinner hour one can hear the whisper of Waikiki ocean waves in the distance while a local Hawaiian band croons at the bar below. It was our first night in Honolulu and couldn’t help but swoon for the surreal setting, a petite forest surrounded by jaw dropping turn-of-the-century architecture.
Chef David Lukela’s menu features the finest quality steaks, fresh seafood and vibrant island-inspired cuisine. The restaurant is perhaps best known for its sizeable steak offering which features quality cuts by artisan Harris Ranch Raised Angus and a Kobe Style Australian Wagyu.
Start your evening at the open-air lounge and bar which provides an idyllic setting to enjoy the sunset while sipping a tropical island-inspired cocktail (or two, or three…). The Ginger Basil Caipirinha was the best of the bunch offering a refreshing thirst quench as we nibbled through a parade of plates with highlights including blackberry jam slathered Foie Gras Toast, a taste of Japan via Seared Ahi & Tartare, surf meets turf juicy ribeye with grilled jumbo prawns and a sweet dollop of cheesecake which paid homage to Kona’s buzzy bean.
1) Ginger Basil Caipirinha | ginger agave reduction, small batch leblon cachaca, basil sugar rim, effervescence
2) Foie Gras Toast | corn cake, caramelized onion, blackberry jam
3) Seared Ahi & Tartare | wasabi cream, soy ginger gel, nori cracker
4) Surf & Turf | usda prime dry aged rib eye, grilled jumbo prawns, chimichurri, kimchi brussels sprouts
5) Kona Coffee Cheesecake | cheesecake over coffee jelly, kona coffee tuile, mango-passion fruit sauce