Fantasy Feast Aboard the Star of HonoluluCover Story Features
July 23, 2011
Story By: Dining Out Team |
Set sail on Hawaii’s largest, award-winning tour vessel, the Star of Honolulu, and experience one of the finest sunset dinner cruises our island has to offer. Guests are pampered and treated to not only top-notch entertainment and majestic views of picturesque coastline, but wined and dined to the extreme with decadent modern-day French-style cuisine prepared by executive chef Adam Gilbert.
As part of its signature Five Star Sunset Dining & Jazz Cruise, the Star of Honolulu presents a prix fixe, seven-course, summer-inspired menu now through September highlighting some of the season’s freshest ingredients produced both locally and internationally.
“This is a place that you would come to celebrate special occasions such as anniversaries, vow renewals, or a special evening out. We’re popular with guests throughout the world, and the live jazz music provided by some of Oahu’s best musicians is spectacular,” says Eric Burgoyne, director of sales and marketing for the Star of Honolulu Cruises & Events.
The Five Star Sunset Dining & Jazz Cruise is offered nightly and priced at $175 per person ($131.25 kamaaina rate with valid ID), including a VIP welcome, dinner, live jazz show, super premium beverages and after dinner cart drink service. Round-trip private stretch limousine and motorcoach transportation from the Waikiki area also is available for an additional $60 and $11 per person, respectively.
Kick off an evening of elegance at 5:30 p.m., as the 1,500-passenger ship departs from Pier 8 at Aloha Tower Marketplace. Festivities begin at the exclusive Captain’s Welcome Reception on the Star’s 60-foot-high top deck, where guests have the opportunity to sample a selection of summer canapes served butler-style, accompanied by a Hawaiian Bellini.
Amid a pristine atmosphere, guests are then escorted into the recently renovated Art Deco Super Nova room. Posh in decor, this luxurious dining room, where semi-formal attire is required, is said to seat 230 people.
“Nova is really elegant and plush, it’s definitely a place where we have a lot of repeat business,” says Gilbert, who studied culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University, then later at Kapiolani Community College.
“My main focus as the chef here is consistency — consistency in presentation and quality,” he adds. “My style of cuisine is very much travel-influenced. I love the local ingredients, and that’s a big driving force for my cooking.
“At Johnson and Wales I was trained in the classical French-style of cuisine. I also lived in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, and of course Hawaii, so I’m also very familiar with Pacific Rim cuisine as well,” Gilbert states. “In the Nova room we focus on culinary arts that are classic French with a bit of a local twist.”
As diners are seated, expect nothing but immaculate service, as refined Nova servers present you with Chilled Kahuku Corn Soup with Avocado Granite and Bouquet of Baby Greens consisting of seared scallop, red and gold beet carpaccio, basil oil and passion fruit vinaigrette.
The first main entree showcases an Air-Flown Live Maine Lobster poached in a season-infused butter broth, paired with grilled polenta, chanterelle mushrooms, summer truffles and vegetables in a light lobster fumet.
“We change up the menu by the season, so every three months you’ll find something new,” Gilbert says. “We prep 90 percent of cuisine on land, then once on ship we reconstitute the food and re-plate it.”
Next, cleanse your palate with a refreshing Mango Sorbet before indulging in the highest grade Prime Tenderloin of Beef accented with savory foie gras stuffed fondant potatoes, saffron cream and porcini mushroom demi glace.
“Although we do feature a prix fixe menu, we also do offer special menu items with a 24-hour advanced notice such as Baked Salmon with Dill Lemon Butter Sauce; Roasted Chicken Breast stuffed with mushrooms, spinach and Swiss cheese; Medley of Fresh Fruit; a vegan/gluten-free Black Truffle Risotto with wild asparagus and portabella mushrooms; or Roasted Rolled Eggplant stuffed with French green legumes in a kabocha sauce,” Gilbert says.
Finally, round off this exquisite feast with an effervescent White Chocolate Swan filled with fresh fruit, sponge cake and mascarpone cream all atop a puddle of heavenly lychee sauce.
“To make good food is not that difficult, really. What’s difficult is creating new ways to design it, new ways to showcase it, and that’s where molecular gastronomy is a huge tool going forward,” Gilbert explains, noting that molecular gastronomy is a rather new philosophy of cooking.
“I love my job,” he exclaims. “Being on the ocean is a great highlight of being executive chef for Super Nova — I see the sunset five days a week from the ocean, and it’s amazing. Sometimes we’ll even see whales up close.”
Really, who could ask for more? It’s a feast for all the senses aboard the Star of Honolulu. So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Star of Honolulu
- Docked at Pier 8
- Aloha Tower Marketplace
- (808) 983-7827 (in Hawaii)