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Ali Carte

Diving Into a Bountiful Buffet

Story By Ali Resich Photos Courtesy of The Kahala Hotel & Resort
May 13 - 19, 2012

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According to The Kahala Hotel & Resort’s general manager Roseann Grippo, when it comes to Plumeria Beach House — the hotel’s oceanside restaurant — there’s one question on resort executive chef Wayne Hirabayashi’s mind: How do you infuse Maui lavender into a dish from Spain? This makes sense, actually, as Hirabayashi recently returned from another yearly, hotel-sponsored trip, which allowed the culinarian to pursue exotic flavors, then bring them home to meld gorgeously with local ingredients.

This year’s inspiring destinations were Spain and Morocco, making it easy for Hirabayashi to answer the question. “We’ve done it,” explains Grippo, “We’ve done an amazing paella with an infusion of beautiful, beautiful lavender.”

Such an innovative culinary feat is just one of many that have been previously featured in Plumeria’s new Bounty of the Seven Seas buffet ($55 Adults; $27.50 Children 4-12), available every Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Why previously featured, you may ask? In addition to a consistent array of family-friendly entrees, seafood and desserts, a special portion of the truly unique seafood buffet is reserved for exclusive dishes created by Hirabayashi and his team of chefs. This exciting collection of eats is based on a different port of call from around the world each week.

“Every time that you come in, there is a different cultural blend,” says Grippo. “We did the Seychelle Islands a couple weeks ago; we’ve done Japan, St. Maarten, Barbados. We’ve done some really different and exciting places.”

Just as important as bringing new tastes to the table is the restaurant’s longstanding dedication to supporting Hawaii’s farmers and using locally sourced ingredients. A farm-to-table establishment for years, the eatery expands upon this practice by “finding ways to infuse local flavors, and the ingredients we buy locally, into different ports and different countries’ flavors,” says Grippo.

While Dining Out agrees it’s heartbreaking that the paella was a fleeting bite, the future delicious possibilities are endless. May 18 and 19, you’ll feel as though you’ve landed in Italy as the buffet celebrates tastes from the Amalfi Coast. Revel in the way local ingredients showcase international flavors in Amalfi Seafood Soup, prepared with Hawaiian Seafood and served with Focaccia and Roasted Garlic Aioli.

Experience a Caprese Salad seasoned with Molokai Sea Salt or Hawaiian Octopus grilled with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted potatoes and lemon vinaigrette. Then try the Garlic and Maui Onion Braised Lamb Shanks and Porcini Mushroom Potato Stew.

As Grippo describes, “It’s really been a labor of love in the sense that our chefs have become inspired to find out about the foods from different places. Spain, Morocco — wherever it is, they have to adapt and learn that cooking style.” With so many new dishes to try, she emphasizes the educational dining experience that both the chefs and customers take part in.

After ending your enticing journey with the buffet’s Amalfitan creamy custard and cherry tart, you’ll want to bring the whole family to try the seafood haven’s renowned breakfast as well, which is the only Hawaii-based menu to have earned a spot as one of Open Table‘s 2012 Diners Choice Award winners for Best 100 Restaurants for Brunch in the U.S.

With undoubtedly the most original seafood buffet in town, Plumeria Beach House’s menu continues to flower new culinary blossoms, and you’ll want to be there to taste them.

Plumeria Beach House

  • Where
    • The Kahala Hotel & Resort
    • 5000 Kahala Avenue
    • Honolulu, HI 96816
  • Call
    • (808) 739-8760
  • Hours
    • Monday – Tuesday, Thursday – Saturday
    • 6:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Wednesdays, Sundays
    • 6:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Notes
    • Complimentary parking available to all diners for three hours.