Michel’s at the Colony Surf

Reid, 29. May 2006, 9:11
(Next to the fountain at the Diamond Head side of Kapiolani Park)

A long time ago I heard that Michel’s was considered one of the most romantic restaurants in the world. Since Larri told me that she wanted to go to a restaurant with a nice ocean view for our anniversary, I thought of going to this place. (The other choices were John Domnis and The Hanohano Room.)

When we arrived into the restaurant, it looked like a typical Wakiki bar-restaurant on the beach. Yes, it was a little nicer–the tables were set more formally and the waiter wore tuxedos–but it still looked like a bar-restaurant right on the beach. It didn’t help that the beach side of the restaurant had those huge sliding windows that were open with an green and white striped awning draping over them. However, later on, when the sun went down and the awning reclined, the view of the ocean and sky was very nice. It looked especially nice when you pulled back from the window (we sat right next to it)–giving you the sensation of looking at a huge movie screen.

OK, on to the food. Larri started with the Maui onion soup ($9). It came with a puff pastry crust over it. Not bad, but not exceptional. I ordered the lobster bisque ($11) which was flamed with cognac at the table. I liked the cognac in the soup, but again nothing really exceptional.

We next split a warm spinach scampi salad ($16). This was made tableside and, if it weren’t for the small portions, this would have been a great dish. The dish came with shrimp, macadamia nuts, shiitake in a mustard, wine sauce (with some other seasonings I couldn’t pick out). I really liked this.

For our entres Larri got the surf-and-turf–black angus filet tenderloin, half a main lobster stuffe with Dugeness crab ($49). I got the Beef Wellington ($42) which came with a foie gras mousse in a puff pastry with a truffle madeira sauce and blueberry-walnut chutney.

Larri’s dish was pretty disappointing. It didn’t get to the table really hot, for one thing. My dish was OK, but the pastry tasted like white bread. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t worth the price either.

To finish off our meal, Larri got the chocolate souffle, while I got the apple tart. The apple tart was those really flat tarts with thinly sliced apples. It was better than I thought. Larri’s souffle was pretty good, but without the molten chocolate center a la Roy’s, it wasn’t as good.

I’ve been to several restaurants in Waikiki hotels, and my experience has been that the food, service, and ambiance–while good–just doesn’t match up with the price you pay. You can get just as good dining experience–with more food–at a cheaper price at other places.

So far the only place that has been worth the money has been Padovani’s. Too bad they closed down.

1 Response to “Michel’s at the Colony Surf”

  1. Reid

    Here’s the surf-and-turf dish.


    This is the beef Wellington dish.


    That’s the chocolate souffle.


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